Chipping Norton Choral Society to perform in Banbury area village church

The Chipping Norton Choral Society is set to perform Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle in Deddington Church next week.

The Chipping Norton Choral Society is set to perform Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle in Deddington Church next week on Saturday August 14. (Submitted photo)
The Chipping Norton Choral Society is set to perform Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle in Deddington Church next week on Saturday August 14. (Submitted photo)

Exactly 16 months after it was postponed due to covid, one of the first live concerts since the ending of restrictions will now take place on August 14th in Deddington church, when Chipping Norton Choral Society will sing Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle.

This will be the first concert since the Choral Society returned to singing and in many ways is appropriate because, despite its name, this is a joyous rather than a solemn piece of music.

The performance will be at 7.30pm on Saturday August 14 at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Deddington.

In addition to the rousing singing, what will make this particular performance special is the rare Black Mustel harmonium being used, and the fact that it will be played by the UK’s pre-eminent harmonium player, Anne Page.

The harmonium, affectionally known as Black Beauty, is being hired especially for the concert. It was built in 1880 by a firm called Mustel, considered the Rolls Royce of instrument makers, and has been described as “a joy to play being a truly well-oiled instrument.”

Such is the magic of this particular instrument that Anne Page from the Royal Academy of Music will also include a selection of harmonium pieces and a duet with pianist Stewart Taylor. They will be joined by professional soloists Isla MacEwan, Lorna Day, Phillip Costovski and James Berry.

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Peter Hunt, conductor, said: “It is such a pleasure to be singing again. I am sure the feeling will be electric on the night as the excitement is palpable already.

"Performing Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle on a harmonium of this calibre with Anne Page playing it, plus of course first class soloists and our magnificent choir, will be a treat for me and the audience. It’s a great piece, very operatic, and the whole evening promises to be very special.”

Performers will not wear masks for the concert, but in accordance with Deddington church’s own regulations, the audience will be asked to wear face masks at all times (unless unable to do so for personal or medical reasons).

Tickets are £15, free for under 16’s, available on the door.

For further information please see the Choral Society website www.cncs.org.uk