65th Anniversary Concert

Our Spring/Summer Concert is a celebration of  our 65th birthday

A Festival of English Choral Music

at St Paul’s Church   Bedford  MK40 1SQ

on Saturday 14th May 2011  7.30pm

The programme celebrates the development of English Choral Music from the late 19th century,  through the 20th and culminating in the 21st century with the first performance  of ‘Divine Emblems’, a work based on poems of John Bunyan and specially commissioned  for the occasion from the exciting young Bedfordshire composer John Chambers.

Other composers represented include Elgar, Finzi, Rutter and Vaughan Williams.

Vocal soloists are Alison Eames (soprano) and Helen Rotchell (mezzo-soprano) accompanied by string trio Jan Kaznowski, Martin McNicholas and David Knight with Anne Wright on the piano.

TICKETS:  £10  (students £6) including interval refreshments

available from  St Paul’s Church  or  from  Val 01462 700462  /  Archie  01767 312966


The Madrigal – Arthur Sullivan (1842 – 1900)

The song ‘Brightly dawns our wedding day’ was written by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan for their 1885 comic operetta The Mikado.  It is the madrigal in Act 2

I Was Glad – C Hubert Parry (1848 – 1918)

The text for Psalm 122 has been sung at the entrance of the monarch into Westminster Abbey at his or her coronation since Edward VII (Victoria’s son and successor) in 1902.  The anthem needs to be of some length, as it greets the monarch’s entrance from the narthex into the nave of the abbey, and it must accompany his or her procession through the nave, into the choir, and to the east end where he or she will be seated.  Mid-way through the anthem, as the monarch enters the choir, a curious thing happens, and it is reflected in the anthem.  In 1685, James II gave the scholars of Westminster School the right to greet him as he entered the choir with shouted acclamations, in Latin, of “Long live King James!”  This privilege has continued ever since.  Rather than having the scholars shout their acclamation over the anthem, Parry decided to incorporate the moment into the anthem.  This portion is naturally omitted when singing the anthem for liturgical use; but I have chosen to incorporate it here, as it is a concert.  And I promised the singers of St. Martin’s that I would explain this in the programme notes.

Blue Bird – Charles Villiers Stanford (1852 – 1924)
Soprano: Alison Eames