Posted: Sun 26th May 2024

Music of the fifties set to be celebrated at special Chester concert

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Final rehearsals are underway as one of Chester’s top choirs, the Chester Bach Singers, prepares to stage a special concert celebrating the music of the 1950s.

The event, titled “Sounds of the Fifties,” is scheduled for Saturday, 8th June at 3:00 PM at the Wesley Church Centre on St John Street, Chester.

This concert marks the conclusion of the Chester Bach Singers’ series tracing the history of choral music through the 20th century. The afternoon will highlight a variety of 1950s music, featuring a trio of songs from Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical “West Side Story,” including “There’s a Place for Us,” “I Like to Be in America,” and “I Feel Pretty.” The programme also includes music written to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation in 1953, such as Vaughan Williams’ “Silence and Music” from “A Garland for The Queen,” and John Ireland’s “The Hills,” a love letter to the English landscape.

American music will also be spotlighted with a performance of Aaron Copland’s “Old American Songs.” Additionally, the choir will take the audience on a musical journey to Ireland with Michael Tippett’s lively arrangement of “Lillibulero.”

In addition to works composed in the 1950s, the concert will feature pieces by composers born in that decade who continue to create music today. This includes the Master of the King’s Music, Dame Judith Weir, and Chester Bach Singers’ own Musical Director, Martin Bussey. Performances will include Dame Judith Weir’s “The Song Sung True,” which concludes with an upbeat setting of Edward Lear’s “The Old Man of the Isles,” and Martin Bussey’s set of three songs, “Roses,” composed for the choir in 2009. This set features poems about roses by Elizabethan poets Edmund Waller and Shakespeare, as well as the enigmatic “Anon.”

Helen Crich, Chair of Chester Bach Singers, expressed her enthusiasm for the upcoming concert: “We are delighted to present this celebration of 1950s music, which hopefully includes something for everyone, from the music of a classic Hollywood film to the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth and works by the Master of the King’s Music and our own Musical Director, Martin Bussey. We are very much looking forward to welcoming everyone to The Wesley Centre in Chester for what promises to be a very special afternoon of music.”

For full details and to book tickets for “Sounds of the Fifties,” visit www.chesterbachsingers.org.uk.

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