Burntwood School Chamber Choir have this week performed the world premiere of my new choral cycle Day by Day at the Royal Festival Hall. It is a setting of classic Japanese texts by Basho, Buson and Issa. I believe that this is the first time (aged 64 and a half) I’ve ever had a world premiere in this famous Hall, which just shows that you should keep going and never give up. (At NMC’s 30th anniversary bash last night, I chatted to Erika Fox, who is about to have her first commercial disc released, aged 82. “Much of the time I feel like I’m 102” she remarked jauntily.)
My RFH spot was part of A Brighter Sound, a fantastic yearly gig put on by Wandsworth Music Service. A particularly notable feature is the massive group of primary school singers (in lovely things, Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin, a Maori lullaby) who gave a really groovy performance. A comparably numerous secondary school group including a big orchestra performed show tunes, and then with astonishing effect segued into Mozart’s Dies Irae and Lacrimosa from the Requiem. Another memorable set came from Graveney School’s unbelievably suave jazz orchestra. Great to take a night off from the “music in schools is dying out” rhetoric.