On Saturday 23rd April a concert will take place in Kettering featuring the Virtuosi GUS Band and the Belcanto Female Voice Choir, celebrating the 70th birthday of Edward Gregson, one of the foremost UK composers of his generation, and who for many years was also Principal of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. The concert will be given in the presence of the composer. 

The two performing groups have longstanding connections with the composer. The Band have performed many of his works, often in the presence of the composer, including a performance of his Concertante for Piano and Band at London’s Royal Albert Hall, with the composer as soloist. The choir’s conductor, Barry Clark, was a fellow student of Gregson’s at The Royal Academy of Music, and his choirs have given first performances of a number of his compositions.

The Band were formed in Kettering over 80 years ago, and have enjoyed an illustrious history, having been national and world champions. They are currently ranked in the top ten bands in the world. The Choir started in 2008 with just 12 members, and have since established themselves in the forefront of international choirs. They were winners of the female category at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod in 2012 and 2015, and in May embark on their second tour to New York.

Music for the concert will include two of Gregson’s brass band ‘classics’ – his ‘Dances and Arias’ from 1984 and his more recent tone poem ‘Of Distant Memories’, whilst the choral music will include his 1966 cantata ‘In the Beginning’, written whilst he was a student at the Royal Academy of Music, with the text being partly written by his wife to be, Susan Smith, and two movements from his later ‘Missa Brevis Pacem’.

It promises to be an exciting evening of exhilarating music.

The concert is at The Salvation Army, Rockingham Road, Kettering starting at 7pm.

Tickets are available from Alison Wise :- ajwise61@yahoo.co.uk or 07855 406766 or Kafe Bloc, Kettering.

View poster here