We are grateful to Manfred Klass, a first-time, non-singing visitor to Kidderminster, for this article about the visit.
25 years ago the musical partnership between Theodor Storms Chor and the Kidderminster Choral Society came into being.
To celebrate the anniversary, 18 singers, as well as two family members, made their way to Kidderminster. We travelled by bus to Hamburg, to the airport, and from there by plane to Birmingham, where Jane Williams was waiting for us. We continued with the bus to Kidderminster. There the travellers took up their quarters in a hotel, a B and B-guesthouse, or with Choral Society members.
The days were filled with sightseeing (Kidderminster’s Museum of Carpet, Avoncroft Museum, a visit to Bewdley, etc.). Here, we were accompanied by our Kidderminster friends. When walking or when we were partaking of the obligatory tea old friendships were revived and whole new relationships were made.
In the evenings it was time for intensive rehearsals. Always, when the two choirs meet, they give a joint concert. This year it was the same; in St. Mary’s Church works by Haydn (St. Cecilia Mass) and Vivaldi (Gloria) rang forth. Both the Storms Choir and the Kidderminster Chorale had previously practised separately, so that they had just three days to rehearse together. The concert took place on Saturday at 19:00.
The official part of the meeting took place at a dinner after the concert. The President of the English choir, John Gaston, and the Chairwoman of the Storm Choir, Ille Eggers, talked of the 25-year friendship and said that a meeting was held every two years. Heinrich Linkogel, a former Chairman, had been instrumental in maintaining the good contact between the two choirs. Siegfried Carstensen gave a highly-acclaimed speech about the end of the second world war, the 70th anniversary of which fell at this particular time.
Everyone looked forward with anticipation to the 2017 Kidderminster visit to Husum, and a very intensive visit to Kidderminster ended on Sunday.