Croydon’s young singers tune in for choral premiere


By - Monday 20th October, 2014

Hundreds of young singers from Croydon will raise their voices this November for the première of a major new choral work commemorating the centenary of World War 1.


Croydon young singers get ready to commemorate the First World War.
Photo by the London Mozart Players, used with permission.

Release begins: For an unknown soldier by internationally-acclaimed composer Jonathan Dove is the centrepiece of an ambitious community and educational programme devised by London Mozart Players, one of the UK’s finest ensembles and Croydon’s resident orchestra.

The new work was jointly commissioned by the orchestra and The Portsmouth Grammar School and the world premiere will take place in Portsmouth Cathedral on Remembrance Sunday.

The London premiere will be in Croydon on 14 November and an extensive education programme has been running since March to build up choirs in six local  junior schools to perform alongside choristers from Croydon Minster and The Portsmouth Grammar School.  The youngsters have been learning popular wartime songs as well and performing them in concerts at local residential homes for the elderly as a ‘warm up’ for the première.

Young artists also have the chance to take part in an art competition inspired by the title of the new choral work.  Their paintings will be displayed at the concert together with WW1 memorabilia collected from the residents of Croydon via two ‘antiques roadshow’ style events and curated into a ‘Hidden Croydon’ exhibition by Riddlesdown Collegiate.

Many local people came to the ‘Hidden Croydon’  roadshows and brought war time memorabilia and artefacts that had been passed down their families. Mr Joseph Ward brought a prismatic army compass in full working order that belonged to his father-in-law, an army captain. while Peter Skinner contributed a selection of war-time sheet music that came from his grandmother.

“The orchestra is delighted to be working closely with local people in Croydon to commemorate this important historic landmark,” said Julia Desbruslais from London Mozart Players. “We are especially pleased to be able to nurture the musical and artistic talents of local young people. The new commission is incredibly beautiful and moving, so audiences are in for a real treat.”

The London premiere is on Friday 14 November at 7.30pm at Fairfield Halls. Tickets £12 – £30. Contact the box office on 020 8688 9291 or click here.

Release ends.

Release provider: London Mozart Players.

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