We are all very excited about this term in the Voce family!
Not only are we travelling to Vilnius in Lithuania (the home of many great musicians and an excellent choral tradition) for a mini-tour, but we are also giving a very special London concert in our beloved Grosvenor Chapel on Sunday 24 June.
At the centre of our repertoire, this term is the wonderful Songs of Farewell by Hubert Parry. It has been a joy rediscovering these masterpieces. Around our theme of farewell and new beginnings are a number of beautiful arrangements of British folksongs.
In this 100th Anniversary year of women gaining the right to vote, we are hugely privileged to be presenting The Pankhurst Anthem. Words by Emmeline Pankhurst are the inspiration for Helen Pankhurst's text and Lucy Pankhurst's music, both relatives of the pioneering activist for women's rights. And it so happens that Parry and his wife were huge advocates of the women's suffrage movement and knew Millicent Fawcett. He donated copyright of Jerusalem to The National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies before he died, so they could use it as their anthem.
A rather interesting and fortuitous connection.
On a deeply personal note, my daughter is getting married to the cellist, Guy Johnston, in May. We are delighted that (in honour of his rather musical union) Toby Young is composing a piece for Voce, based on the Elgar Cello Concerto. Voce will be performing it at the wedding, on tour and at our summer concert.