West Midlands





Branch Contact 
Richard Smith
24 Crown Lea Avenue
WR14 2DP

Telephone: 01684 438358

west.midlands@elgar.org or rsmith8631@aol.com


It is generally agreed that the Elgar Society began its life in Worcester and Malvern in 1951 and the West Midlands Branch has continued to flourish since then. We have a membership of approximately 230, second only to London. We are also fortunate in being the ‘home’ Branch of the Elgar Birthplace with which we maintain a close relationship. In common with other Branches of the Society, we hold a regular programme of talks and a yearly ‘jaunt’ to places of interest.

In addition to our events programme, we also publish a twice-yearly Newsletter which is distributed to members by post or email depending on their preference. We feel that this is an excellent way of communicating with our membership, especially to those who find it difficult to travel.

Unless otherwise stated, all events will take place in the Carice Elgar Room at ‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace, Crown East Lane, Worcester, WR2 6RH.

Programme for 2020

Saturday, 18 January 2020, 2.30 pm

Elgar’s Sea Pictures

A recital by the mezzo-soprano, Rebecca Leggett which will include a performance of Elgar’s Sea Pictures with piano  accompaniment by Nicole Johnson. During the afternoon, our own Peter Sutton will talk on the subject “The Poetry of Sea Pictures.” Tickets are available (priced at £5 for members and £8 for visitors) from David Parkes by post at 2 Blackberry Lane, Little Dewchurch, Hereford HR2 6PZ (please make cheques out to “Elgar Society, WM Branch” and enclose a stamped addressed envelope.) Alternatively, phone David on 01432 840737 or email him at: theparkes@tiscali.co.uk and he will keep tickets for you to be paid for on the day.

‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Saturday, 15 February 2020, 1.00 pm for 1.30 pm

Annual Branch Lunch

The Annual Branch lunch will be as usual at Christ Church Hall in Malvern. Full details and a booking form will appear with the winter edition of the West Midlands Branch Newsletter including menu choices. There will also be a small quiz and a raffle.

Christ Church Hall, Avenue Road, Malvern WR14 3AY

Saturday, 7 March 2020, 2.30 pm

Branch AGM and Ian Morgan: ‘Marie Brema’

The mezzo soprano, Marie Brema, sang the Angel in the first performance of The Dream of Gerontius in Birmingham on 3 October 1900. Ian has been able to discover more about her life from contact with her relations.

‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Saturday, 4 April 2020, 9.30 am

‘Come and Sing The Music Makers’

Worcester Festival Choral Society workshop starts at 9.30 am. We encourage all members to do exactly that! See the Choral Society’s web-site for all details including cost.

Thursday 7 May 2020, 7.30 pm

Alexis Patterson: ‘We are the dreamers of dreams’

Alexis Patterson, the Chief Executive of the Three Choirs Festival, explains the annual process of taking artistic ideas from rousing ambitions to rapturous applause via the ordinary detail in between. She will share some insights into her role, revealing difficulties, frustration, joys and surprises, as well as her hopes for the Festival’s future.

‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Saturday, 20 June 2020, 2.30 pm

John Knowles: ‘Elgar, Liverpool and Malcolm Sargent’ 

Long-standing member of the North West Branch of the Elgar Society, John Knowles will talk about Sir Malcolm Sargent of which he has many fond memories.

‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Sunday, 5 July 2020, 2.30 pm

Dr John Williams: ‘Barenboim, Beethoven, and Goethe and what exactly is the West-Eastern Divan?’

Dr Williams of St Andrews University gives an account of Goethe’s relations with German and Austrian music and musicians, and explains the inspiration behind the foundation of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra by Daniel Barenboim.

‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Saturday, 30 July 2020

Adrian Lucas: ‘The Elgar-Atkins partnership in Worcester

The Three Choirs Festival Lecture is given, this year, by the former Organist and Director of Music at Worcester Cathedral and Artistic Director of Worcester Three Choirs Festivals, currently Head of Choral Studies at the RSCM and Conductor of the City of Birmingham Choir. This event will be followed by the Elgar Society Lunch.

The Godfrey Brown Theatre at the Royal Grammar School, Worcester.

Full details, including times and venues will appear in the Three Choirs Festival Brochure, from which organisation the tickets should be obtained.

Saturday, 12 September 2020, 2.30 pm

Dr John Harcup: ‘Elgar’s inspirational sources – pets, poetry, places and people’

Our Branch Chairman explores the sources that inspired Elgar’s music. They fall into four groups each beginning with the letter ‘p’.

‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Saturday, 10 October 2020, 2.30 pm

Ken Crump: ‘When I was at the asylum’ 

A look at the Worcester County and City asylum by Ken Crump, who nursed at Powick Hospital, and who will look back at Elgar’s time as Asylum Bandmaster between 1879 and 1884. His illustrative talk will include some of the ‘Powick Music.’  

‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Friday 6 November 2020, 7.00 pm

RGS Worcester Concert

Young musicians from the Royal Grammar School at Worcester will give a concert.

‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Saturday, 5 December 2020, 2.30 pm

Dr Roger Allen: ‘The sun goeth down’ 

Dr Allen, Emeritus Fellow in Music of Worcester College, Oxford, investigates Elgar’s ‘The Kingdom’ from the wider European perspective.

‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.








Location of St. Leonard’s Church of the Beauchamp Community, WR13 5AX

The location of St. Leonard’s is just off the main Worcester-Malvern Road (A.449) and is shown on the map below. There is no visitor parking on site, but there is ample parking on the road by the church. After arrival go through the big iron gates and, in front of you, will be big wooden doors. Go through the wicket-gate and turn left. The door you need to get to the Board Room will be clearly marked ‘ELGAR’. Someone will be there to guide you.


Link to Ross Classical Music Society click here

Link to Chandos Symphony Orchestra click here

Link to Malvern Festival Chorus click here

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