Society gives voice to historic summer celebrations

St Albans Choral Society is adding its voice to this summer’s patriotic celebrations with a concert of great English music on Saturday 30th June at 7.30pm in St Peter’s Church.

With Britons toasting the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Society’s music director George Vass chose a programme of choral pieces by the popular contemporary composers John Rutter and Bob Chilcott, along with 19th and 20th century works by Charles Hubert Parry and Herbert Howells.

“This feast of English church music is our tribute to Queen Elizabeth’s 60 years on the throne and Britain’s hosting of the Olympics this summer,” said Mr Vass. “We hope for a big audience at St Peter’s to enjoy this celebration with us.”

The works capture a range of moods, from the meditative longing of Howells’ Like as the hart to the Victorian pomp of Parry’s Blest Pair of Sirens. The latter is set to John Milton’s ode to Voice and Verse, who perform their heavenly harmonies “with saintly shout and solemn jubilee”.

The concert, with Orchestra Nova Ensemble, organist Richard Harvey and soloists Alexandra Kidgell and Christopher Bowen, will open with Rutter’s setting of the Te Deum, written in 1988. The final work will be Chilcott’s Requiem, premiered in 2010, whose seven movements encompass a solemn Introit and Kyrie, a syncopated Sanctus, a beautiful setting of the prayer Thou Knowest Lord, and a final, uplifting Lux Aeterna.

Tickets, priced £17 and £15 (with concessions) and £1 for children, are available from SACS ticket line on 07884 231958, online at allaboutstalbans.com, or at the door.