Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey


T.May 150xWA CWD17 09The Right Honourable Theresa May MP
Theresa May became the Leader of the Conservative Party and UK Prime Minister in July 2016. She had served as Home Secretary from 2010, having been elected to Parliament in May 1997 to represent the constituency of Maidenhead. She was a member of the Shadow Cabinet from 1999 to 2010, with roles as Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Employment, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Shadow Leader of the House of Commons. From 2002 to 2003 she was the first woman Chair of the Conservative Party. 

Baroness Scotland 150xThe Right Honourable Patricia Scotland QC
Patricia Scotland took office as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth in April 2016. She serves the 53 governments and 2.4 billion citizens of the Commonwealth. Born in Dominica, she moved to the UK at an early age. A lawyer, she became both the youngest and first black woman to be appointed Queen‘s Counsel. She is the only woman since the post was created in 1315 to be Attorney-General for England and Wales.


 Lewis Pugh resizedLewis Pugh OIG 
Lewis Pugh is an endurance swimmer and an ocean advocate. Over 30 years he has pioneered swims in the most vulnerable ecosystems on earth to campaign for their protection. He was the first to swim across the North Pole and, last year, to swim the full length of the English Channel. In 2013, the United Nations appointed him UN Patron of the Oceans. In 2015, Lewis helped create the largest protected area in the world in the Ross Sea off Antarctica. He grew up in the UK, Malta and South Africa.


 Tropical FlowersTropical Flowers Séga Dancers
Tropical Flowers Séga Dancers are a group of female British Mauritian dancers based in South London. Founded in 1999, the troupe formed between cousins who all shared the same passion for dancing. Primarily starting out at family parties, the group gradually moved into performing at more recognisable events within the Mauritian community and elsewhere. To date, Tropical Flowers has six members who continue the tradition of séga dancing here in the UK.


ResoundsThe Hertfordshire Commonwealth Choir
The Commonwealth Resounds is proud to present The Hertfordshire Commonwealth Choir, which has been created by Marie Price and staff from the Abbey CE VA Primary School. The choir brings together young children from many different cultural backgrounds living in the county of Hertfordshire. 


DionysusThe Dionysus Ensemble
Formed in 2003 the Dionysus Ensemble is the ensemble in residence for The Commonwealth Resounds. It is a virtuosic chamber ensemble with a string quartet at its core. Their founding ethos is to bring live music to a wide range of communities.


Dhol FoundationThe Dhol Foundation
Established in 1990 by Johnny Kalsi, Master Drummer, The Dhol Foundation began as an independent weekly workshop teaching the art of playing the North Indian Dhol Drum to children aged 7-18. The Drumming school continues its mission of spreading the art of playing this indigenous Drum to workshops at festivals and community projects across the globe. The Dhol Foundation often headlines at major festivals including the London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony.  With their love for world music, they have produced five albums absorbing influences and displaying their musical muscle through The Dhol Foundation.


Clean Bandit resizeClean Bandit
Clean Bandit - comprising of musicians Jack Patterson, Luke Patterson and Grace Chatto - have continually proved themselves one of the most successful and in-demand British acts of this century with their matchless blend of pop, classical and electronica. Breaking through in 2014 with their Grammy-winning single “Rather Be”, Clean Bandit have gone on to land four No.1 singles in their native UK. From 8 X BRIT Award nominations to 2 x Ivor Novello wins, they have now sold over 40 million singles worldwide and accumulated over 10 billion streams to date.


William BartonWilliam Barton
Born in Mount Isa in Queensland, Australia, William Barton has been playing the didgeridoo for over 20 years. During this time, he has forged an international profile as a multi-instrumentalist and composer in the classical musical world, performing with the Philharmonic Orchestras of London and Berlin and the acclaimed Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra. William’s unique talent has also been featured at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2018 opening ceremonies of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the Sydney Invictus Games. With his prodigious musicality and the quiet conviction of his Kalkadungu heritage, he has vastly expanded the horizons of the didgeridoo. 


Alfie Boe resAlfie Boe
Alfie Boe is cemented as The Nation’s Tenor and one of the best-loved vocalists of his generation. A hugely successful recording artist, Alfie has achieved four top ten solo albums in his career. Alfie’s exceptional voice has made him Britain’s biggest-selling tenor, who has triumphed on theatre stages and in concert halls around the world. Alfie has two UK #1 albums under his belt and over 1 million copies sold for ‘Together’ and ‘Together Again’ combined, made with his great friend Michael Ball OBE.


B Postiive resiB Positive
The B Positive choir, featuring Lurine Cato is the choir of NHS blood donation. It comprises people whose lives are affected by the lifesaving power of blood donation. Its members include donors and recipients, people with conditions such as sickle cell, and people who work with blood. The NHS needs 600 first time blood donors every day, especially young donors and black donors, to help ensure patients get the best-matched blood. In 2018, the choir reached the final of Britain’s Got Talent, and their campaign continued with the NHS70 celebrations on BBC Breakfast, the NHS Windrush 70 event in Manchester, and performances at festivals around the country.




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