Con­cert to mark 150th an­niver­sary

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - SOUNDS GOOD -

IT was only 16 years ago, in 1991, that Ash­ford Choral So­ci­ety thought it was cel­e­brat­ing its cen­te­nary, no mean achieve­ment in it­self, but shortly af­ter­wards, some­one pro­duced a cut­ting from the Ash­ford & Al­fred News of 1857, an­nounc­ing that a choral so­ci­ety was now in the course of for­ma­tion un­der the di­rec­tion of Mr Mat­son. That dis­cov­ery al­most cer­tainly means that Ash­ford can claim to have the ear­li­est founded choral so­ci­ety in Kent. Since the days of Mr Mat­son, there have been only 10 prin­ci­pal con­duc­tors of the so­ci­ety, of whom Mark Deller, con­duc­tor since 1970, has served by far the long­est. In fact, he will prob­a­bly be one of the few con­duc­tors of any so­ci­ety to have con­ducted both the cen­te­nary and the 150th an­niver­sary con­cert. To mark this sig­nif­i­cant 150year land­mark, Ash­ford Choral So­ci­ety and Orches­tra will be giv­ing a per­for­mance of Wal­ton’s Bels­haz­zar’s Feast in Can­ter­bury Cathe­dral on Satur­day, May 12. Soloists will in­clude so­prano Lynne Daw­son, fa­mous for, among other things, her singing of the Lib­era me from Verdi’s Re­quiem at the funeral of Princess Diana, and bari­tone Ben­jamin Be­van. As this year also com­mem­o­rates the 150th an­niver­sary of the birth of Sir Ed­ward El­gar, it is ap­pro­pri­ate that the pro­gramme will also fea­ture two of his works, the im­mensely pop­u­lar Serenade for Strings and his much less well-known The Spirit of Eng­land. The con­cert will be con­ducted by Mark Deller and tick­ets can be ob­tained from Can­ter­bury Book­ings at the Can­ter­bury In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre.

So­prano Lynne Daw­son

Bari­tone Ben­jamin Be­van

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