The earliest programme in the collection is from 1903: this is a word book – with analytical programme notes, words and musical examples – from the first London performance of the Dream of Gerontius, conducted by Edward Elgar. Other early twentieth-century programmes include a concert of madrigals given by the Oriana Madrigal Society (1912 – the concert was given in the Cathedral Hall), a “Recital of English Organ Music” (1923) and a “Recital of sacred compositions” (1923). The programmes do not give any evidence of the music being part of a service or any prayers preceding the music.
The remainder of the collections dates from 1945 onwards, with the majority of programmes dating from 1965 onwards. The programmes are from concerts of scared vocal music, orchestral concerts and solo recitals – in particular, from organ recitals. Organ recital programmes include a series of recitals of the music of Messiaen in the late 1960s; the concerts were jointly organised by the ICA Music Section, Organ Music Society, and featured various organists. Various instrumental groups are represented in the collection. These include ensembles connected to the cathedral, such as Westminster Cathedral String Orchestra, Westminster Cathedral Chamber Orchestra and Westminster Cathedral Baroque Orchestra. There are also programmes from concerts featuring London-based symphony orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. There are numerous choral groups represented in the collection, and these include the New Westminster Chorus and the Westminster Cathedral Choir.
There are a few programmes from services, including a memorial service for John Barbirolli (1970) and a requiem mass for Lennox Berkeley (mass held in 1990; Berkeley died in 1989).
The programmes are arranged chronologically.
- BBC Symphony Orchestra -
- Elgar, Edward -
- ICA Music Section -
- New Westminster Chorus -
- Organ Music Society -
- Oriana Madrigal Society -
- Royal Philharmonic Orchestra -
- Westminster Cathedral Baroque Orchestra -
- Westminster Cathedral Chamber Orchestra -
- Westminster Cathedral Choir -
- Westminster Cathedral String Orchestra -