From war to peace: Music of Reconciliation and Hope

4 November 2016

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On Remembrance Sunday, Cardiff University Chamber Choir will present an evocative and thought-provoking programme of music at the Church of St John the Baptist in a commemoration with prayer, music and readings.

This programme is part of an ongoing series of collaborative public events, 'Commemorating World War I: Conflict and Creativity' which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to design and deliver events to commemorate the First World War centenary.

From 6pm on Sunday 13 November, the Chamber Choir directed by their new conductor Dr Peter Leech, will present a programme that will not only reflect upon the horror and futility of World War One, but will also voice aspirations for reconciliation and hope. Musical works will be interspersed with appropriate readings organised by Revd Canon Dr Sarah Rowland Jones.

One anticipated highlight of the programme will be a stirring setting of Wilfred Owen's Anthem for Doomed Youth by Dutch composer Huub de Lange (b.1955) as well as the Welsh premiere of In Flanders Fields by Dr Peter Leech, set to the iconic poem by Canadian soldier Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae.

Other items include three of Charles Hubert Parry's immortal Songs of Farewell, composed towards the end of the composer's life and an arrangement of Keep the Home Fires Burning by Welsh composer Ivor Novello (also know as David Ivor Davies), one of the most famous and popular entertainers in Britain during the first half of the 20th century.

Putting together the programme for this concert has been a particularly poignant task for Dr Leech, who comes from a family with a long tradition of military service, some of whose members died during the 1914-18 conflict. His story can be read on the School of Music's blog where he talks about his great uncle Lance Corporal Arthur Slater, a WWI veteran.

The full list of events that comprise this project can be found on it's dedicated site and includes additional talks, recitals and a public symposium that will strengthen links between the University and external partners in Cardiff while investigating how both war and the commemoration of war is enacted in music, in prose, in verse, and in visual images.

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