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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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Romany Wood – The Musical


Romany Wood ‘Romany Wood’ is a 45-minute musical for children's voices, narrator and orchestra.  It was written in 2003 and, in over 80 performances, has involved over 7,000 children and raised over £100,000 for charities.

Performances have included the Birmingham Symphony Hall (3), Birmingham Town Hall (2), Classic FM and five British cathedrals.  Earlier this year the first non-UK performance took place, given by the International Children's Choir in Beijing.

There have been two Royal Gala performances: in March 2009 with Prince Andrew to open the new Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury, and in December of the same year for The Duchess of Cornwall at the Birmingham Ballet School - this was to raise money for the Royal Osteoporosis Society.  The narrators were, respectively, Timothy West and Alan Titchmarsh.  Other narrators have included Adrian Chiles, Richard Stilgoe and Nick Owen (BBC newsreader).

One of the charity's main aims is to introduce singing to young children. 

Performances have included 830 children from inner-city Birmingham schools, singing in Symphony Hall and children from Tower Hamlets, Greenwich and Lewisham singing in Blackheath Halls.

In 2006 a recording was made by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the New London Children's Choir and Michael Maloney (as narrator).

There is now a ballet version, created by Desmond Kelly, then assistant artistic director of Birmingham Royal Ballet.

In May 2013 a four-year project to raise money for UNICEF UK began with a performance of Romany Wood in York Minster.  The Archbishop gave a rousing launch speech.  There will be annual concerts in Coventry Cathedral (2014), Manchester Bridgewater Hall (2015) and the Albert Hall (2016), with smaller events interspersed.

David Gaukoger,  Romany Wood - Charity number 1115147

The Archbishop of York has been a Patron of Romany Wood since 2011.