Summer Gala Concert

Saturday 20th June 2015 at 7.30pm

Conducted by John Rutter and David Ogden

The Bristol Ensemble
Leader Roger Huckle

Erica Eloff Soprano
Toby Spence Tenor
Martin Le Poidevin Bass

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Celebrated composer and conductor John Rutter marks his 70th birthday by taking to the podium to conduct a choir of over 250 adult and youth singers from around the city in a performance of his Mass of the Children with professional orchestra the Bristol Ensemble.

Singers from City of Bristol Choir and Exultate Singers join forces with Bristol Youth Choir and choristers from Westbury-on-Trym Parish Church to form a super-sized chorus. Hearing this body of voices singing everything from whispered pianissimos to thunderous, exhilarating full-tilt fortissimos will be a thrilling and unforgettable live music experience.

The Mass blends wonderful writing for children’s voices with adult choral forces and rich orchestration in a work that sets parts of the traditional mass and English poetry.

Jonathan Dove, one of the UK’s leading composers wrote There was a child in memory of Robert Van Allan who died at the age of 19. This large choral work for children’s and adults’ choirs and orchestra is full of music celebrating a life filled with vitality, energy and spirit. The composer sets words by Wordsworth, Keats, Traherne and Emily Dickinson conjuring up different aspects of childhood – carefree playfulness, curiosity and youthful adventures. Words by Shakespeare evoke the grief of a mother for her child, and the words of the poet Tichborne speak of death coming too soon. The piece ends with Walt Whitman’s poem There was a Child went Forth, a radiant vision of a child absorbing everything around him and connecting with the whole world. Filled with both joyous celebration and heartfelt emotion, it is a big, warm-hearted modern masterpiece in the spirit of Britten and Vaughan Williams. This performance features the international star tenor soloist Toby Spence, soprano Erica Eloff and bass Martin Le Poidevin.

Completing the programme is Handel’s Zadok The Priest, one of the BBC’s ‘Ten Pieces’. The concert is in aid of the Bristol Children’s Hospital charity, Wallace & Gromit's Grand Appeal.


Tickets are £40 / £30 / £20, with tickets for under 18s priced at £10 (plus Colston Hall booking fee)


Colston Hall, Colston Street, Bristol BS1 5AR

How to book

• Book online at the City of Bristol Choir box office (no booking fee)

• Telephone Colston Hall box office on 0844 887 1500, open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm

• Or purchase from Colston Hall box office in person. The box office is open for personal callers from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm

• Or buy online from the Colston Hall box office