Nautical theme for Lyme Bay Chorale’s spring concert

LYME Bay Chorale have chosen a selection of music with a nautical theme for their spring concert this year.

‘They That Go Down to the Sea in Ships’ will be held on Sunday, May 5 at 4pm in St Michael’s Parish Church, Lyme Regis. The concert is named after an anthem by the 20th century English composer Herbert Sumsion.

The programme will also include ‘Messe Solenelle’ by Louis Vierne; ‘Meeres Stille und Glückliche Fahrt’ (‘Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage’), a cantata by Beethoven; and two seathemed pieces by Andrew Millington, formerly director of music at Exeter Cathedral.

Andrew composed ‘Give Me My ScallopShell of Quiet’ for the Queen’s visit to Exeter during her Golden Jubilee in 2002, and ‘The Seafarer’ just four years ago for the Exeter Philharmonic Choir.

The latter piece – the reflections of an old sailor on his life at sea – draws on the text of an Old English poem from the Exeter Book, one of the most important surviving manuscripts of AngloSaxon poetry.

Baritone Julian Rippon will sing the solo part in ‘The Seafarer’ – as he did at the first performance of the work at Exeter Cathedral in 2016 – as well as three songs: ‘Sea Fever’ by John Ireland, and ‘Trade Winds’ and ‘Mother Carey’ by Frederick Keel.

Julian is a fulltime member of Exeter Cathedral Choir as well as an accomplished and very active choral and operatic soloist.

Andrew Millington has a long association with Lyme Bay Chorale and will again take the podium as guest conductor at this concert. Musical director Alex Davies will play the organ, and wellknown local musician Nick Brown will play the piano accompaniment in the Beethoven cantata.

Alex commented: “As we’re a coastal choir – and the churchyard at St Michael’s overlooks the sea – naturally we love singing music with nautical links.

“We had fun putting together the programme for our spring concert this year. We’re thrilled that Andrew can join us again and that Julian can come along to sing his dramatic solo in ‘The Seafarer’.

Tickets are £15 on the door or £13 in advance from Lyme Regis TIC, Penny Black Cafe or choir members. Young people aged 18 and under are free. Prices include a delicious buffet tea after the concert.

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