City of Bristol Choir Gala Concert with John Rutter

Conducted by John Rutter and David Ogden
With Toby Spence (tenor)and Erica Eloff (soprano)

John Rutter Mass of the Children
Jonathan Dove There was a child

A concert with 200 singers and 70 piece orchestra celebrating the young and those who are young of heart. City of Bristol Choir is joined by Exultate Singers, Bristol Youth Choir, Westbury-on-Trym Parish Church Choir and a professional symphony orchestra.

Marking his 70th birthday, the celebrated composer John Rutter conducts his Mass of the Children, in which traditional texts are interspersed with settings of poems celebrating youth and life. These give the whole work the framework of a complete day, from waking to sleeping, within which other texts and moods appear like events in that day or landmarks in a life.

Jonathan Dove, one of the UK’s leading composers wrote There was a child in memory of Robert Van Allan who died at the age of 19. This large choral work for children’s and adults’ choirs and orchestra is full of music celebrating a life filled with vitality, energy and spirit. The composer sets words by Wordsworth, Keats, Traherne and Emily Dickinson conjuring up different aspects of childhood – carefree playfulness, curiosity and youthful adventures. Words by Shakespeare evoke the grief of a mother for her child, and the words of the poet Tichborne speak of death coming too soon. The piece ends with Walt Whitman’s poem There was a Child went Forth, a radiant vision of a child absorbing everything around him and connecting with the whole world.

Singing the roles of Mother and Son are soprano Erica Eloff and the international star tenor Toby Spence.

A pre-concert talk with John Rutter, David Ogden and Tony Spence will take place in the stalls at 6.40pm.

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In association with

  • The concert is in aid of Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal for Bristol Children’s Hospital.

  • Sounds Inspiring Festival – Celebrating young people’s music making

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City of Bristol Choir Gala Concert with John Rutter