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Karl Jenkins: The Armed Man
The Armed Man is a “Mass for Peace” by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins. The piece was commissioned by the Royal Armouries Museum for the Millennium celebrations, to mark the museum’s move from London to Leeds, and it was dedicated to victims of the Kosovo crisis. Like Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem before it, it is essentially an anti-war piece and is based on the Catholic Mass, which Jenkins combines with other sources, principally the 15th-century folk song “L’homme armé” in the first and last movements. Written originally for chorus and orchestra we will perform the version with a reduced orchestra.

Bob Chilcott: Five days that changed the World
Chilcott wrote this piece for the Worcester International Festival for Young Singers in Summer 2013, where the theme was peace and unity. The poet, Charles Bennett, wrote five new texts identifying events that brought people together: The Invention of Printing (1455), The Abolition of Slavery (1834), The First Powered Flight (1903), The Discovery of Penicillin (1928), The First Man in Space (1961). In each movement, music and words come together to create a strikingly vivid and personal account of each protagonist’s experience.

We will be performing in the wonderful setting of Hexham Abbey from the North Transept where the acoustic is at its best. There will also be seats available in the nave with a restricted view. Hexham Orpheus Choir is dedicated to performing and promoting access to classical choral music in the Tyne Valley. We have around 80 members are always welcome new singers.

In this concert we will also celebrate the centenary of 1919 when world leaders sought to establish International cooperation for peace after World War 1. They went on to form the League of Nations which later developed into the United Nations.