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Lewisham Choral Society Lewisham Choral Society at the Royal Festival Hall

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Concert Preview: Transatlantic Rhapsodies at the Southbank Centre
Lewisham Choral Society celebrate American and British music this Summer
Published on June 20, 2018
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We here at The American always enjoy celebrations of the Special Relationship, and when we heard that Lewisham Choral Society (LCS) are hosting a special concert of Transatlantic music this Summer at the Southbank Centre, we wanted to let you know!

On July 10, LCS will perform a range of compositions from both sides of the pond. They sent us these details to explain more about the evening and what looks to be a great celebration of American and British Music.

"When Lewisham Choral Society began choosing music for our summer concert at London’s Southbank on 10th July, we realised that we had a stunning selection of music from both sides of ‘the pond’, including a sparkling 2 piano arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and so our programme title Transatlantic Rhapsodies was born. Besides the Gershwin, we also showcase from America two works by one of the world’s most exciting contemporary choral composers, the fabulous Eric Whitacre. His emotionally overwhelming When David Heard, a setting of the biblical tale of King David’s grief at the death of his son Absolom, is contrasted with his sublimely peaceful Sleep. There is a true transatlantic connection in another work in the programme: the poignant Fare Well by American composer Randall Thomson is set to a poem by the English Walter de La Mare."

Transatlantic Rhapsodies

"The British selection in tonight’s programme is equally thrilling. Jonathan Dove is one of the UK’s most vibrant composers, with many operas and choral works to his credit. The Passing of the Year was written in memory of his mother and sets poems by, among others, Blake, Tennyson and Emily Dickinson, further cementing the British and American link. The music evokes the passing seasons as Spring bursts into life, the sultry Summer sun burns fiercely until Autumn arrives with a sense of mortality and jubilant bells ring out to mark another New Year. Dove’s magnificent Seek Him that Maketh changes mood from earnest intensity to joyful dance and ultimate serenity. Dove and Whitacre are both consummate choral composers, using multiple voices to create richly-textured harmonies and complex rhythms to striking effect."

"We are delighted to be joined by The Bromley Boy Singers, a renowned choir of boy treble voices, in a performance of Broadside Ballads by James Lark. Specially commissioned for their 40th anniversary, it received its world premiere last year to critical acclaim. The historical texts speak of modern, relevant topics such as censorship, poverty and immigration and are set to an intricate musical weave showcasing each section of the choir, depicting what is it like to be a boy in London - past and present. The Bromley Boy Singers provide just the quality of tone, musical sensibility and technical skill this complex work demands. The multi-talented James Lark is Director of Music at Westminster Abbey Choir School, as well as a composer, novelist, dramatist and film-maker."

"Lewisham Choral Society is one of London’s most accomplished community choirs, with three near sell-out concerts at the Festival Hall to their credit. They have performed twice in Paris and recently sang in Berlin, at the opening of the 50th Blankensee Summer Music Festival. Talented conductor and teacher Dan Ludford-Thomas is choral director of LCS, Hackney Singers and Concordia Chamber Choir and also coached the NHS choir in the BBC series The Choir. Pianist James Orford has won many scholarships and prizes and is also Organ Scholar at St Paul’s Cathedral. Nico de Villiers is a concert pianist, accompanist and vocal coach who has performed widely throughout the UK and abroad. Travis Baker, Director of The Bromley Boy Singers, is also a talented organist and voice coach. Their accompanist, Krystal Tunnicliffe is a Junior Fellow at the Guildhall School."

With tickets available for between £16 and £20, head to the Southbank Centre website (see here) to book tickets for what looks like a beautifully constructed programme celebrating UK and US music.

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