The Parliament Choir's Coronation Jubilee Concert
Friday, 20th June 2003
The Parliament Choir's Coronation Jubilee Concert was switched from Westminster Hall to the Abbey at just 33 hours notice after two pieces of oak cladding fell 100ft from the hammer beam roof of the hall.
Jonathan Sayeed, Conservative MP and Chairman of the Choir called off the concert after consulting safety experts and sought assistance from the Dean.
On Tuesday morning, with the start time just 33 hours away, the decision was made to switch the concert to the Abbey. A team at the Abbey swung into action immediately and worked flat out late into the night and throughout Wednesday to get staging, television rigging, rehearsals, changing rooms and 101 other logistical matters sorted out. Seating for 1,700 people went out as soon as tourist visiting ended and by 7.30pm on Wednesday all was ready for the arrival of HRH The Prince of Wales.
Under the baton of Simon Over, ex-Director of Music from St Margaret's, the Eight State Trumpeters, The South Bank Sinfonia and the 300 strong choir which includes 90 MPs, peers and staff from the Palace of Westminster burst into life bang on time.
The Dean said:
It was a magnificent effort by everyone concerned, each person playing his or her part to the full, and respecting each other's professionalism.
Proceeds are being donated by the choir to youth charities linked to the Prince's Trust which encourages musical development in young people.