Covid-19 has of course prevented us from meeting to rehearse in-person since March 2020. A signifiant proportion of the choir have continued to sing each week on Zoom, full details of which are on the Members page.
When we are able to return we have two programmes planned, each lasting one hour and requiring only a modest number of orchestral players, so that we can perform to an audience as soon as the restrictions allow us. The first programme is one of reflection and remembering, looking back over the trials and tribulations of the Pandemic. The second programme is one of exaltation and joy, looking forward with thanks to a brighter future.
In May 2017 we gave one of the most memorable performances of recent years with Dan Forrest’s joyous multi-cultural Jubilate Deo. We have turned to Dan’s music again for our next concert, a one-hour performance of his Requiem for the Living. A Requiem, at its core, is a prayer for rest – traditionally for the deceased. Dan’s Requiem for the Living, however, forms a narrative just as much for the living, and their own struggle with pain and sorrow, as for the dead. There is turmoil and sorrow, pain and even anger, but throughout, and especially at the work’s close there is light, peace, and rest – for both the deceased and the living. This work lasts around 40 minutes, and between movements there will be reflective poems read.
Our first programme is clearly one of reflective consolation, but our second programme, also lasting an hour, is one of thankfulness and joy. When looking at composers who epitomise this, one name stands out – Sir Arthur Sullivan. Pictured above is a scene from his operetta H. M. S. Pinafore, the choruses of which are included in the concert. The major work on the programme is his half-hour long Festival Te Deum – the great hymn of joy and praise – which was written in thanksgiving for the recovery of Prince Albert, later King Edward VII, from typhoid, the disease which had killed his Father.
- Choral Medley from H. M. S. Pinafore (1878)
- Festival Te Deum (1872)
- Onward, Christian Soldiers (1871)
- The Lost Chord (1877)
- The Long Day Closes (1868)
- Three Shakespeare Songs (1863/4)
More information on these concerts will appear as soon as Covid-19 restrictions allow us to plan with any certainty. But … have no fear … we will be back!