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Choral Societies to perform Vaughan Williams “Sea Symphony”


Messiah Performance December 2022. Photo: Robin Stubbs

Water is the theme for Otley and Ilkley Choral Societies Spring concert in March.


The choral societies are joining forces with Leeds Symphony Orchestra in a rare performance of Vaughan William’s “Sea Symphony” at St. Margaret’s Church, Ilkley on Saturday 11th March at 7pm .


A spokesperson said: "This is a huge work and the opening few bars are perhaps the most arousing in the choral repertoire. If this doesn’t send shivers down your back, nothing will., it is not often performed live, the choirs and orchestra are proud to bring it to Ilkley."

Vaughan Williams composed the work in 1909 with it’s first performance down the road in Leeds Town Hall in 1910. It was conducted by the composer at the ripe age of 30 ! It was his first symphony and one of the first, by any composer, to use the choir as an integral sound throughout the work . The symphony’s text is drawn from a poem by the American poet, Walt Whitman.


The concert opens with Mendelssohn’s orchestral overture “Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage”.


The Leeds Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by John Lyon, and the Chorus Master is Jennifer Sterling, director of both Ilkley and Otley Choral Societies.


Tickets are available through Eventbrite ilkleyseasymphony.eventbrite.co.uk, from members, at The Grove Music Shop and Brown’s Gallery in Otley. Please purchase your tickets (£16 /£5 students and under18) well in advance. A limited number of tickets may be for sale on the door.


The spokesperson added: "After our sell-out “Messiah” in December , this will be another opportunity for you to listen to the superb Ilkley and Otley Societies, along with the Leeds Symphony Orchestra, don't miss it.


"If you want to hear it twice, this same concert will be performed in St.Chad’s Church , Otley Road, Far Headingley, on the previous Saturday 4th March at 7.30pm, please notice the difference start time. Tickets for that performance go onto the LSO website (lso.org.uk) prices £15, £5 student."

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