Thursday, 18 May 2017
Junior School pupils supported the Friends of Bolton School Choir during a special performance at Bolton Parish Church. The theme of the concert was peace and war, with ‘The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace’ at the heart of the programme. Parents and friends of the choirs gathered at the church to enjoy an evening of touching and thought-provoking music.
The Hesketh House choir opened the evening with beautiful renditions of two songs: ‘Peace Like a River’ by Paul Simon and ‘Oh Happy Day’ by Edwin Hawkins. The Junior Girls were directed by Miss Fairclough.
They were followed by the Junior Boys. The Park Road Choir gave an uplifting performance of John Rutter’s ‘I Believe in Springtime’ and ‘The Rhythm of Life’ by Cy Coleman. The boys were directed by Mrs Ives.
The Friends of Bolton School Choir then took centre stage for the main event: ‘The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace’ by Karl Jenkins.
The Royal Armouries of Great Britain commissioned Jenkins to write this piece of music to commemorate the millennium. The idea was to create a modern Armed Man Mass, based on the ‘L’Homme Arme’ masses of the late 15th and 16th centuries: the translated opening line of ‘L’Homme Arme’ is “the armed man must be feared”, which seemed a painfully relevant message in the late 1990s, and still provides an appropriate and universal theme today.
This modern interpretation uses the traditional structure of the mass and combines it with poetry, prose and a wide range of musical styles to reflect the multi-cultural and global society of the twenty-first century. It looks back at a century of destruction and war, but also forward with hope and a commitment of peace for the new millennium.
The Friends of Bolton School Choir’s performance of ‘The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace’ was both moving and powerful, particularly in the setting of Bolton Parish Church.
The Choir was directed by Mrs Price, the Girls’ Division Director of Music, and accompanied by Mr Pain on the organ, Mr Forgrieve on percussion, Mr Laidlaw on cello and Miss Mahan on trumpet. The soloists were sopranos Tess Fisher and Ro Artley, alto Jess Ryan, basses Mark Head and Billy Morrison. The Call to Prayers (Adhaan) was sung in Arabic by Hafiz Mehbook.
Click the links below to watch some of the performances from the evening:
Peace Like a River & Oh Happy Day – Hesketh House Choir
I Believe in Springtime – Park Road Choir
The Rhythm of Life – Park Road Choir
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