Stretton Choral Society Spring Concert

Stretton Choral Society Spring Concert

‘From William Shakespeare to Michael Flanders’

When Stretton Choral Society was formed in 1977 to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, it tended to go for what might be called ‘lighter’ music such as Gilbert and Sullivan. Nowadays, people tend to think of the Society performing heavyweight stuff, usually in Latin, sometimes in German, but definitely ‘Choral’. So it may come as a surprise to find that this year our inspired Musical Director has come up with a repertoire that is really rather different.

The Society’s concert at 7.30pm on 12 May, at the Silvester Horne Institute, sees a programme that eclectically mixes Shakespeare and animals, mostly with undertones of jazz!

The opening piece on the programme is George Shearing’s Songs and Sonnets of Shakespeare. Shearing is best known as a jazz pianist and this piece is permeated with jazz influences both in terms of rhythm and harmony. By way of contrast, our baritone soloist for the evening, Mark Horner, will sing Gerald Finzi’s setting of Fear No More the Heat of the Sun from Shakespeare’s Cymbeline before the first half is rounded off with Three Shakespeare Songs by the Birmingham-based, contemporary composer, Colin Baines.

Animals come to the forefront in the second half of the concert, as does the actor, broadcaster, writer and performer Michael Flanders. Before performing Joseph Horovitz’s jazz-influenced cantata Captain Noah and His Floating Zoo, for which Flanders wrote the lyrics, Mark Horner and the choir will join others to sing the Flanders and Swann classic song, The Hippopotamus.

The concert will be conducted by the Society’s Music Director, Michael Turner and accompanied by its regular pianist, Sally Oak, double bassist Elizabeth Jones and percussionist Oliver James.

Tickets £12, available from Vine & Co, from Choral Society members, and on the door.

7.30pm SHI