Looking to summer – Copland

We had a break from Rachmaninov at choir practice this evening, and looked ahead to the biggest work for our summer concert, Aaron Copland’s “In the Beginning”. It’s a stunning musical depiction of the Creation story for unaccompanied chorus and alto solo: after singing Haydn last autumn, the words seemed oddly familiar, but the music is half a world away; jazzy, chromatic but just as full of colour and excitement. We’re singing it at Ushaw College on Saturday 2 July along with pieces by Judith Weir, Herbert Howells and the second performance of “The Light” by Janet Graham. Our soloist will be Marnie Blair, a recent Durham University graduate; she sang with us in our Britten concert with Ben Rowarth in 2013, and in our Light concert last autumn, and this big, warm piece of Copland will suit her voice beautifully – it’ll be a real treat to work with her on this.