In a triumphant new oratorio, composer Harvey Brough and librettist Justin Butcher tell the inspiring story of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, a group of freed slaves who took to the road in 1871 to raise money for their university. Their aim was not only to build the first university for black students set up after Emancipation, but to fight for the right of all African American students to be educated. In doing so, they introduced Plantation Spirituals to the world.
‘An exquisite project’ – Emma Thompson
Arriving in the UK, the Singers performed in palaces and parish halls. They introduced Queen Victoria to ‘Steal Away’ and inspired the Hackney Poor School to set up the UK’s first gospel choir. They went on to become heroes of the civil rights movement with a message that speaks as urgently to us today as it did 150 years ago.
Vox Holloway joins forces with the Hackney Empire Community Choir and Stoke Newington school singers, for a return of the soulful hit
Starring: Greg Wise as Prime Minister Gladstone and Justin Butcher as George White
Soloists: Emily Dankworth, Christina Gill, Mike Henry and Wills Morgan
Band: Liam Dunachie, Mike Outram, Finn Peters, Nic France
Where: Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, London E8 1EJ
When: Sunday 29 March, 6pm. Buy your tickets here
In the late 1960s, the Kinks released two albums that countered the optimism of the decade with a bittersweet evocation of what had been lost. 1968’s charismatic Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, was followed in 1969 by Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire), about a carpet-layer forced to emigrate to Australia to find work.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of these albums Ray Davies has commissioned composer Harvey Brough to rearrange songs from Arthur, to accompany his triumphant choral version of The Village Green Preservation Society, premiered in 2018.
Voiceovers by Ray Davies
Soloists Clara Sanabras and Rick Leigh
Plus a new doo-wop super group: Naomi Hammerton, Mike Henry, Wills Morgan and Harvey Brough
And the David le Page Ensemble
Join us for an evening of Christmas music: some old favourites and some new arrangements by Harvey Brough – and a bit of festive audience participation.
Christine Gill (soloist)
James Murray (piano)
Vox Brass Quartet
Young Vox (Grassmere School)
Doors open 6pm – pay bar
Music on the Mind is an meditation of the pain – and the creativity – of mental illness. It is one of the most ambitious projects we have ever undertaken, and also the most important – and after two triumphant live performances, we are determined to record it for posterity.
“A simply fantastic project” – Stephen Fry.
“Exquisite” – Emma Thompson.
“Fabulous words, fabulous music” – Katie Derham, producer of Radio 3’s In Tune.
But recording comes at a cost. So we have set up a Just Giving page to help raise the money. We are already two thirds of the way to our target of £5,000. We would be so grateful for your support.
Click here if you would like to make a donation.
Tickets are now on sale for the Christmas Concert on 15th December 6.30
There will be festive cheer, wine and singing along!