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Centre stage for University of York choir on Mothering Sunday

Posted on 7 March 2013

BBC Radio 4’s live Mothering Sunday broadcast from York Minster will feature University of York choir The 24.

Together with Dean Vivienne Faull, members of the Mothers’ Union in York, Revd Canon Peter Moger and organist Robert Sharpe, they will present the fourth programme in the Lent Series which links stories of faith from the Bible and life today.

Founded in 2008 in the University’s Department of Music, The 24 is a progressive vocal group consisting of two dozen mixed voices. It specialises in new and unusual music, but its repertoire extends across all genres and periods.

The choir will be singing three pieces as part of the programme on Sunday, 10 March: Ave Virgo Gloriosa by Richard Dering; Regina Coeli by Cecilia McDowall and I Will Sing Unto The Lord by John Amner.

The choir is directed by Professor William Brooks and assistant directors Jon Brigg and Graham Bier.

Graham Bier will direct the chamber choir for the Minster broadcast. He said: “This is the second time The 24 will collaborate with York Minster after singing Evensong as a visiting choir last June. We are not only looking forward to returning to such a great acoustic, but also to strengthening the relationship between the Department of Music and York Minster.

“It will be a great opportunity for the choir to work with organist Robert Sharpe and Precentor Peter Moger. The chance to perform on a broadcast produced by Simon Vivian will be a wonderful learning opportunity. It's The 24's first radio broadcast and the singers are excited to be heard by such a large audience.”

Over the past three seasons, The 24 has given seven concerts at the University of York, with several world premieres. This includes a concert devoted to the work of Estonian composer Veljo Tormis - which the composer attended - and a concert celebrating the 60th year of York composer Roger Marsh.

The chance to perform on a broadcast produced by Simon Vivian will be a wonderful learning opportunity

Graham Bier, assistant director of The 24

In addition, the group has performed at King's College Chapel, Cambridge, St Paul's Covent Garden, the Sun Court in Scarborough, Richmond Castle and at the Paxton Festival in Scotland. Over the past three years they have given over 30 concerts in China under the direction of conductor Zhū Bù Xī.

In 2012-13, alongside three York programmes, The 24 appeared at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, participating in a world premiere by Maja S K Ratkje. They will also premiere a large-scale work at the Spring Festival of New Music and will take part in a centenary celebration for composer Benjamin Britten. A collaboration with musicians from the Serbian city of Niš, which began with two concerts in 2012, will continue with a full exchange in June and plans are underway for an exchange with the German ensemble EXtraCHORd in July.

The Mothering Sunday broadcast from York Minster will air on BBC Radio 4 from 8.10am to 9am. Visit to listen live.

Notes to editors:

Contact details

Caron Lett
Press Officer

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