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Singer Johnny Coppinwill join the Phoenix Singers for the choir's Leek Arts Festival concert

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: June 02, 2014

  • The Phoenix Singers' musical director Ashley Thompson.

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For this year's contribution to Leek Arts Festival, The Phoenix Singers will be teaming up with singer and songwriter Johnny Coppin and friends in a concert entitled 'Remembrances'.

The musical evening will take place on Saturday, June 7 at All Saints' Church, Compton, Leek, starting at 7.30pm.

In acknowledgement of the centenary of the start of the 1st World War, the concert will feature a wide range of material on the broad theme of war and peace, from the patriotic grandeur of England, a setting by C. Hubert Parry of the tribute to 'this precious stone set in a silver sea' taken from Shakespeare's Richard II, through to Sir Michael Tippett's arrangements of five American spirituals, taken from his 2nd World War oratorio A Child of Our Time, via Lux Aeterna, a choral setting of texts from the Requiem Mass to Nimrod from Elgar's Enigma Variations.

Also included will be two compositions by Phoenix musical director Ashley Thompson: We Pray for Peace, which was written for the re-dedication of the Nicholson Memorial in Leek in 2005; and his poignant setting of the ironically-titled poem War is Kind, written by American Civil War poet Stephen Crane.Singer and songwriter Johnny Coppin and Friends will be performing songs from his latest CD Borderland, which includes three WW1 songs. The Phoenix Singers will join with Johnny in choral versions of two of the songs, including John Condon, a moving tribute to a 14-year-old who lied about his age to join up and sadly became one of the youngest soldiers to die in the war. Tickets for the 'Remembrances' concert next Saturday (June 7) are £12 (£2 for under 18s) and are available from Leek Tourist Information Centre; The Book Shop in Stanley Street, Leek; and Westwood Road Post Office in Leek) or via the choir's website www.phoenixsingers leek.co.uk or by calling 01538-385579.

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