Autumn Concert at the Union Chapel

“Intimacy and power”

“The premiere of Tara Creme’s haunting and melancholy By the North Gate was a moving experience. “

“Choral music is clearly alive and well in Hackney”

Click here for press release

The Union Chapel was packed as the Hackney Singers presented a concert of modern and classical choral music, with an interlude on the magnificent Father Willis organ.

There was popular choral music by influential early 20th century composers and a lesser-known but lovely Haydn Mass.

Most exciting was a world premiere of an atmospheric piece by choir member and Stoke Newington resident Tara Creme.

Her piece set to music the haunting poem ‘Lament of the Frontier Guard’, translated from the Chinese by Ezra Pound.

Photos: David Radford

Autumn Concert

Union Chapel

Compton Terrace N1

Sat 25th Nov 2006

Hackney Singers

Conductor Dan Ludford-Thomas

Organist: Andrew Storey

Soprano : Louise Kemeny

Bass : Colin Campbell

Parry: I was Glad

Stanford: Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis

Stanley: Voluntary in E minor (organ)

Stanford: Songs of the Fleet

Tara Creme: By the North Gate (world premiere)

Walton: Crown Imperial (organ)

Haydn: Little Organ Mass

Download the programme text in 18pt type

“It was wonderful to experience such high-quality choral singing in such a superb venue. The recently re-opened Union Chapel’s excellent acoustic and unusual polygonal layout bring the audience remarkably close to the performers wherever you sit, and Hackney Singers managed to convey both intimacy and power to great effect. The premiere of Tara Creme’s haunting  and melancholy By the North Gate was a moving experience.” John Leslie

“What a pleasure it was to hear the English choral tradition in action again…where ordinary people just get together regularly for the sheer love of singing and produce the very special sound that is so recognisable and enjoyable.  It’s something to do with the massed voices tackling great works from the standard repertoire but also the sheer enthusiasm and energy that singers put into it.” Maurice Reeve

“It’s been a privilege to conduct this concert, and I thought the performance was brilliant. It’s a powerful experience to be standing in front of 100 singers in full voice when you are directing. But as a conductor you can only go so far to control what they do. Sometimes you just have to let it go and let it fly, and this worked very well.” Dan Ludford-Thomas

“I was really pleased, I think it went really well. The choir sang wonderfully, and the audience seemed to like it. I was very nervous before the concert, as well as being excited, especially about premiering it in such a wonderful venue as the Union Chapel. I thought the choir really got across the mood and atmosphere I wanted to express, thanks also to Dan and Andy’s conducting and rehearsing. For me it was a really fantastic experience.” Tara Creme, Composer

“I’ve never been in the venue before although I live locally, and it’s lovely. It’s quite an ambitious programme, but the choir is sounding really great. The Haydn is beautiful, and the Stanford Magnificat solo I am doing is usually done by a boy treble, so this is an interesting new take on it.” Louise Kemeny

“It’s a fantastic venue. I’ve often walked past, as I live locally in Hackney and I’ve wondered what it’s like. It’s got marvellous acoustics and this concert is a great occasion. Stanford’s Songs of the Fleet is a rousing piece which isn’t done very often, and it’s a joy to perform. The choir sounds very good, very strong, and it’s good to see so many people singing — choral music is clearly alive and well in Hackney.” Colin Campbell