Voices raised to remember Great War T
Over by Christmas: Reflections from the Great War is staged at St Paul’s Hall, University Campus, Queensgate, Huddersfield, on Saturday, December 15 (7.30pm).
Musically, the concert’s two halves reflect the two main modes of warfare of the Great War: by sea and by land. In musical mood, however, the concert is positive rather than sombre.
Moreover, the choice of music reflects to some degree the choir’s own history. Being a long-established group, previously known as the Huddersfield Glee & Madrigal Society, the choir was active in the war years, and this concert recalls some of the repertoire that the group performed a century ago.
The ‘sea music’ half of the concert includes Stanford’s five-movement Songs of the Fleet, for full choir with baritone soloist, and Sumsion’s popular anthem, They that go down to the sea in ships.
Stanford’s work presents some very rousing and highly attractive music which is not often performed today. It represents repertoire that the choir sang a century ago.
While the 2018 performance marks the centenary of the end of the Great War, the choir previously staged the work at its outset in 1914.
The baritone for the choir’s modern performance is Charles Murray, who sang in the choir’s Dvorák concert last March. For the ‘land music’ portion, the choir will be performing Elgar’s The Spirit of England, with soprano soloist April Grime making her first appearance with the group.
Elgar’s substantial three-movement work was composed during the war years, between 1915 and 1917, and an early performance of the incomplete piece took place in Leeds in 1916.
The music very much evokes the sentiments of the time, and is an apt centrepiece for the concert.
Ireland’s universally loved Greater love hath no man brings together the choir and both soloists in an anthem whose central theme is selfsacrifice.
Lastly, with a nod to the season, the choir will perform Howells’ moving carol-anthem, Here is the little door, composed near the end of the war in 1918.
Tim Harper, Assistant Director of Music at Ripon Cathedral, is the accompanist for the first time at this concert.
Tim will be playing for the choir on both organ and piano, as well as providing organ solos. The choir is conducted by Daniel Gordon.
Tickets may be purchased online through the choir’s website www. huddersfieldsingers.com.
Alternatively, contact the Ticket Secretary, Barbara Lockwood, on tel. 01484 426507 or email tick[email protected]dersfieldsingers.com to arrange purchase.
Tickets are priced at £10; student/ junior tickets cost just £4.