Premiere of new choral work date

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A new choral work composed especially to mark the 50th anniversary of a Crawley choir will be premiered at a concert in the town on Saturday, June 22.

Ian Assersohn, the musical director of Crawley Concordia Singers, has set the poetry of Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catallus to music in Songs of Catallus.

It will be performed for the first time at Concordia’s summer concert at St Wilfrid’s School, Old Horsham Road, Crawley.

Tickets for the concert, priced £12 including refreshments, are available on the door or in advance by calling 01444 891387.

It starts at 7.30pm.

Ian said he was delighted to be invited to compose a piece to mark the choir’s half century last year.

“In the search for a text to set I turned to the Roman poet Catullus who was born around 84 BC.

“I had set some Latin poetry before and found it particularly rewarding and enjoyable, so it seemed like it might work.

“In the various movements of this piece I have tried to portray the works of this enigmatic Roman poet in some of his many different moods.

“Of his 116 or so surviving poems I have chosen to set, first a stately religious procession, a love song to his lover, the woman he called Lesbia, a sad farewell at his brother’s grave, a song about Lesbia’s pet sparrow, a lusty drinking song and a song about the joys of returning home after a long journey.

“On the way there is also a short instrumental wedding dance.”

In addition to the premiere of Songs of Catallus, the programme also includes John Rutter’s Requiem, John Ireland’s Down by the Salley Gardens and How do I love thee?, another work by Ian Assersohn.

The concert is dedicated to the memory of Pauline ‘Pip’ Moorey, a former concert secretary of Concordia, who died last year.

Concordia prides itself on producing varied musical programmes. Rehearsals take place on Thursday evenings at Crawley United Reformed Church in Three Bridges from 7.45 to 10pm.

Choir publicity officer Donna Oxley said: “We are always on the lookout for new members so if you enjoy singing, why not come along and try it out for yourself?

“There is fun and friendly, informal atmosphere.”

To find out more about Concordia visit, www.concordiasingers.org.uk.