A choir from the US will link up with a "unique" music project in Worcester next month.

Students and teachers from Mount Mansfield Union High School and Rice Memorial High School in Vermont will join forces with seven Worcestershire secondary schools, Worcester Cathedral Youth Choir, and the UK’s Millenium Youth Choir.

The group will perform Will Todd’s Mass in Blue at Worcester Cathedral on Saturday, April 27.


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The energetic jazz-themed rendition of the Latin Mass will be performed by the 170-strong youth chorus.

They will perform alongside the composer himself at the piano, the Will Todd Ensemble, and soprano Lorna James, all under the watchful eye of conductor Neil Ferris, chorus director of the BBC Symphony Chorus.

Caleb Pillsbury, choral director at Mount Mansfield Union High School, said: "Neil Ferris was my mentor when I was studying Choral Conducting at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.

"We were so excited to hear about the Worcester Mass in Blue project from Neil and delighted to be invited to take part."

Anne Renshaw, the project producer, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming this wonderful high schools group from Vermont.

"It’s also a great opportunity for our local schools to engage with students from the USA and to share their mutual joy of singing.

"We offer them all an experience they will never forget."

Jess Gillam MBE, saxophonist and BBC Radio 3 broadcaster, will present the concert and features as its solo guest artist.

The event is the ultimate goal of an ambitious education project allowing young individuals to work and perform with top-tier professional musicians.

Ms Renshaw said: "This project is all about opportunity and access.

"Working with some of the UK’s most exciting and influential professional artists and musicians will be a life-affecting experience for all."

Young singers from Worcester Cathedral Youth Choir and the RSCM Millenium Youth Choir will also join the Vermont school choirs.

The visiting American choir will also meet the Mayor of Worcester for a special reception and tour of the Guildhall on Tuesday, April 23.