Stokey church to host two charity concerts

The Orchestra before a concert in Folkestone on World Peace Day, September 21.

The Orchestra before a concert in Folkestone on World Peace Day, September 21. - Credit: Archant

St Mary’s Church will stage two Music for Peace events across Remembrance Weekend as they mark 100 years since the guns fell silent.

The World Harmony Orchestra in rehearsals.

The World Harmony Orchestra in rehearsals. - Credit: Archant

The Church has joined up with the World Harmony Orchestra – an ensemble of musicians who perform for humanitarian causes – to put on the two events; one on Saturday November 10 and the other on Remembrance Sunday itself. Funds raised will go to the new St Mary’s Centre, home to Hackney Winter Night Shelter and Hackney Migrant Centre & Food Bank.

If you can read a music score, you’ve no excuse not to get involved in the fun at Saturday’s event. Singers of all abilities are welcome at the early-afternoon workshop, where they will practice together before performing Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man: a Mass for Peace to an audience at 7.30pm.

Eleanor Harrison has been a violinist with the World Harmony Orchestra since 2016. She says: “On the Saturday you can either come as an audience member or you can sign up and be part of it – you need to read a music score, but anyone is welcome otherwise.

“It’s going to be people from all over coming together for the day. It should be a nice community event; the Church will put on a tea before the concert and there will be a bar at the event itself.”

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Sunday’s event will come split in two parts. Firstly, the Orchestra will commemorate the Armistice centenary by performing Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Greensleeves and Maurice Ravel’s Tzigane for violin and orchestra. The second half will focus on war in the world right now, with a medley of folk and traditional songs from countries currently affected by conflict. The award-winning violinist, Virginie Robilliard, will also be a part of the ensemble for Sunday’s concert.

The World Harmony Orchestra was founded by Romain Malan and launched with a concert in support of the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants in July 2016.

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“Romain always chooses programmes that are meaningful and have poignancy,” adds Eleanor.

“They aren’t concerts for the sake of it – they have got a theme or some real relevance. There will be moments where it is really touching for the audience.”

Music for Peace at St Mary’s Church, Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 9ES. Tickets for the choir on Saturday are £20 for adults and £10 for students. Entry for the performance are by donation. For Sunday’s concert, tickets are £12 (£10 concessions). For more information, click here.

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