Moving St Wilfrid’s concert aims to help refugees

Andrew Storey
Andrew Storey

Some 11 Sussex musicians, young and old, present a moving concert this month to support Medecins Sans Frontieres.

The event takes place on Saturday, May 21, at St Wilfrid’s Church, Church Road, Haywards Heath, and will raise funds for the charity’s life-saving work with Syrian refugees.

The varied programme of songs, quartets and piano music will be interspersed with the reading in translation of poems by Syrians caught up in the war.

One of these, ‘I Am Syrian’ by Youssef Abu Yihea, poignantly summarises the importance of the charity’s work: “Barren tents in Lebanon and Amman are now my refuge, / but no land except my homeland / will nourish me with its grains”.

The music includes world premieres of piano solo pieces by Haywards Heath’s Georgina Bowden and Andrew Storey, performed by their composers. The programme also includes works by Handel, Bruch, Quilter, Balfe, Roussel and Dave Brubeck, with another Storey premiere, a piano quartet, ‘Dance’.

Lindfield baritone Roger Floyd contributes songs by Gurney and Butterworth.

The concert begins and ends with selections from Faure’s ‘Dolly Suite’.

The Reverend Alison Letschka (flute) makes a welcome return to St Wilfrid’s and other performers include Tony Donovan (clarinet), Gillian Ferguson and the Storey family and friends.

Admission (6.30pm for 7pm, interval refreshments) is free, with a retiring collection for the charity.

Following the success of last year’s 150th anniversary events, St Wilfrid’s Church is presenting several 150+1 concerts this summer. The next is ‘A Fancy of Folksongs’ by the New Sussex Singers, at 7pm on Saturday, June 4.

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