Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

One Equal Music: St Peter's Singers innovative choral project

Location: England, United Kingdom
Choir type: Chamber Choirs and Vocal Ensembles
Voicing: Mixed
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
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. St Peter’s Singers, a chamber choir based at Leeds Minster (formerly Leeds Parish Church) and directed by Dr Simon Lindley, is planning to perform and record a programme of modern sacred music in the fabulous space and acoustic that is Leeds’ Victoria Quarter, and is looking for your help.
This programme includes works by the likes of Tavener, Lauridsen, Pärt, Whitacre, Beamish and MacMillan alongside Harris, Parry and three modern Yorkshire greats – Edward Bairstow, Francis Jackson and Philip Moore – performed in a shopping Mall. Not quite any old Mall, 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 housing some seriously high-end retail therapy centres, more a temple to consumerism.
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,”
“We thought just how exciting it would be to bring more of this fantastic Cathedral music – music that through 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 may still work. Normally such sonorities don’t escape our great churches, meaning that many people may 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, at which all will be welcome, 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 Depart the day previous.
All being well, 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 the idea  inspiring enough people to play a part in the project by donating something, even just a small sum, in return for a reward, or ‘perk’. To find out more by follow the link.