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Special show for 50 years of choral society

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 09, 2014

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MORE than 100 performers will take to the stage at Burton Town Hall this autumn to celebrate a major musical anniversary.

Rolleston Choral Society will mark its 50th year with a performance of Karl Jenkins’s ground-breaking work The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace.

As well as extracts from the Latin mass, the text incorporates words from other religious and historical sources, including the Islamic Call to Prayer, the Bible and authors such Kipling and Tennyson.

The piece calls for more than 100 singers and, in its preparations to stage the work, Rolleston Choral Society has cast its net far and wide across East Staffordshire and Derbyshire.

“We have around 50 members,” said chairman Nick Willmot.

“So we have mounted a major exercise to draw in singers from Burton, Derby, Uttoxeter and beyond. It’s been a huge operation, but it will be worth it.”

The society will also be joined by a body of young singers from Lichfield Cathedral School, called Cantorum.

The performance will be accompanied by the prize-winning Staffordshire Band, four-times national finalists at the Royal Albert Hall, and winners of many other brass championships.

Rolleston Choral Society began life in the early 1960s as a music appreciation group, but within a few years had broadened its scope to performance.

Its first public concert was in May 1964, at St Mary’s Church, Rolleston, and featured Handel’s Messiah.

Since then it has widened its repertoire to include folk, film and show tunes and pop.

“We have come a long way since our classical beginnings,” said Mr Willmot.

The show will take place from 7.30pm on Sunday, October 19, at Burton Town Hall. Tickets, priced at £10, will go on sale soon.

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