Sponsalia Chamber Choir, founded and chaired by Janee Foxon, with members based in Surrey, specialise in singing for weddings. But with their conductor Beresford Bell they were delighted to accept an invitation to represent Epsom at the Second European Choral Festival, inspired through Twinning Associations and this year hosted and organised by the Music Academie, and Twinning Committee of Watermaël-Boitsfort, a leafy suburb of Brussels.
Sponsalia singers spent a fabulous sunny weekend from 11 to 13 May 2012 performing alongside 4 other choirs from around Brussels, and 3 from other European towns twinned with Watermaël-Boitsfort, including Chantilly, and a children’s choir from Budapest. Epsom has been twinned with Chantilly since 1995. Chantilly is also twinned with Überlingen, on Lake Constance, in south Germany.
The three-day choral festival included performances of choral music of the choirs’ own choice representing varied styles and periods, as well as communal songs, at well attended concerts on Friday and Saturday in the l’Eglise Notre Dame du Perpétuel Secours. All choirs sang together in a concert finale comprising 3 pieces – Jaques Brel’s Bruxelles, V’amo di Core – by Mozart - as a ‘round’, and the uplifting spiritual ‘O Happy Day’.
Sponsalia's concert performance included a French classic, Il est bel et bon, the ‘Hallelujah’ Chorus from Handel’s, ‘Messiah’, both of which received rapturous applause, and the beautifully haunting ‘O Magnum Mysterium’ by contemporary American composer Morten Lauridsen. On Sunday the choirs joined together for lunch and an afternoon of song in beautiful sunshine in the Rose Garden of the Parc de Tournay-Solvay, to close the festival.
Sponsalia are delighted to have participated in this successful second choral festival and very much look forward to continued choral collaborations with the choirs of the Twinned-towns. Following a bi-annual pattern, an invitation to participate in the third festival in Uberlingen, in 2014, has already been extended to them. It is anticipated that, in turn, Epsom will be the host town in 2016.
Sponsalia will be in the line-up of performers at ‘Epsom in Harmony’ on Friday 28 September 2012 at the Duchess Stand, Epsom Racecourse. This event is part of the Epsom and Ewell Borough Council 75th Anniversary celebrations. Tickets can be obtained from Epsom Playhouse Box Office.
Visit www.sponsalia.co.uk to hear more of the Sponsalia’s performances and for bookings.
Member since: 10th July 2012
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