Meghan calls up musician to book him for her Big Day

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Meghan Markle's hands-on approach to her big day has been revealed by a cellist who said the actress rang and asked him to play at her wedding.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, a rising star of the classical music world, said he was "bowled over" when Prince Harry's fiancee requested his services - and he agreed immediately.

The 19-year-old winner of the BBC Young Musician 2016 award is among a group of artists and choral groups named as performers at Harry and Meghan's wedding on May 19.

During the service a gospel group will share the bill with a traditional chapel choir, a female soprano and a trumpet soloist among others.

Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir who will be performing at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. (Rick Findler/PA)
Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir who will be performing at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. (Rick Findler/PA)

The teenage cellist said: "I'm so excited and honoured to perform at Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle's wedding.

"I was bowled over when Ms Markle called me to ask if I would play during the ceremony, and of course I immediately said yes.

"What a privilege to be able to play the cello at such a wonderful event. I can't wait!"

The couple will exchange their wedding vows in front of 600 family, friends and colleagues at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Kensington Palace said: "Both Prince Harry and Ms Markle have taken a great interest and care in choosing the music for their service, which will include a number of well-known hymns and choral works."

James Vivian, Organist and Director of Music at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, will be in overall control of the royal wedding music. (Jonathan Brady/PA)
James Vivian, organist and director of music at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, will be in overall control of the royal wedding music (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The chapel will echo to the gospel sounds of the Kingdom Choir founded and directed by Karen Gibson.

Ms Gibson, who will lead her group during the service, said: "The Kingdom Choir is truly honoured to be invited to sing at the wedding of Prince Harry and Ms Markle, and very excited to be taking part in such a historic moment.

"It will be a moment that we will always treasure, and we'd like to take the opportunity to wish the couple all the very best for their coming union."

Harry and Meghan may be planning to contrast the uplifting enthusiasm of the gospel singers with beautiful Baroque pieces, as they have picked soloists who have made their name playing this style of music.

Trumpeter David Blackadder, a Baroque specialist, who is the principal trumpet with both the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Academy of Ancient Music, will play with The Orchestra.

Trumpet player David Blackadder will be playing at the wedding (PA)
Trumpet player David Blackadder will be playing at the wedding (PA)

The Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Warren-Green, comprises musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia.

They will be joined by soprano Elin Manahan Thomas best known for her performances of Baroque masterpieces.

I'm thrilled to have been asked to sing at such a momentous occasion. It's always an honour to be invited to be a part of a wedding, and getting to share in a couple's big day is very special. Good luck to everyone with the preparations! https://t.co/lqfQKpwwNQ

-- Elin Manahan Thomas (@elin_manahan) April 24, 2018

James Vivian, director of music at St George's Chapel, will be in overall control of the service's music which will also feature state trumpeters from all ranks of the Band of the Household Cavalry, St George's Chapel choir and Luke Bond, the chapel's assistant director of music, will play the organ.

Mr Vivian said: "The choristers, lay clerks, organists and I are very much looking forward to this exciting day and are pleased to be performing at the service music chosen by the couple.

"We are also looking forward to welcoming to St George's musical colleagues from near and far who will be performing at this very special and joyful occasion."

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