William Byrd Choir singing at Salle Church

Gavin Turner director the William Byrd Choir

Gavin Turner director the William Byrd Choir - Credit: Archant

A renowned church choir, formed by a north Norfolk man, is preparing for its first self-promoted concert for 30 years

The William Byrd Choir, run by Gavin Turner from Gunton Hall, will sing at Salle Church on July 26.

The main work will be Byrd's Mass for Five Voices - one of his English church music masterpieces.

Mr Turner started and led the choir in its first concert back in 1973 - a lunch hour performance at Holburn close to the HMSO office where he then worked.

The choir then went on, over several years, to record many Renaissance music programmes for the BBC, did regular concerts at the South Bank's Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Wigmore Hall, and performed at English music festivals.

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They also went on a number of foreign tours, particularly to Italy, where in 1980, it became the first outside choir (apart from the Sistine Chapel Choir itself) to record in the Sistine Chapel, with the BBC.

Mr Turner worked as corporate marketing director of the HMSO in Norwich when he bought a home at Gunton Park - and now lives there in retirement.

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He is also treasurer of the Roughton benefice of churches,

The July 26 performance at 6.30pm is at a church with a tradition of well-attended summer concerts. It will feature motets by Taverner, Tallis, Palestrina, Victoria - and Byrd.

Tickets (front nave £20, rear nave £15, side aisles £10, students £8) from Prelude Records, 25b St Giles Street, Norwich (01602 628319) or Salle Church (roger@fry.org or call 01603 873387). For a full programme details see www.williambyrdchoir. com

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