Concert marks signing of Magna Carta

minstrelsThe 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta is being marked with a concert by the Derby Cathedral Voluntary Choir.

The concert at St John’s Church, Derby, on June 13 will see performances by the Trouvère Medieval Minstrels and the Derby Cathedral Voluntary Choir conducted by assistant organist Tom Corfield.

The minstrels are Paul Leigh and Gill Page, a vocal and instrumental duo from North Yorkshire, who have been performing together for more than ten years.

They enjoy rediscovering, recreating and re-interpreting the magnificent music of the high middle ages, based on thorough historical research alongside their musical experience and understanding.

They have produced Magna Melodia –  collection of music especially for the Magna Carta anniversary from the later 12th and early 13th centuries, covering the world of the Angevin kings Henry II, Richard ‘the Lionheart’ and John ‘Lackland’ from England to Sicily and beyond. The music is available on CD and if you scan the QR code, right, you can listen to the recording.

The couple play a range of instruments, including gittern (similar to a mandolin), harp, trumpet, shawm (an early form of oboe), hurdy-gurdy and flute, and they perform in authentic period clothing.

Paul and Gill are in huge demand for the anniversary, and will have been at Bolton Castle the day before their performance in Derby and will be taking part in an event at Runnymede the following day.

After the interval at the concert Derby Cathedral Voluntary Choir, with the Cathedral’s Master of the Music Hugh Morris, organ, conducted by Assistant Organist Tom Corfield, will be singing a number of choral pieces on texts related to the relevant issues, including music by Handel, Bob Chilcott, Mendelssohn and William Byrd.

They will also be performing An Admonition to Rulers by William Mathias, a hard-hitting setting of words from the Wisdom of Solomon.

Members of Derby Shakespeare Theatre Company, directed by Alan Smith, will also take part in the concert.

Tickets for the concert at 7.30pm are £10 and available at Foulds, Irongate, Derby, 01332 344842 or the Cathedral Bookshop, 01332 341201.