Concert and performance to celebrate Armistice Day Centenary at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark

A programme of music and words, “Sacrifice!” honours those who give their lives for their friends whilst celebrating the WWI Centenary Armistice Day. 

It will also mark the canonisation of Archbishop Oscar Romero, the unveiling of a new painting “Southwark Triptych” set in Borough Market by Julian Pinnick (the painting will be displayed in local South London schools) and a newly commissioned poem by Paul Munden entitled “Duet”. There will be early and contemporary choral music by Byrd, Stanford and McDowell, as well as songs by Gurney, Barber and Britten, to name but a few.

6:15pm | Pre-Concert Reception with a talk by the artist and the poet following a welcome from Archbishop Peter Smith:   Archbishop Amigo Jubilee Hall, beside the cathedral. Pre-Concert reception starts at 6:15pm with drinks and light snacks. Public tickets are £10 for concessions and £15 for full price.

7:30pm | Concert with songs and motets by ArchiCantiores Singing for the Architectural Heritage with The Museum Singers of the Imperial War Museum: St George’s Cathedral Southwark, Lambeth Road, SE1 6HR.

Doors open at 7pm. Concert starts at 7:30pm followed by refreshments in the Hall (donations invited).

Public tickets are free for under-18s, £8 for concessions, and £10 for full price.

Tickets available on the door have also gone on sale online at  www.ticketsource.co.uk/archicantiores 

Proceeds from the reception and concert after meeting expenses will go towards the second phase of the Cathedral Lighting and Audio-Visual projects, which benefit the readers and musicians as well as the congregation and visitors in the cathedral.

St Oscar Romero canonization

In 2013, when the Archbishop Romero Trust sponsored and donated the Romero reliquary cross decorated by Fernando Llort, St George’s Cathedral foresaw neither the unprecedented programme of repairs and enhancements   that has run in parallel with the centennial anniversaries of events of the Great War nor that St. Oscar Romero would  be beatified & canonized as a saint in the same period. Now, in the days between the Canonisation by Pope Francis on 14th October in Rome and the 100th Remembrance Sunday on 11th November, Archbishop Peter Smith will lead the Cathedral’s celebration of the lives and commemoration of the deaths of all those who give their lives for their friends.

WWI Armistice Day Centenary  

St George’s Cathedral Southwark received £550k from The First World War Centenary Cathedral Repair Fund, such that the cathedral could be made warm and welcoming (new boilers and power systems) and water and weather-tight (parapet and roof masonry repairs). Additionally one half of the lighting has been converted to LED and the sound-system upgraded to music quality. This we have achieved these past five years, all prior to the Armistice  centenary.

Duet – Premiere reading by the author 

For that, ArchiCantiores commissioned a new poem from Paul Munden in Yorkshire. Entitled “Duet”, his poem takes up the theme of the Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon violins. These newly crafted instruments together with the Rupert Graves violin have been made by Steve Burnett, an Edinburgh violin-maker/luthier, using sycamore grown in the grounds of Craiglockhart Hospital, the Scottish asylum where Rupert Graves as well as Owen and Sassoon recuperated from their war wounds.

Southwark Triptych

The Diocese has been gifted a contemporary “Southwark Triptych” set in Borough Market by Julian Pinnick, a catholic artist from Nottingham (re-setting “The Deposition from the Cross” by Peter Paul Rubens into the backdrop of Borough Market). The Archbishop will accept the triple image painting from the artist and confer it on the Church of  the Most Precious Blood, Borough at the Pre-Concert reception: the triptych will be on display in Cathedral after the Concert.

Concert

The concert is entitled “Sacrifice”, a programme of words, motets and songs on the themes of crucifixion, sacrifice and the War Poets. The Museum Singers will move around the perimeter of the audience, setting the theme of each   segment by singing a different motet on the themes from each Chapel: St Peter & the English Martyrs, St Patrick, St Oscar Romero, The Pieta/Deposition from the Cross, St Francesca Cabrini, and the Blessed Sacrament. Between each Motet, from the front of the Nave, the ArchiCantiores soloists and readers will present a group of  poems and songs from the time of the Boer War to the present day.

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