Saturday evening, November 16th, in St. Bartholomew’s Church was rather a special occasion for the Society in its Golden Jubilee year. An audience of 100 enjoyed the ‘Corsham in Music’ concert which began with the singing of ‘Deep River’, one of Michael Tippett’s Negro spirituals from his 1944 work entitled ‘A Child of our Time’. This was the first of five of Tippett’s spirituals sung by the Jubilee Singers conducted by Nicholas Keyworth and accompanied by the Jubilee string quartet. St. Bartholomew’s Church Choir, ably led by their choirmaster, Robin Jackson, and accompanied on the organ by Maureen McAllister, sang three hymns by the local 18th century composer and quarryman, George Gay.
We also heard his anthem ‘Gospel Trumpet’. Harry Spackman’s ‘My love is like a red, red rose’, arranged by Wyndham Thomas was sung as a solo by Simon Caldwell.
We also enjoyed Wyndham Thomas’ tune ‘Gastard’, written for the 100th anniversary of Palms of Glory’. This was followed by Wyndham’s anthem ‘Nova, Nova, Ave Fit Ex Eva’ (Good News).
In the second part of the evening, which was ably compered by Nicholas Keyworth, two pieces of music received their World Premieres. Jim Chorley performed ‘Corsham Town’, a folk song he was commissioned to write by the Society for this concert.
This was followed by ‘Leap of Faith’ from the musical ‘Revolution’, lyrics by Michael Wilkinson and music by Nicholas Keyworth. This exceptional piece of music describes the diving competition held each year in the Bosnian city of Mostar from the Stari Most bridge over the river Neretva. Jakob, only 18 years old, is making his first dive and describes how he feels for the 3 seconds he’s in the air before reaching the water. This wonderful piece was received very enthusiastically by the audience and many positive comments were received from various members of the audience on how much they had enjoyed the whole evening of music composed by people associated with Corsham.