Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Summer concert has a holiday mood about it

Summer concert has a holiday mood about it

HENLEY Choral Society are aiming to get everyone in the holiday mood with their summer concert later this month.

The Christ Church Centre in Reading Road is the venue for a musical happening on Saturday, June 29, that the organisers hope will have the audience tapping their feet and swaying in their seats.

A spokesman for the choral society said: “The concert programme will evoke memories of holidays, dancing and music-making through the centuries.

“The choir will be accompanied by the exciting up and coming Bell Quartet, who came first in the Royal Academy of Music Wolfe Wolfinsohn String Quartet Prize.

“They will also be joined by the choir’s own pianist, David Smith, and soprano soloist, Valentine Ford.”

Born in France, Valentine Ford is a former member of the choir who was so inspired to sing after her time with Henley Choral Society that she is now studying for an MA in music, specialising in solo voices in ensemble.

The choral society’s musical director Peter Asprey will be conducting on the night.

Starting at 7.30pm, the concert programme consists of two main works — Purcell’s “Welcome to all the Pleasures” and Elgar’s “From the Bavarian Highlands”, which shows the composer at his most carefree and joyous.

The choral songs were composed by Elgar to represent highlights from happy family holidays spent in Southern Bavaria.

Peter Asprey said: “All the works in this concert programme would have been performed in amateur musical contexts. Music-making has played a key part of British social life for centuries.

One might think of the travelling minstrels of medieval England or the singing of madrigals after dinner in a 16th century household. Later on, various societies started to be formed for the performance of music. The Madrigal Society, for example, founded in 1741 for the singing of madrigals, is possibly the country’s oldest musical society still in existence, only suspending its meetings once since its foundation, during the Blitz in 1940!”

The concert will feature some of the best-loved items from that late Tudor and early Stuart period, including “Now is the month of maying” and Thomas Campion’s tender “Never weather-beaten sail”.

Choral society chair Susan Edwards said: “This concert is sure to have you tapping your feet and swaying in your seats. We are delighted to be joined by the award winning Bell Quartet and our resident pianist David Smith.

“We are particularly excited that home-grown talent Valentine Ford, who has previously performed as a soloist with the choir and performed with HCS in Falaise, will join the concert as a soloist. Please buy your tickets early and have a wonderful evening.”

Tickets are £18 for adults and £5 for under-18s. To book, call the box office on 07946 782502 or visit www.henleychoralsociety.org.uk

Alternatively, call in to Gorvett & Stone at 21 Duke Street to buy tickets in person.

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