Saturday, 11th June, 2016 at 7:30pm, St James Church Muswell Hill, London N10

Introduction from Murray Hipkin, Musical Director.

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I am delighted to invite you to our summer concert featuring vocal music by American composers which starts at 7.30 pm on Saturday 11 June at St James’ Church, Muswell Hill.

I first heard Bernstein’s Mass when it was televised in the early 1970s and I was completely swept away by the sheer scale and brazen eclecticism of the work and by the subversive battle between the chaos of organised religion and the simplicity of personal faith. The original stage version is scored for large mixed chorus, boys’ choir, a street chorus, about 30 soloists including the tenor “Celebrant” and a boy treble, a large orchestra on stage and in the pit, marching bands and blues and rock combo. To date my attempts to get involved with a production have come to nothing, so when I realised that Doreen Rao had arranged and edited the best bits into a concert suite for choir, soloists and chamber ensemble, there was no stopping me, and I am looking forward to introducing some of my favourite music to a new audience. Here’s the Sanctus to whet your appetite.

Building a first half as a prelude to this was a challenge, but I am pleased to say that we have found a programme which I am sure will prove very popular and enjoyable. We open with a selection of Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs, including some wonderful arrangements of Simple Gifts, Long Time Ago and Ching-a-ring chaw. The two soloists will sing art songs by Dominick Argento and Samuel Barber and we will end the first half with Eric Whitacre’s evocative Five Hebrew Love Songs in the version for choir, string quartet and tambourine. Here’s a taster (in a slightly different arrangement).

The choir will once again be accompanied by the Meridian Sinfonia and on the piano by NLC Accompanist, Catherine Borner. The soloists are soprano Soraya Mafi, making her debut with NLC, and tenor Nicholas Scott who stood in at short notice for Acis and Galatea and the Bach concert last November.

This is sure to be a very popular event so please book early to secure your tickets - the link for on-line tickets can be found here.

I do hope that you will be able to join us.

With best wishes,

Murray Hipkin Musical Director - North London Chorus