Three Spires Singers are back!
Monday 20th September, 2021
A message from Christopher Gray, our Director of Music:
I can’t tell you how good it’s been to have been back rehearsing with Three Spires Singers on Monday evenings. I’m amazed that our singers don’t seem to have missed a step and, if anything, have a refreshed passion and energy in their music-making.
We have planned a terrific year of concerts to re-establish the choir as a major presence in Cornwall’s cultural landscape. There could be no better way to do this than with the substantial new work Graham Fitkin has composed for us to premiere in November. Rather than choosing a religious text (well-trodden or otherwise), Graham has taken as his subject Humphrey Davy, the extraordinary Cornish chemist, inventor and all-round polymath. Graham himself hails from West Cornwall so the remarkable life of Penzance-born Davy was perhaps a natural source of interest. The new work is around 38 minutes long and comes out of years of research and thoughtful reflection by Graham who is among the UK’s most distinguished living composers – I was delighted several years ago when he agreed to take on the commission. As well as the main choir, Graham employs a large orchestra and a children’s choir. There is a narrator to tell the story, and a countertenor soloist who sings direct quotes from Davy throughout.
Our dazzling programme in November will see a return of pianist Cordelia Williams to play the Ravel G major piano concerto (the slow movement of which would be a Desert Island choice for me); and I’m thrilled that we have Rachel Nicholls as our soprano soloist for the Poulenc Gloria which is a kaleidoscope of quirky and catchy harmonies and melodies. Add Sam West into the mix as our narrator for the Fitkin, as well as countertenor soloist Rory McCleery, and we will have something truly worthy of marking the choir’s fortieth anniversary in style. And it’s wonderful to have two performances to justify all of the work (not least the years of preparation that has gone in behind the scenes led by Lora). If ever there is a concert that would reward coming twice, it’s this one!
If you are fortunate enough to be confident in venturing out to concerts, I hope you will come to hear us in November – it will be very important indeed for the choir as we seek to rebuild post-pandemic. And we’ve certainly pulled out all the stops!