"Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening, into the house and gate of heaven, to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light; no noise nor silence but one equal music; no fears nor hopes but one equal possession; no ends nor beginnings but one equal eternity; in the habitations of thy Glory and Dominion, world without end. Amen."
William Harris’s peerless setting of John Donne’s poem is the inspiration behind an exciting and innovative project gathering pace in Leeds this summer. We're planning to perform and record a programme of modern sacred music in the fabulous space and acoustic that is Leeds’ Victoria Quarter, and we're
inviting you to come to our concert if you can, but also to play a part
wherever you are - and give yourself the chance to hear this wonderful music.
The programme includes works by the likes of Tavener, Whitacre, Lauridsen, Pärt, Beamish and MacMillan alongside Harris, Parry and three modern Yorkshire greats – Edward Bairstow, Francis Jackson and Philip Moore – performed in a shopping centre...
Not quite any old shopping centre, however - the Victoria Quarter was created twenty years ago by enclosing a network of marbled Victorian arcades beneath the largest stained-glass window in Europe, creating a magnificent cathedral-like space and acoustic that
also houses some seriously high-end retail therapy centres - more a cathedral of commerce.
Intrigued? St Peter’s Singers have sung here before – for some years now, actually – delighting diners at the Harvey Nichols Espresso Bar in the weeks before Christmas, and this was where the idea germinated. “Last Christmas we sang Morten Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium alongside the carols, and you could see just how enraptured many of the guests were. They may not have heard anything like this before,” said Quentin Brown, the choir's Concert Manager.
“We thought just how exciting it would be to bring more of this
fantastic Cathedral music – music that by its eloquent simplicity awakens our spirituality with feelings of life, love, mystery, timelessness and awe – to a totally accessible public space, where, thanks to the architecture and the acoustics, it
can still work. Normally such sonorities don’t escape our great churches, and although people are being drawn to cathedrals in growing numbers to hear choral music, most will still never hear it. This is why we are calling our project ‘One Equal Music’, and why I hope people will want to support it.
The project will feature a couple of impromptu appearances by the St Peter’s Singers in the Victoria Quarter during shopping hours, and then a live concert, on Sunday 6 July at 8.00pm (admission £2), just as Leeds starts to settle down after the huge excitement of the Tour de France’s Grand Départ the day previous.
If we can raise £4000, the project will also include the recording and production of a CD (and online audio downloads), bringing this music to an even wider audience, but this depends on whether enough people feel inspired to
back the project. In return for a contribution you can choose a reward - details
here. But we have to reach the
£4000 target by July 7th or nothing happens - your money stays in your account and you don't
get your perk ! This means you can pledge your money safely !
We need to raise £4000 by July 7th in order to make the CD. We are doing this using a crowdfunding campaign where you can choose a reward in return for your contribution,
such as an audio download, copy of the CD and 'behind the scenes' footage and
bonus tracks . But the rules are that we have to reach the £4000 target in order to get any of the pledged contributions. It's all or nothing for us, and for you it means your pledge is safe - your money won't be collected unless we are able to go ahead ! Make a contribution and choose your reward on-line here
If you would like to make a donation, but do not wish to do so over the internet, you can send a cheque made payable to 'St Peter's Singers' to:
The Hon.Treasurer, 20 Milford Place, Heaton, Bradford, BD9 4RU
Please be sure to tell us:
your email address
if you are a UK Taxpayer and would like to GiftAid your donation
if you would like us to tell you about future St Peter's Singer events
if you would like us to tell you when the CD is available (hopefully mid-autumn)