Sheringham concert celebrates life of Norfolk’s Great War nursing heroine Edith Cavell

Sheringham Remembrance Service. Picture: PAUL WATSON

Sheringham Remembrance Service. Picture: PAUL WATSON - Credit: Archant

A moving concert marking the First World War was performed to a hushed full capacity audience at Sheringham parish church.

Edith Cavell.; Source: Library

Edith Cavell.; Source: Library - Credit: Archant

The combined forces 200 performers provided an evocative evening which included Eventide - a specially commissioned work by the Sheringham and Cromer Chorals Society which celebrates the life of Norfolk's Great War nursing heroine Edith Cavell.

Nearly 100 adults voices were joined by 35 children, with the 40-strong English Chamber Orchestra providing the music.

Society chairman Bob Cumber said it was the biggest concert in its 81-year history.

'One of the most electrifying elements was that the audience did not applaud at the end because they were so moved buy it,' he added.


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Mr Cumber said the concert played to a sell-out 300-strong audience, featured other war-themed and Norfolk-linked works, including Norfolk Rhapsody by Ralph Vaughan-Williams who lived in Sheringham for a while.

The grant-funded event also provided the choir with the legacy of a boosted membership and society finances - and the hope the Eventide work would be performed again during next year's centenary commemoration of Nurse Cavell's execution for helping wounded soldiers.

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Find out more about the society at its website www.sheringhamandcromerchoral.co.uk or call 01263 822331 or 01263 711087.

REVIEW - by Terry Keeler

Benjamin Britten's arrangement of the National Anthem opened the concert.

The choir were superb in performance of three works - For the Fallen by Douglas Guest, Peter Aston's So They Gave Their Bodies and John Ireland's Greater Love Hath No Man - creating emotion in an exciting way under the masterful direction of conductor Nathan Waring and accompanist Lawrence Tao playing organ.

Norfolk Rhapsody by Ralph Vaughan Williams performed by the English Chamber Orchestra transported the listener through the beauty of Norfolk with musical pictures of the landscape, waterways, big skies and nature itself. It is so impressionistic and enlightening how music creates such mindful pictures.

Composer, Patrick Hawes spoke briefly about Edith Cavell, her life, her faith and how the work Eventide came about in a short film before the work.

Soprano soloist Rosamund Walton, sang a setting of words Edith Cavell wrote from prison to her nephew. Her voice, pure and rich in tone, filled the church with its clarity with perfect intonation. The singing of Abide with Me added to the already emotional atmosphere evident in the auditorium.

Walton's captivating voice in Cavell's now famous words Patriotism is not Enough brought an end to a wonderful evening.

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