All day - May 13, 2024
St James Church, 197 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LL

Will Todd's premiere of Imagine the World to be Different: The St James’s Quartet

The Sixteen and St James’s Piccadilly revealed the world premiere performance of a new work written especially to mark St James’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show ‘Imagine the World to be Different’ garden.

‘Imagine the World to be Different: The St James’s Quartet’ is written by Will Todd and was performed by The Sixteen and the choir’s founder and conductor Harry Christophers for the first time at St James’s Piccadilly on Monday 13 May 2024.

The song was commissioned to reflect and resonate with the history, as well as the character, of St James’s – associated with its presence at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 – through ‘stories’ taking inspiration from the church’s lime wood Grinling Gibbons reredos, visionary people like artist Mary Beale and abolitionist Ottobah Cugoano (celebrated with a new commission by Che Lovelace in 2023), and the Magnolia tree which dominates the courtyard. The words were written especially for the occasion by Associate Rector The Revd Dr Ayla Lepine.

Robert Myers, a six-time RHS Chelsea Flower Show gold medalist, brought his expertise to create this restorative space. Click to hear him talk about the St James' garden and the importance of trees within urban settings

The show garden pays homage to the revitalising influence of urban green spaces, symbolising a message of hope and recovery while igniting the imagination of future generations to envision a different world.

The Sixteen premiered the new commission by Will Todd with words by Revd Dr Ayla Lepine to commemorate the creation of the garden.

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