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Fourth of July Concert for Hope House (16th June 2015)

On Saturday 4th July, at 7.30pm, Midlands Chorale returns to Shrewsbury for the first time in 2 years to give a fundraising concert for Hope House Children’s Hospice at Morda.

The concert, to be held at Shrewsbury RC Cathedral on Town Walls, will feature a mixture of English, and, as befits Independence Day, American music. All proceeds from the concert will go towards the £2 million pounds a year needed by Hope House at Morda to continue their marvellous work for life-limited children.

Under the leadership of their dynamic young conductor Oliver Walker, the choir will perform American spirituals, an American minstrel song by Copland, as well as 2 beautiful motets by best-selling contemporary American composer Morten Johannes Lauridsen. Alongside this will be music by the likes of Handel, Parry and Stanford.

Handel’s composed his four Coronation Anthems in 1727 for the Coronation of George II. They are Zadok The Priest, Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened, The King Shall Rejoice, and My Heart Is Inditing. Of these, Zadok The Priest has been sung at each Coronation since 1727. Audiences never tire of hearing its lengthy instrumental prelude gradually crescendo until the choir makes its thunderous first entry.

Parry’s Blest Pair of Sirens is an 8-part setting of an ode by John Milton. It was sung as part of the wedding service of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. The choir will sing 3 of Tippett’s American spirituals - Steal Away, Nobody Knows The trouble I See, and Go Down Moses – and then Lauridsen’s 2 beautiful motets, O Nata Lux, and Sure on This Shining Light. Stanford wrote 3 Latin motets. The choir will sing 2 of these - Justorum Animae and Beati Quorum Via – as well as his part-song The Blue Bird, which is widely performed, and ranked with the great English madrigals. Completing the program are Ching a Ring Chaw, an American minstrel song by the great Aaron Copland, and Stay with Me Lord, the hauntingly beautiful setting of a Padre Pio prayer by Will Todd, an English composer born in 1970.

Tickets for the concert are priced at £10 (£5 for U-16’s, Students and People with Disabilities and Carers), and are available from Theatre Severn Box Office Tel: 01743 281281, Old Market Hall, and from Hope House, Morda Tel: 01691 671671. People can also make donations at