This would seem to be a year of “firsts”.
You will have gathered from the earlier blog that having previously sung in the gallery as part of the 2015 Manchester International Festival, we sang our first formal concert at the Whitworth in June, during which we performed six “postcard pieces” inspired by artworks in the gallery’s collection, composed by final year students at the University of Manchester. It was a wonderful occasion. The commissions were featured in a programme that included works by Debussy, Monteverdi, Elgar, Finzi, and Mendelssohn and were a real highlight of the event. Seeing such talent and imagination represented by these young musicians was lovely.
Our second “first” is to be our debut at the Buxton Festival. Again we have prior experience of the venue, having performed there as part of the Festival Fringe several years ago. This concert features two Bach Motets, Vaughan Williams’ Shakespeare Songs, some James MacMillan, Eric Whitacre and Paul Mealor—quite a challenging programme. We are delighted to be conducted by the renowned choral director, Paul Spicer, who has brought a wonderful freshness and energy to our performance of these wonderful works. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Paul, and we hope to renew our acquaintance with him at a future date.