With the support of grants for the arts from Arts Council England and the North Norfolk Big Society Fund Sheringham and Cromer Choral Society have commissioned internationally renowned composer Patrick Hawes to write a major new work for adult and children's choirs, solo soprano and chamber orchestra. Commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War the work is based on the life of courage and faith shown by Edith Cavell the Norfolk nurse who was executed in Belgium in 1915 and who is buried - and still much remembered - in Norwich Cathedral.
Patrick Hawes, a Prince's ambassador for children and the arts is probably best known for The Highgove Suite commissioned by Prince Charles for his sixtieth birthday. This concert includes Out of the Depths from his latest album Angel which recently went straight to number 1 in the classical music charts.
One hundred years ago Europe was in turmoil. On 28 June 1914 Gavrilo Princep had assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand. A few weeks later on 4 August 1914 Britain declared war on Germany: World War One, the Great War, had started.
This concert marks the centenary of the outbreak of WW1 with a programme of appropriate English music. For example, the aptness of The Lark Ascending is reflected in an extract from a letter home from Sergeant-Major Frederic Hillersdon Keeling*:
"Every morning in spring in the front-line trenches I heard the larks singing soon after we stood to about dawn. But those wretched larks made me more sad than almost anything else out here.... Their songs are so closely associated in my mind with peaceful summer days in gardens or pleasant landscapes in Blighty. Here one knows that the larks sing at seven and the guns begin at nine or ten................"
* Diana Souhami Edith Cavell Quercus Books