Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Hawks, Horses and Peterborough Sings!

Errolyn Wallen
Errolyn Wallen's new work Hawks and Horses setting Shakespeare is premiered on 30 August 2015 (at 6pm) at St John's Smith Square in a concert by the massed voices (150 in total) of Peterborough Voices, Peterborough Youth Choir, and Peterborough Male Voice Choir with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by William Prideaux. Also in the concert is RVW's Five variants of Dives and Lazarus, Lennox Berkeley's Serenade, Op.12 and Debussy's Danse sacree et danse profane. Hawks and Horses gets a second outing on 6 September 2015 at the Broadway Theatre, Peterborough.

Hawks and Horses is an imaginative setting of William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 91, inspired by the ancient cathedral city of Peterborough and its surrounding landscape. The piece was commissioned by the music education charity Peterborough Sings! whose artistic director is William Prideaux.

Peterborough Sings! is the result of a rather amazing circumstance. In 2011 Peterborough Male Voice Choir founded Peterborough Youth Choir and a women's choir, Peterborough Voices, under the umbrella of Peterborough Sings! thus making a choral organisation of over 300 singers. As part of a 'Sing for Life' project, Peterborough Male Voice Choir were asked to help set up a women's choir. The project team hoped to recruit 40 women to form a choir and to perform in concert in aid of Cancer Research. Advertised locally and online, an amazing 220 applicants came to the auditions. After rehearsals and settling in, a group of 120 women sang in their first concert in October 2011. After the concert the women wanted to keep going, and as a result Peterborough Voices was born. The Peterborough Youth Choir was formed the same year to give young people the opportunity to sing.

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