Songwriters urged to pen a Roman tune for St Albans

St Albans Cathedral is the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in Britain and stands over the place where Alban, Britain's first saint, was buried after being executed by the Romans. Picture: Alan Davies.

St Albans Cathedral is the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in Britain and stands over the place where Alban, Britain's first saint, was buried after being executed by the Romans. Picture: Alan Davies.

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Songwriters and musicians across the county are being encouraged to pen a new Roman tune for St Albans.

St Albans Cathedral. Picture: Alan Davies.St Albans Cathedral. Picture: Alan Davies.

St Albans Folk Festival will take place from Friday, June 28 to Sunday, June 30, coinciding with the St Albans Roman Festival which the Cathedral is holding to celebrate the launch of its new Visitors Centre.

As no one knows what the Romans’ music sounded like, the folk festival has issued an invitation to write new songs about the city’s Roman heritage on the theme of ‘Roman Verulamium and St Albans today’.

This competition aims to celebrate the essence of St Albans and its music, so entries from all ages and abilities are encouraged, with entries from young people being particularly welcome.

There are two age categories – under-18 and 18 and over.

The songs should be the writers’ own original material and explore themes seen in St Albans in Roman times and today.

A folk festival organiser said: “St Albans is steeped in acoustic, folk and traditional music, so the songs entered should fit broadly into these genres.

“It is suggested that songwriters take a walk around the Abbey or visit Verulamium Museum to see what St Albans has to offer.”

The competition will be assessed by three accomplished judges from the music industry, and the local music and historical scene.

The competition will be formed of two stages. The first is application and initial judging of the song recordings.

Then the writers of the chosen entries will be asked to perform their Roman songs on Sunday, June 30 as part of the St Albans Folk Festival.

Feedback will be given after initial judging and those asked to perform their entries on June 30 will be given feedback on the day as well.

The competition will close for judging at midnight on May 31.

• Further details and an entry form can be found at www.stalbansfolkmusic.org.uk or contact Lizzy Hardingham by calling 07414761289, or emailing romansongs@stalbansfolkmusic.org.uk

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