The London Chorus will sing a world premier of poetry set to music, entitled Things I Didn’t Say, at St Martin-in-the-Fields, on 11 June, to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity. Conducted by Ronald Corp OBE, the choir will also sing Gabriel Fauré's Requiem, accompanied by organist Edward Batting.
This composition of poetry came about by chance after conductor and composer Ronald Corp got in touch with his school friend Steve Mainwaring after a gap of some forty years. As a teenage composer, Ronald set some of Steve’s poems to music. They got in touch again after their song cycle Country Matters, composed in 1972, was eventually recorded in 2011. Steve was still writing poetry and told Ronald about a sequence of poems he had written after his mother Esme died with Alzheimer’s disease in 2009, aged 89.
Ronald Corp explained his inspiration for setting the poetry to music and raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK:
“When Steve and I meet at the concert, it will be the first time we’ve been in the same room together since our teenage years. When he told me about his mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s and the poems he had written, I asked to see them with a view to setting them to music. It became obvious straight away that these very personal poems would strike a chord with others who have seen this devastating disease overwhelm their loved ones.
“This world premiere of Things I didn’t Say is a tribute to Steve’s mother Esme. Soloists Laura Oldfield and Samuel Evans will join the London Chorus for the moving performance of sung poetry. It will be followed the Gabriel Fauré's Requiem, which includes the rich and soulful melodies of Pie Jesu, Agnus Dei and In Paradisum. A retiring collection will be held at the end of the concert to raise much needed money for Alzheimer’s Research UK’s pioneering research to find new treatments for this disease and other dementias.”
Parminder Summon, Community Fundraising Manager for Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We are delighted that the London Chorus has chosen to raise money for our vital research through this concert. We are looking forward to hearing Ronald Corp’s composition of his friend’s poetry. Every £20 raised at the performance for Alzheimer’s Research UK will pay for an hour of vital research, bringing us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
“There are 820,000 people in the UK living with dementia today and surrounding those people is a network of family members and carers profoundly affected by the condition. Dementia poses one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the future but fundraising for research still lags far behind other serious diseases. We rely on public donations to fund our crucial research and it’s thanks to the commitment of people like Ronald, his friend Steve and the London Chorus that we are able to continue our work.”
The London Chorus will perform Things I Didn’t Say at 7.30pm on Tuesday 11 June, at St Martin-in-the Fields, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 4JJ. Tickets for the concert are priced at £20, £15 and £10 and can be purchased through the box office at www.smitf.org or by calling 020 7766 1100. A retiring collection will be held at the end of the concert for Alzheimer’s Research UK. To find out more about fundraising for the charity call 0300 111 5 777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org