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Holbeach Hurn will play host to music to evoke the Fens


By Spalding Today Columnist


When you think of the Fens, what comes to mind? Big skies with vivid sunsets? Low-lying fields and marshland? A natural habitat for wildlife?

The forthcoming concert by all-female choir, Mirinesse, is called Music to Evoke The Fens. Musical director, Sam Graper, has put together a programme that relates to the land where we live.

Some of the pieces were written by composers linked to the region. These include very early English music by Godric of Fincale, who was born in Walpole, Norfolk. I'm pleased we're singing Miri It Is While Sumer Ilast which has links with Thorney Abbey plus Sancte Pege Virginis from the Crowland Gradual.

Stunning scenes in Fenland (20794674)
Stunning scenes in Fenland (20794674)

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Sam has also taken some traditional local songs and arranged them for female voices. The Fenland Song was composed by a Lincolnshire pig farmer, Fred Rook, and warns of the 'captive power of the water in the dyke'.

Another cautionary tale, The Captain's Apprentice, is a folksong collected by Vaughan-Williams in King's Lynn in 1905. It tells the story of a sea captain's harsh treatment of an apprentice, after he was taken away from his mother. There may well be tears with this one.

The warnings continue in Sprig of Thyme where young ladies, who may very well enjoy 'drinking ale' and 'a drop of wine', need to beware of young men who are probably after more than a handful of herbs.

I'm sure everyone will be familiar with the tune to The Lincolnshire Poacher. It's a very famous regimental march and this version has been arranged by Thomas Pitfield.

The final programme isn't yet finalised but I'm sure that songs featuring the fenland wildlife will make the cut. Fly, Singing Bird by Edward Elgar and The Silver Swan by Orlando Gibbons are likely candidates. We are also rehearsing The Seal Lullaby by Eric Whitacre, based on the classic Rudyard Kipling story.

There are also two beautiful contemporary pieces by Rachel Portman from her work, The Little Prince. Look at the Stars brings to mind the vast night skies of the Fens and The Birds highlights the huge distances travelled by our feathered friends.

It's been a real treat, as always, to be part of the Mirinesse choir. I always discover some exquisite pieces of music and it's so wonderful to sing them with in different venues, mostly small, intimate churches in our area.

This concert is being held on Saturday, November 16, at 7.30pm. The venue is St Luke's Church, Holbeach Hurn, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary. Tickets are £10 including drinks and nibbles. Tickets are available from David Baker (01406 362420) and Kay Jenkinson (01406 424428) although you can buy them at the door on the night.

You can read Trish's blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk


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