HUNDREDS of singers will perform a world-premiere musical celebration of the bicycle for the Grand Départ of the Tour de France.

York’s Chapter House Choir has commissioned a choral work with a cycling theme which will be sung by 400 singers from choirs across the Yorkshire stages of the Tour, with the music featuring bicycle pumps, horns and bells.

Song Cycle: Vive La Vélorution, is the work of acclaimed British composer Alexander L’Estrange, who has a track record for grand-scale choral works that bring together hundreds of singers.

Song Cycle includes an unusual combination of musical styles from pastiche Victorian music hall to barbershop, musical theatre and jazz. It will first be performed on June 28 in York Minster, as part of the Yorkshire cultural festival for the Tour de France.

The director of The Chapter House Choir, Stephen Williams said: “We’re delighted to be working with so many talented and enthusiastic people from our partner choirs. Song Cycle is a wonderful opportunity to bring together Yorkshire’s choral community and celebrate Le Grand Départ with our audience, in what promises to be a fun and entertaining evening.”

Alexander L’Estrange said: “As a keen cyclist and lover of the outdoors, I was delighted to be commissioned for this piece. It gave me the perfect excuse to spend a few days in Yorkshire, one of my favourite places, and to cycle some of the route of the Tour de France to gain inspiration.

“That experience reinforced my desire to create an uplifting, light-hearted and entertaining piece reflecting the enormous appeal of this most popular and energy-efficient mode of transport and celebrating the beauty of our natural surroundings.”

For tickets contact the York Minster box office: 01904 557208. or visit