A ROUSING concert where the audience joins in to turn folk songs into hymns is coming to Ledbury in June before it starts a year-long tour of British Cathedrals.

From Pub to Pulpit is the only official RVW150 touring event marking the 150th Birthday of one of the nation’s favourite composers, Ralph Vaughan Williams.

It’s at St Michael and All Angels Church Ledbury at 7.30pm on Saturday 25 June.

It features acapella folk group Broomdasher, instrumental trio Coracle – led by Belshazzar’s Feast’s Paul Hutchinson – and the organists and choirs, community choirs and concert audiences at every Cathedral and Minster where they perform.

Vaughan Williams was a well-known collector of folk songs and he borrowed folk song tunes he collected from labourers around the country for the tunes of some of the best hymns in the 1906 English Hymnal he edited.

Broomdasher and Coracle take the audience on a musical journey, starting with the folk song, going through dance variations and climaxing with everyone raising the roof with full-blooded renditions of the hymns.

They include “To Be a Pilgrim”, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say” which will be musically transformed from the folk songs “Our Captain Calls”, “The Ploughboy’s Dream” and “The Murder of Maria Marten.

The other sections of the concerts feature individual performances by the host organist and choir; Broomdasher and Coracle.

The tour goes from Exeter to Carlisle and St Davids, Pembrokeshire to Hull, ending at the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester in 2023.

“Broomdasher’s Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady show was very well received in Herefordshire, so we wanted to bring this new concert here, particularly with its associations with Vaughan Williams,” said Project Director John Palmer. “We know there’s also a great tradition of singing here, too and we wanted to perform where e know the audience will be in good voice”.

Tickets are £15 from www.ticketsource.co.uk/ or 01531 641829.