Kensington Palace has announced some of the musicians participating in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding on May 19. The program will include “hymns and choral works” chosen carefully by the royal couple, and a number of performances from choral groups, soloists and musicians, according to the Palace. Below are the talented artists involved in the wedding.
The music director at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle (the royal wedding venue), will oversee the music at the ceremony. He’s also an organist and a conductor. When he’s not prepping for the royal wedding, he directs the men and boys choir on at the chapel, according to his website.
The Choir of St. George’s Chapel
The choir, directed by James Vivian, consists of “23 boy choristers from St George’s School and twelve Lay Clerks singing alto, tenor and bass,” according to the Palace. Established in 1348, the choir is an integral part of the Chapel’s history.
This 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason is a student at the Royal Academy of Music and won BBC Young Musician in 2016. Since then, he’s become an in-demand addition to renowned orchestras and symphonies, including the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, according to his website. His debut album, Inspiration, which just released in February, placed number one on the classical chart in the U.K.
According to the Palace, Prince Harry saw Kanneh-Mason perform at an event last June that supported the charity, Halo Foundation. The teen even commemorated the meeting on his Instagram.
It appears Markle called Kanneh-Mason personally to invite him to perform at the service. “I was bowled over when Ms. Markle called me to ask if I would play during the ceremony, and of course I immediately said yes!” he said in a statement.
Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir
The Christian gospel choir, founded by Karen Gibson, is based in the south-east of England. The group has been performing together for over 20 years, according to the Palace, and is “made up of a group of British artists dedicated to creating a sound that demonstrates the community they share.” They’re best known for their “united sound, warm energy and enthusiastic performance.”
Gibson is an award-winning choir conductor who has held gospel workshops around the world. She’s previously performed for the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles, and has conducted at a number of royal events including the Queen’s Jubilee in 2002, the Concert for Diana in 2007 and VE Day Celebrations at Buckingham Palace in 1997, according to her bio.
One of Gibson’s more recent works includes conducting the choir at the BBC Gospel Prom at the Royal Albert Hall in 2016. Watch a clip below.
The orchestra will be conducted by Christopher Warren-Green (who’s also a British violinist) and consist of instrumentalists from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia.
Keynote members include: Elin Manahan Thomas, an acclaimed Welsh soprano; David Blackadder, principal trumpet with both the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Academy of Ancient Music; and Luke Bond, organist and Assistant Director of Music at St. George’s Chapel.
Trumpet players will be “drawn from all ranks of the Band of the Household Cavalry” to support the ceremony, the Palace announced.
What about the receptions?
The entertainment at the evening reception has yet to be confirmed. However, there were previous reports that Ed Sheeran was asked to perform, and there was high speculation that Spice Girls will serenade the newlyweds—but that was shut down.
Now, it’s believed Sir Elton John, a close friend of Harry’s mother Princess Diana, will perform post-ceremony, TMZ reports. However, it’s unclear whether he’ll grace the crowd with his presence during the daytime ceremony at St. George’s Hall or at the evening reception at Frogmore House.
It would be fitting for the music icon to perform at Harry’s wedding, since he also performed at Diana’s funeral in 1997, where he dedicated “Candle in the Wind” to her.
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