West Midlands Branch




Branch Contact

Richard Smith,
24, Crown Lea Avenue,
WR14 2DP

Tel: 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 2018

Friday, 16 November 2018, 7.00 pm

A concert of songs by ‘Cantabile’

The prize-winning girls’ choir Cantabile, from Hereford Cathedral School will present a programme which will include some of Elgar’s Music. This event is now sold out.

‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Saturday, 1 December 2018, 2.30 pm

‘ Elgar and the novelist’

Sue Gee

The well-known novelist, Sue Gee, will talk on Elgar and the novelist with Timothy Day at the piano.

‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Programme for 2019

Saturday, 26 January 2019, 2.30 pm

‘A jaundiced view?’

David Parkes

Our Events Secretary, David Parkes, will examine the English musical world of Elgar’s time as seen through the eyes of George Bernard Shaw.

‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Saturday, 16 February 2019, 10.00 for 1.30 pm

Branch Annual Lunch

The ever popular Branch lunch will be held, as usual, at Christchurch Hall, Avenue Road, Malvern, WR14 3AY (just opposite the entrance to Great Malvern Railway Station). Details, choice of menus and a booking form will be distributed with the Winter 2018/2019 Branch Newsletter.

Saturday, 9 March 2019, 2.30 pm

AGM followed by ‘Leonard Bernstein…. a Genius’

Jon Goldswain

West Midlands Branch Vice Chairman, Jon Goldswain will speak on the charismatic American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein who, he says is ‘a bit like Marmite – either loved or hated.’

‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Saturday, 6 April 2019, 2.30 pm

‘His name will always be spoken…with the greatest respect’

Rupert Marshall-Luck

The violinist Rupert Marshall-Luck will talk on the violin music of Elgar and Hubert Parry.

‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Saturday, 18 May 2019, 2.30 pm

‘Elgar and the Press’

Richard Westwood-Brookes

Richard Westwood-Brookes, who is currently completing his book on Elgar and the Press, will examine Elgar’s life as reported by the press of the time. There will be some controversial moments, some surprises and some humour as we see Elgar through the eyes of the ‘hacks of Fleet Street.’

‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Saturday, 22 June 2019, 2.30 pm

‘Journeying with my cello’

Rachael Howgego

The cellist, Rachael Howgego, who has spent thirty years as a freelance cellist and teacher and worked with may orchestras, will describes her experiences. Rachael also owns the cello on which Beatrice Harrison recorded the Elgar Concerto with the composer conducting.

St Leonard’s Church of the Beauchamp Community (see below).

Saturday, 13 July 2019, 2.30 pm

‘A form of genius – Gordon Jacob’

Stuart Freed

Stuart Freed Vice-Chairman of the Elgar Society will examine the career of Gordon Jacob, perhaps best known for orchestrating Elgar’s Organ Sonata.

‘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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