Way back in 1993, on 10th October, a special concert took place in the cathedral in Münster: Münster Philharmonic Choir, Münster Cathedral Choir and York Musical Society combined to sing Dvorak’s Requiem.
The performance, which was described at the time as a gesture of reconciliation, took place exactly 50 years after Allied forces had bombed the city, causing the deaths of over 700 people who had sheltered in the cathedral. The bombing of English cities by the German forces was also commemorated. A most moving performance, preceded and followed by the tolling of the cathedral bell, was given to a packed cathedral and relayed to a huge crowd in the surrounding square.
Since that occasion, the friendship between YMS and MPC has continued and grown, with memorable concerts by the combined choirs in both cities. A concert in the Jovel Hall, Münster, in June 2018, marked 25 years of partnership.
In those 25 years, hundreds of choir members have travelled and explored each other’s cities, often being hosted at home by members of the partner choir. These visits have offered a chance to better understand another culture and language, through sharing daily life and through rehearsing and performing together.
The visits have been an eye-opener for many individuals from both countries; friendships have developed between individual choir members and families, alongside the sense of collective experience and shared history for the two choirs.
So, what comes next? It’s the turn of the Münster choir to come to York once again, and this is planned for June 2022.
More details and photos can be seen on the two choirs’ websites:
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This page records and celebrates twinning activities not only by YMTA but by diverse community groups in York and Münster.