Gala Music Nation concert in Saffron Walden this weekend

THIS weekend sees the culmination of the town’s Music Nation project with the MazeMusic concert in St Mary’s Church at 7.30pm on Saturday (March 3).

Taking part will be the world-famous Britten Sinfonia with the Saffron Walden Choral Society, chamber choir Granta Chorale and youth choir SignuptoSing.

The programme will include music by Byrd, Chilcott, Holst, Sting, Tippett and Vaughan Williams, and the premi�re of MAZE, a cantata specially written for the occasion by the choirs’ Musical Director Janet Wheeler with libretto by well-known author Nick Warburton.

Dancers from the Kate Plummer School of Dance will also perform in this and the whole concert will be preceded by the church bells being rung by the Saffron Walden Society of Change Ringers.

Of special note in the programme will be the performance by members of Britten Sinfonia of three pieces of music written by sixth form students of the Saffron Walden County High School. These are the product of composition workshops conducted at the school by composer Elspeth Brooke together with Sinfonia players; an integral part of the MazeMusic project.


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A VIP reception will be hosted by the Mayor and Mayoress, Cliff and Valerie Treadwell, in the Saffron Hotel before the concert.

A special stage is being built in the church to accommodate the 165 singers and Britten Sinfonia. BBC Look East showed excerpts from one of the final rehearsals on national television on Tuesday evening, and BBC Radio 3 and Radio Cambridgeshire will be broadcasting part of the final rehearsal live on the day of the concert.

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Members of the Saffron Walden Camera Club, who have been making a pictorial record of all aspects of the MazeMusic project, will be there to cover the event and a selection of their photographs of the Maze Festival will also be on display.

The evening will be the result of over a year’s planning and has been sponsored by the Yellow Car Charitable Trust. It is one of a series created for Music Nation by Making Music member groups. Music Nation is a BBC led nationwide celebration of the richness, diversity and excellence of Britain’s musical life. Built around classical and orchestral music, but also featuring jazz, folk and world music, Music Nation will see thousands of musicians and audiences enjoy world-class performances, community projects and workshops in venues and public places up and down the country.

Over 100 major events will be taking place from Land’s End to the Shetland Isles, with 13 of these projects involving Making Music members.

It is the first nationwide Countdown Event to the London 2012 Festival which is the finale of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

For full details on all the events visit bbc.co.uk/musicnation and for this concert mazemusic.org.uk

Tickets can be obtained from the Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre subject to availability.

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