Sunday 13 July 2014
Singday® 2014: Faure & Willcocks
Royal Albert Hall, 7.00 pm
This concert was dedicated to the memory of our founder Don Monro, who died on Sunday 25 May 2014.
Singday 2014 included the world première of In Praise of Singing, by Jonathan Willcocks (pictured right), marking the fortieth anniversary of The Really Big Chorus. TRBC was founded in 1974 by Don Monro and his colleagues in the Tuesday Partnership and, in the year prior to his death, Don commissioned a three-movement work from Jonathan extolling singing in all its forms – especially choral singing – to chime in with our own philosophy of singing for everyone. Texts by Longfellow, Whitman and the Psalms were chosen, and Jonathan produced a splendid and singable work, in particular the truly exuberant finale ‘Let us Sing!’.
Schubert’s lovely Unfinished Symphony began the concert, and Fauré’s atmospheric Requiem was sung in the second half. Jonathan himself conducted, our two soloists were Soraya Mafi and Gareth Brynmor John, and the performance was accompanied by the English Festival Orchestra (leader Adrian Levine). The Royal Albert Hall’s ‘Father’ Willis organ was played by Jane Watts.
The concert supported the National Autistic Society through programme sales, bucket collections and sales of merchandise. More than £5,500 was raised for this very deserving charity during the the evening.
We expect to be able to offer the chance to sing the US première of In Praise of Singing in New York in the autumn of 2016.