Benjamin Britten CentenaryKent Chamber Choir & Orchestra
30th Anniversary
Purcell & Britten

In aid of St George’s Tower Fund
St George’s Church, Church St, Gravesend, DA11 0DJ
7.30pm, Saturday 19th October 2013


This unique concert not only celebrates Kent Chamber Choir’s 30th birthday but also Benjamin Britten’s somewhat more significant 100th. Moreover, to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, we open with an anthem traditionally sung on such royal occasions. Britten greatly admired Henry Purcell’s music and did much to promote it during his lifetime. So rather than Parry’s more familiar setting of I was glad when they said unto me you will have the pleasure of hearing Purcell’s exuberant version for unaccompanied choir first performed in Westminster Abbey on 29th April 1685 for the coronation of King James II.

Next, a moment of tranquility with Purcell’s sublime An evening hymn sung by the first of our two guest soloists – outstanding counter-tenor Roderick Morris. Roderick also appears in Purcell’s Te Deum & Jubilate in D composed for St Cecilia’s Day 1694. Written in festive style for soloists, chorus and an orchestra of trumpets, drums and strings, it pays magnificent homage to our patron saint of music. The interval follows with an opportunity to meet performers and enjoy a complementary drink and nibbles.

Britten’s Op 42 cantata Saint Nicolas occupies the second half of the programme. It dramatically tells the saint’s story as an adult, then suddenly as a boy, his passage from boyhood to adult thrillingly depicted when the tenor soloist takes over the boy’s repeated phrase “God be glorified”. The cantata was written for the 1948 centenary celebrations of Lancing College with alumnus Peter Pears in the title role. William Morgan, our second brilliant guest soloist sings the part tonight joined by three trebles (the Pickled Boys), main chorus, gallery choir and orchestra comprising piano duet, organ, strings and percussion.

Tickets at £15 (£5 children and full-time students) are available in advance from Rebecca Moate on 07834 600563, from choir members or the door. Ticket price includes interval drink and nibbles.

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