Thurrock Choral Society: From Hiawatha via Bavaria

THURROCK Choral Society will be holding its Spring Concert on Saturday 23rd March 2013 at Grays Parish Church at 7pm, when the programme will include works by the eminent British composers, Edward Elgar and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor – and of course sung in the English language!

Edward Elgar’s Songs From The Bavarian Highlands were written in 1896 as a result of memories of a holiday enjoyed at Garmisch, Upper Bavaria with his wife, Alice, some two years earlier – and dedicated to the owners of the small hotel where they stayed. The German folk texts were translated by Alice and the songs that ensued were given titles such as The Dance and The Marksman but also reflecting the names of places they had visited and loved.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was born in Holborn, London in 1875 to an English mother and a Sierre Leonean father, who had returned to The Gambia before Samuel was born and later became Coroner for the British Empire there. The family surname was Taylor – and Samuel, in deference to the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, was give the middle name Coleridge which was later hyphenated. He was sponsored in his musical education at the Royal College of Music by Charles Villiers Stanford (and later helped by Edward Elgar) and became known as the ‘African Mahler’. The society will be performing Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast from what is perhaps his most famous work, The Song Of Hiawatha. This piece has proved very popular with audiences here and in America over the years, as it sets to music the colourful text of Longfellow’s poem about the great hero, Hiawatha.

Sandra Wilkes, the TCS Chair, says ‘We are very much looking forward to performing these two works which will be conducted by our director, Crispin Lewis and accompanied by our resident pianist, Elspeth Wilkes – and we hope that, as this concert will be sung entirely in English, it perhaps may attract more people to come and listen to the lovely music’.

Tickets for this concert cost £8 and £7 for concessions – under 16s free – and can be obtained from the TCS Concert Secretary on 01375 377640 (or on the door). Further information about the society (including details of how to join) are available on the website: www.thurrockchoralsociety.org.uk

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