LONDON (CNN) – Britain’s King Charles III has enlisted the help of celebrated British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber to write the flagship anthem for his upcoming coronation.
The coronation of Charles will take place at Westminster Abbey in London on May 6th and will crown Camilla, Queen Consort, along with her husband.
The King personally selected the music program for the service, which will see “a range of musical styles and performers blending tradition, heritage and ceremony with new musical voices of today,” according to Buckingham Palace.
Twelve new pieces of music have been prepared for the occasion – including six orchestral works, five choral pieces and one commissioned work for organ – by several world-renowned composers, whose styles span classical, sacred, film, television and musical theatre.
Famed composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose hit musicals ‘Cats’ and ‘Phantom of the Opera’ have been performed around the world, said he was ‘incredibly honored’ to be a part of it.
“My hymn contains words that borrow slightly from Psalm 98. I composed it for the choir and organ of Westminster Abbey, the ceremonial brass and the orchestra,” said Lloyd Webber. “I hope my anthem reflects this joyful occasion.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber welcomes Charles at the 2022 Prince’s Trust Awards in London.
A Coronation March was written by Patrick Doyle, an award-winning Scottish composer best known for his work on films such as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Gosford Park and Carlito’s Way.
One of the King’s more sentimental inclusions is his decision to have Greek Orthodox music played during the service, performed by the Byzantine Chant Ensemble in honor of his father, the late Prince Philip, who died two years ago.
In the meantime, musical themes from countries across the Commonwealth will be included in Iain Farrington’s new organ solo engagement. The other new work was created by Sarah Class, Nigel Hess, Paul Mealor, Tarik O’Regan, Roxanna Panufnik, Shirley J. Thompson, Judith Weir, Roderick Williams and Debbie Wiseman.
A handpicked gospel choir – The Ascension Choir – will also perform at the service, in addition to the choir from Westminster Abbey and the choir from His Majesty’s Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace. They will be accompanied by choristers from the Chapel Choir of Methodist College, Belfast and the Truro Cathedral Choir. The traditional “Vivat” calls are made by the King’s Scholars of Westminster School.
Andrew Nethsingha, organist and choirmaster at Westminster Abbey, said all coronation services are a blend of “deep-rooted tradition and contemporary innovation” and commended the new British monarch for “choosing good musicians and accessible, communicative music for this great occasion “. .”
London’s Westminster Abbey has been the site of every coronation since 1066. Since William the Conqueror, all but two monarchs have been crowned there.
The ceremony will also feature historical music played in coronation services over the past four centuries by the likes of William Byrd, George Frideric Handel, Edward Elgar, Henry Walford Davies, William Walton, Hubert Parry and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Antonio Pappano, Musical Director of the Royal Opera House and Conductor of the Coronation Orchestra, said: “His Majesty has selected a very beautiful and varied programme, which I believe will add to the splendor of this very special celebration.”
Buckingham Palace previously announced that the coronation will be “a solemn service and an occasion for celebration and pageantry” conducted by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
The three-day weekend in early May will include grand processions through central London, a star-studded concert at Windsor Castle and celebrations across the country. Brits have been granted an extra bank holiday and the public are invited to join The Big Help Out by volunteering in their communities.
“Everyone is invited to join each day,” Britain’s culture secretary, Michelle Donelan, said in a statement. “Be it by hosting a special street festival, watching the coronation ceremony or a spectacular concert on TV, or stepping forward during The Big Help Out to support causes that are important to them.”
Sign up for CNN’s Royal News newsletter to get updates about the British royal family delivered to your inbox.