As you’ll understand, my mind is buzzing with all things “Saint Cecilia” in preparation for the up-and-coming gig in November. During a chat with the prodigious Essex based composer/musician Jeffery Wilson, he flowed ebulliently forth with his knowledge that Saint Cecilia is “the patroness of musicians, and it’s written that as the musicians played at her wedding she sang in her heart to the lord.” It’s no wonder that she‘s the dedicatee of so many musical compositions, and that her feast day has become the focus for celebratory concerts and musical festivals worldwide.
We know that composers such as Purcell, Handel, Finzi and Parry (plus Simon & Garfunkel too of course!) have been attracted to the story of her holy life and martyrdom…..and now the aforementioned Jeffery Wilson has made his own addition to the repertoire: “BY THE STREAMS THAT EVER FLOW”- a wondrous setting of verse 5 of Alexander Pope’s poem ‘Ode on St Ceclia’s Day’ for lyric soprano and saxophone quartet. The world premiere will be at our St Cecilia Concert …..and I feel very privileged to be part of “Saxology” for this. We have our first rehearsal tonight – I can’t wait! Jeffery magnanimously proffered that it was “a joy to write for my friends and colleagues in support of wonderful charities and in the environment of this beautiful church”.
The premiers don’t stop there – another new piece has been created from the pen of our local and equally effulgent composer/musician, the fabulous Peter Thorne: “Razzmatazz” is a jazz inspired work written especially for “Saxology”, and is also having its first rehearsal tonight in preparation for the world premier at our St C concert (note how organised musicians need to be with pre-planning, though seeming so effortless in performance situations!).
Someone who’s not local, but is non-the-less coming to the celebratory concert, told us their favourite piece is the wonderfully inspiring and heart-wrenching “Stabat Mater” by Pergolesi. They don’t know it yet, but as a special treat we are creating a new arrangement for our evening’s line-up of musicians (Saxology, Fiona Baines and Andrew Bain). Alongside all these incredible premiers, our St Cecilia audience will also be feasting on old favourites gathered from the classical, folk, jazz and popular music repertoire. It’s going to be stonker of a gig… a real corker ☺
However, to make the evening a success for our first St Cecilia festival in Thorpe-le-Soken, WE NEED YOU!. So, book now for SATURDAY 25TH NOVEMBER @ 8pm – St Michael’s Church. The tickets are a bargain at £10 and can be pre-booked on 01255 675959 or 07957 266621 – or bought on the door on the night. We’re expecting a full house… don’t miss out!
* The funds raised from this concert will be donated to “St Michael’s Church Restoration Fund” and “Help Musicians UK”