Choir to host Penarth concert for local housing charity

By Suzanne Jones

13th Jul 2022 | Local News

Composer Will Todd accompanies Spectrum Singers on Zoom. (Image credit: Suzanne Jones)
Composer Will Todd accompanies Spectrum Singers on Zoom. (Image credit: Suzanne Jones)

An upcoming concert at Tabs Penarth on July 20 will raise funds for local housing charity Home Access.

The performance from Spectrum Singers will feature some of the nation's most-loved poems, brought vividly to life in song, along with musical tributes from the choir's lockdown story.

"In early lockdown we had the opportunity to meet some inspirational musicians in the Zoom room," said Helen Turner, who has sung alto with the choir since its launch in 2001.

"Choral superstar Eric Whitacre conducted us from his home in California; Will Todd, whose opera Migrations has just premiered with WNO, accompanied us from his piano shed; and we had a fascinating insight into the composing process from Janet Wheeler."

At the heart of the concert programme is the Welsh premiere of Wheeler's song cycle 'Time Becomes a Song', her beautifully-crafted settings of five poems by the 'peasant poet' John Clare.

Themes of separation from loved ones and finding consolation in nature make it a poignant song cycle for our time.

Spectrum Singers is dedicating the concert to raising funds for Home Access, an independent housing charity that provides advice, bond guarantees and practical support for those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Its offices are in Tabs Penarth, a church building which has also provided the choir with rehearsal space for over a decade.

"After 18 months of being barred from singing together indoors, the choir really appreciates the importance of having a roof over our heads again," said David Bacon, baritone and Chair, Cardiff City of Sanctuary.

"During the pandemic, we had to rehearse outdoors so we sang together under one of the arches on Railway Walk, which gave us a bit of shelter and an acoustic.

"We hope some of the neighbours and passers-by who stopped to listen to us carolling in the dark might now come to see us in concert and support this cause."

Spectrum Singers is an a cappella group that loves performing in quirky spaces and enjoys singing a mix of chamber music and jazzy doo-wap in 8-part harmony.

The choir has broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio Wales, performed at Cardiff's St David's Hall and sung in many of the UK's great cathedrals.

Free entrance with a collection for Home Access.


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