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Choral Society celebrate Britten

As part of the Britten Centenary Celebrations, Ipswich Choral Society presents ‘Saint Nicolas’ at Ipswich School on 17th November, conducted by their Music Director, Stephen Rumsey. The concert also includes the world premiere of part of a newly commissioned work by renowned composer Stevie Wishart.

First performed at the Aldeburgh Festival in 1948, Britten’s cantata focuses on the life of Saint Nicolas, patron-saint of children and sailors and Bishop of Myra during the fourth century. Ipswich Choral Society are joined by local tenor Richard Edgar-Wilson performing the role of the saint with choristers from St Mary-le-Tower as the pickled boys.

The wide skies and flatlands of the Suffolk landscape inspired the new work by Stevie Wishart, written as a homage to Benjamin Britten, a past President of the Society. The text for two songs has been provided by Dr. Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury.

A legacy bequeathed to the Ipswich Choral Society from Judith Hawkshaw has been used for the commission. Judith was an active member of the Society for many years and would be thrilled that her gift to the choir was being put to such creative use. Particularly as Benjamin Britten was a former President of Ipswich Choral Society and also nephew of a past conductor of the choir.

Stevie Wishart was delighted to receive the new commission in honour of Benjamin Britten. “Britten has been very important in the formation of my own musical language. Growing up in East Anglia I attended master-classes at Snape. A genius at setting the English language and like myself, relishes English dialects and harks back to Chaucerian medieval English. But for all that, is thoroughly modern and pioneering.”

The concert programme also includes two pieces by Purcell, a composer who inspired Britten. “Come ye Sons of Art” was composed as an Ode for the occasion of Queen Mary’s birthday in 1694 and is one of many that Purcell wrote for courtly or ceremonial events. Soloists Fran Burn (Contralto), Chris Burn (Counter-tenor) and Tom Ping (Bass) will join the choir for this piece. A local orchestral group will also be performing Purcell’s Chacony in G minor.

As usual interval refreshments will be available in the form of delicious cakes and other home-made goodies, provided by Creative Cooks.

Ipswich Choral Society presents “Britten Centenary Celebration”
Britten: St Nicolas
Purcell: Come ye Sons of Art
Purcell: Chacony in G minor
Wishart: Autumn and Winter from “Seasons”

Stephen Rumsey – Music Director
Richard Edgar-Wilson – Tenor
Fran Burn – Contralto
Chris Burn – Counter-tenor
Tom Ping – Bass
Choristers from St. Mary-le-Tower

3.00pm, Sunday 17 November 2013
The Great School, Ipswich School, Ivry Street, Ipswich IP1 3QW

Tickets are available from:
ICS ticket line: 01473 738324
Music World, Queen Street, Ipswich IP1 1SS
Admission (includes programme): Adults £12, Concessions £10, Children £4

Visit our website: www.ipswichchoralsociety.org for more details

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