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Monday, 10 February 2014 11:21

New LGBT Choir Celebrate Gay Marriage

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The Fourth Choir (London’s newest LGBT choir) will celebrate the coming into force of the Westminster Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act with a concert to be held at Old Finsbury Town Hall on Friday 28 February.

The performance, entitled Love and Adoration – the Sacred and Profane, will be a musical exploration of 500 years of choral music on the theme of love.

The first same-sex weddings in England and Wales are set to take place from Saturday 29 March, with weddings in Scotland expected this autumn following the passing of the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Bill by the Scottish Parliament on 4 February.

Beginning with music composed in the 16th century by Thomas Tallis, Henry Purcell and the Spanish master Tomas Luis de Victoria, the eclectic programme will include works by Saint-Saens and Duruflé and modern masterpieces by Paweł Łukaszewski and Eric Whitacre. The choir will also sing arrangements of traditional Irish folk songs (including the London premiere of Dominic Peckham’s arrangement of the haunting ‘Carrickfergus’) as well as works made famous by Anúna, the Swingle Singers and Joni Mitchell.

The emotional highlight of the concert will be the choir’s performance of ‘This Marriage’ – a setting by young composer Ed Rex of an ecstatic love poem by 13th century Persian poet Rumi. The poem’s (gender neutral) words culminate in the lines “May this marriage be a sign of compassion, a seal of happiness, here and hereafter. I am out of words to describe how spirit mingles in this marriage.”

The concert will be in The Great Hall, Old Finsbury Town Hall, Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4RP on Friday 28 February at 8pm, with doors and bar opening at 7.30pm. The Great Hall is one of London’s hidden gems – a riot of Victorian baroque design lit by sculpted angels holding chandeliers. Old Finsbury Town Hall is five minutes’ walk from Sadlers Wells Theatre: the nearest tubes are Angel and Farringdon and buses 19 and 38 stop outside.

Tickets: £15 (£10 concessions) in advance from www.thefourthchoir.com

£20 (£15 concessions) on the door

The Fourth Choir was founded in September 2013 by a group of LGBT singers wishing to sing classical and modern choral works to the highest possible standard. Led by artistic director Dominic Peckham, one of the UK’s finest young choral conductors, the choir’s ambition is to represent the LGBT community in London’s world-class classical music scene. Peckham has served as Vocal Director for the BBC Choir of the Year.

The choir performed its debut concert at St Giles-in-the-Fields in December, at which renowned political campaigner Peter Tatchell spoke about the struggle for global LGBT rights. Tatchell began his address with the wry words “I am not accustomed to being invited to speak in churches…”

In January the choir performed at Café de Paris, Leicester Square, as guest artists at a fundraising dinner for the Kaleidoscope Trust – the organisation campaigning for the international human rights of LGBT people.

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