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Our next concert – Britten, Rutter and Richard Rodney Bennett
In June we’re singing music by Benjamin Britten in his centenary year, Richard Rodney Bennett who died in 2012 at the age of 75 and John Rutter who is happily still with us!
Our programme will include Britten’s setting of W. H. Auden’s poem ‘Hymn to St Cecilia’. Britten had worked with Auden from the mid 1930s, notably on film scores such as Night Mail. In April 1939 Britten and Peter Pears left for America. Auden had already moved there in January 1939 and he and Britten continued to work together. However, their relationship had started to deteriorate and ‘Hymn to St Cecilia’ was to be their last collaboration.
Britten had considered writing a piece in praise of St Cecilia for some time; there is a long tradition of odes and songs in praise of the patron saint of musicians and by a happy coincidence he had been born on the saint’s day – 22nd November. He had been unable to find suitable words to set which was why he asked Auden to provide a text.
Britten and Pears returned to England in April 1942. Britten re-wrote the score of the hymn from memory aboard the MS Axel Johnson crossing the North Atlantic. US Customs had confiscated the original manuscript thinking it was some kind of code. The first performance was given by the BBC Singers on the composer’s 29th birthday, 22nd November 1942.
Would you like to sing with us?
Vacancies arise in the choir from time to time. If you are interested in auditioning, have choral experience and a good level of sight-reading, please contact Dick Bacon on 01372 373644 or using the form on our ‘Contact us‘ page.
Planning a wedding?
Epsom Chamber Choir is available to sing at your church service or civil ceremony. We offer a wide selection of hymns, anthems and other favourite music. For further information please contact us using the form on our ‘Contact us‘ page.
ABOUT THE CHOIR
We are a choir of about 35 voices based in Epsom, Surrey where we give at least six major concerts each year, mostly in St Martin’s Church.
We sing music by composers as different as ‘Fats’ Waller and Arvo Pärt and pieces that have just been written as well as the classics.
Each year at Christmas we help the National Trust to raise funds at Clandon Park and from time to time we sing Evensong in cathedrals such as St Paul’s, Winchester, Southwark, Ely and, most recently, St Alban’s in May 2009.
We also tour abroad. abroad. In May 2012 we visited Chantilly, Epsom’s twin town, where we sang a concert at Sainte-Thérèse church in Bois Saint-Denis, and Mass at NotreDame church. We also sang a concert at St Germain des Prés in Paris.
The choir has won Enterprise Awards on three occasions from the Performing Right Society. Epsom Chamber Choir, which was formed in 1969, is a Registered Charity number 1026721 and is affiliated to Making Music.
We belong to gerontius.net the website for choirs. Search gerontius.net for choirs or concerts in the Kingston-on-Thames (KT) post code area. We also advertise our concerts on www.wherecanwego.com’s What’s On Guide and concert-diary.com.
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