The Ballad of St Kenelm

World Premiere Performances - 2016/2017

Poem by FRANCIS BRETT YOUNG

Music by ANDREW DOWNES

Art Work by H.R. WILSON


Paula Downes (soprano)

Hadyn Thomas (narrator)

Central England Camerata

(leader Anna Downes)

Hagley Community Orchestra

Actors from the

Francis Brett Young Society

Cynthia Downes (musical director)



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In 2012 the Society commissioned internationally acclaimed composer Andrew Downes to set Francis Brett Young’s Ballad of St Kenelm to music. The resulting composition for orchestra, soprano, narrator and 15 actors was premiered at Hagley Music Festival in April 2015. This was followed by repeat concerts in Winchcombe, Bewdley, Romsley and Stourbridge. A composite DVD of the first three concerts is available from the Society.

Excerpts from concerts

Download DVD order form

National Memorial Arboretum

On Tuesday 4th April 2017 a plaque commemorating Francis Brett Young’s World War I service in the Royal Army Medical Corps was dedicated at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas in Staffordshire. The Arboretum, located at the heart of the nation, with over 40,000 maturing trees and over 300 significant memorials, is a beautiful and lasting tribute to those who served their country or who have died in conflict. The Society’s plaque to Major Brett Young is located close to the RAMC  Memorial in a central avenue of purple-leaved trees and is visible from the route taken by the land train around the Arboretum.

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A quilted wall hanging, representing Francis Brett Young’s published works, uses a blue background with squares of a paler blue, cream and yellow, with books arranged in chronological order. Members and friends were invited to complete squares, working to their own design and using any appropriate medium. The resulting forty-eight squares (each 6” x 6”, producing a finished product some 4’ x 6’) presents a vivid and eye-catching summary of all Young’s published works, displaying the diversity of the subjects about which he wrote. The hanging is regularly on display at society events.

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