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

Saturday, 13 January 2018, 2.30 pm

‘Cross against Corslet – Elgar, Longfellow and the Saga of King Olaf’

Professor John Hamilton

John Hamilton is the William R Kenan Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Harvard University. His talk will be a prelude to a performance of ‘King Olaf‘ at the Hereford Three Choirs Festival on 30 July 2018. ‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Saturday, 10 February 2018, 12.30 for 1.00 pm

Annual Branch Lunch

The ever popular Branch Lunch will be held, as usual, at Christ Church Hall, Avenue Road, Malvern, WR14 3AY. Details and choices of menu will be given in the West Midlands Branch Newsletter (published early January) or contact the Secretary (address above).

Saturday, 10 March 2018, 2.30 pm

Branch AGM followed by ‘Alice Elgar – Poet of her time’

Peter Sutton

Following the AGM, Peter Sutton will give another of his considered and entertaining talks and readings of the poetry of Alice Elgar at the ‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Saturday, 14 April 2018, 2.30 pm

‘Sullivan without Gilbert – the complete Victorian man of music’

David Packman

One of our Committee Members, Group Captain David Packman, an acknowledged expert on Gilbert and Sullivan, will give an illustrated talk on the music of Arthur Sullivan, partly contemporary with Elgar. To be held in the Boardroom at St. Leonard’s church of the Beauchamp Community (address as below).

Saturday, 19 May 2018, 2.30 pm

‘The Apostles as Elgar’s response to Wagner’s Parsifal’

Dr Roger Allen

Dr Roger Allen, Dean of St. Peter’s College, Oxford, will talk on ‘In his love and his pity he redeemed them’ Elgar’s response in The Apostles to Wagner’s Parsifal. ‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Friday to Sunday 1 to 3 June 2018, 2.30 pm

The Elgar Birthday Weekend

Full details of the programme for the Elgar Birthday Weekend will be given in the April issue of the Elgar Society News.

Saturday, 16 June 2018, 2.30 pm

‘Elgar’s lesser know works’

Wendy Hill

Wendy Hill, formerly national secretary of the Elgar Society, will invite us to enjoy some of Elgar’s lesser known works. The Firs, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Saturday, 14 July 2018, 2.30 pm

‘Elgar’s orchestral miniatures’

Dr Steven Halls

Dr Steven Halls, Chairman of the Elgar Society, will give an illustrated talk on Elgar’s orchestral miniatures. The Firs, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Elgar Society Day at the Three Choirs Festival at 11.00 am

The renowned organist, Roger Judd, who, as Assistant Organist for over twenty years at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, played for many Royal occasions and who has worked as a recitalist and recording artist in the U.K. Europe, the U.S. and Canada will talk on ‘One man and his dog…Elgar and G.R. Sinclair –  an enduring friendship.’ This will be followed by:

The Elgar Society Annual Lunch at 12.30 pm

Both events will be at ‘The Left Bank’, Hereford.  Further details will be give in The Elgar Society News and the Three Choirs Festival Brochure and website.

Please note that tickets for both above events can only be obtained from the Three Choirs Festival booking office.

Saturday, 15 September 2018, 2.30 pm


Dr Jim Berrow

Dr Jim Berrow, formerly executive producer of the music and arts’ programmes for ITV, Channel 4, PBS, Polyphon/WDR Cologne and the Arts Council, and now independent researcher involved in music and architecture, will talk on Troyte Griffiths at All Saints Church, The Wyche, Malvern – Troyte’s finest architectural legacies.

Saturday, 20 October 2018, 2.30 pm

‘Elgar and Atkins – a 100 year personal perspective’

Adrian Lucas

Adrian Lucas, Conductor of the City of Birmingham Choir, formerly Director of Music at Worcester Cathedral, of the Worcester Three Choirs Festivals, now head of Choral studies at the Royal School of Church Music, will talk on Elgar’s relationship with Ivor Atkins. ‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace. This is a joint event with the Autumn in Malvern Festival.

Saturday, 3 November 2018, 2.30 pm

‘Hubert Parry; the development of a great persona.’

Michael Trott

Michael Trott, former Chairman of the West Midlands Branch of the Elgar Society, will talk on Hubert Parry. This is to coincide with the publication of his book on the composer. To be held in the Boardroom at St. Leonard’s church of the Beauchamp Community (address as below).

 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. Tickets (£10 – members £5) available from David Parkes on 01432 840737 or by post, including a stamped addressed envelope, to 2 Blackberry Lane, Little Dewchurch, Hereford, HR2 6PZ. ‘The Firs’, Elgar’s Birthplace.

Saturday, 1 December 2018, 2.30 pm

‘Elgar and the novelist’

Susan Gee

The well-known novelist, Susan Gee, will talk of Elgar and the novelist with Timothy Day at the piano. ‘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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