Wiltshire Music Centre and Bath Festivals Partnership


Bernstein West Side Story

Saturday 19 May 7.30pm


By Wiltshire Music Centre and Bath Festivals

In 2018 Wiltshire Music Centre and Bath Festivals celebrate their 20th and 70th Anniversaries. Following a number of successful partnership projects over the past 3 years, this spring these two leading South-West  arts organisations are pooling their resources and expertise once again to present two special anniversary events.


The first event will be on the opening night of the Bath Festival on Friday 11th May at the Wiltshire Music Centre and will feature a performance of Haydn’s Nelson Mass given by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Choir of Clare College Cambridge. This will be followed by a major community engagement project involving musicians and school pupils from across the region, culminating in a performance of Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of his birth.


Combining their expertise in creative learning, event production and community participation, together

Wiltshire Music Centre and Bath Festivals are hoping to engage more people than ever before through this ambitious community project; reaching new communities, new schools and developing new audiences.

“Creative Learning is at the heart of this year’s Bath Festival programme. We’re delighted to partner with Wiltshire Music Centre to create a larger-scale community project with the potential for much greater impact.”

Ian Stockley - Bath Festivals


The performance of West Side Story is the centre piece of the community engagement weekend of the 70th Anniversary Festival on Saturday 19th May and the schools’ and community chorus project forms part of Wiltshire Music Centre’s annual Creative Learning Programme.


The performance will feature a children’s choir, comprising pupils from The Mead Community Primary School in Trowbridge and Selwood Academy in Frome, as part of a large scale special schools’ project that is being delivered by Wiltshire Music Centre. Throughout the summer term, students have been exploring the timeliness themes and fantastic music of West Side Story, as part of musical theatre workshops delivered in partnership with Prime Theatre, Swindon. They will be joined by the WMC Chorus which is a community chorus of adults, which has also been brought together for this exciting Festival event and recruited from Bath, Wiltshire and beyond.


"We are delighted to be working with such a wonderful group of local musicians, music leaders and school children, alongside some of our visiting professional artists and ensembles, to bring these two significant partnership projects to life.”

James Slater – Artistic Director, Wiltshire Music Centre


The cast of soloists will features rising stars at the start of their professional career, as well as more established artists. Maria is sung by Gemma Summerfield, who in 2015 won the distinguished Kathleen Ferrier Prize - the leading international competition that sifts out the young stars of tomorrow.  All other soloists are currently training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Timothy Redmond, Professor of Conducting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and regular guest conductor with the London Symphony and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, will  conduct the brilliant Bath Philharmonia in this sensational musical collaboration. 


This retelling of the story of Romeo and Juliet, set in 1950s New York is full of amazing songs and the evening of great numbers will send you singing out into the night.


Book now: wiltshiremusic.org.uk / 01225 860100

Book now: bathfestivals.org.uk / 01225 463362