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Village church hosts world première of top international composer’s work

Date: 01 September 2014
THE WORLD PREMIÈRE of new work by “the most performed living composer in the world”, which is supported internationally and to be recorded and broadcast by Classic FM, will be held at Grayshott’s local parish church next month.

The 40 minute choral work, ‘The Healer – A Cantata for St Luke’ was commissioned by local charity Grayshott Concerts from welsh composer Karl Jenkins, who is the group’s patron and, according to his website, the “most performed living composer in the world”.

St Luke’s Church, Grayshott will play host to the performers, including Grayshott’s Excelsis Choir, on 16 October to celebrate 10 years since Grayshott Concerts’ first event on St Luke’s day in 2004, which raised vital funds for the church.

'Worldwide interest'

The show has already attracted international interest, with tickets bought from Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia and Russia. The date for the U.S Première has been announced as Martin Luther King Day, Monday 19th January 2015 and will be performed at The Carnegie Hall, New York.

Co-founder of Grayshott Concerts and parishioner Peter Harrison has been overwhelmed with the support and interest received for this event. He said: “We’ve only got a couple of hundred followers on Twitter but I get enquiries and follows from people I’ve never even heard of, it’s amazing.

“Grayshott is very much a lively community and it’s wonderful to be able to bring people from places like New York and Russia here to share our successes.

“It is extremely unusual, if not unique, to stage a première of this magnitude in a village church. This is a significant project and we are holding a second performance on the following day to cope with the worldwide interest which Karl’s work has created.”

Awards and charity work

Grayshott Concerts has become one of the most successful music groups in the region in just ten years.

In 2012, founders Vivien and Peter Harrison received a national award, the Lady Hilary Groves Prize, for their ‘outstanding contribution to music in the community’ from the Making Music organisation which supports over 3,000 groups throughout the UK.

The charity often contributes to the local community and has helped raise more than £30,000 for local good causes. Last year, the group raised an additional £8,000 for the national charity ‘Help for Heroes’.

In 2007 they raised the funds needed to support a ‘write your own opera’ project with professional musicians to entertain pupils at Grayshott CofE Primary School, where their first opera was staged.

'Honoured to call him our patron'

Throughout the organisation of the world première event, Grayshott Concerts has received vital support from the Grayshott community, St Luke’s Church family, local supporters and helpers, and the event’s sponsors: Huntington House, XL-erate Ltd and Applegarth Farm, as well as their patron, Karl.

Peter added: “We chose Karl Jenkins because his work is so popular. He writes choral work which choral societies just love to perform.

“His music is known all over the world and we are honoured to be able to call him our patron.”

Very few tickets remain available for the 10 year anniversary world première, so if you are interested, book now. More information from and 01428 606666.

You might also like to follow Grayshott Concerts on Twitter, or have a look at Karl Jenkins's website.

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