The English Invasion of the ’60s… the 1560s! — Dec. 7 concert

Calgary Renaissance Singers and Players -1560s concert poster

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Consider this: in the 1960s, four talented fellows from Liverpool, England shot to national and then international rock’n’roll stardom under the unlikely group name The Beatles. Despite a lack of formal musical education, the songwriting duo of John Lennon and Paul McCartney understood how to touch people’s hearts and inspire their imaginations.

Four hundred years earlier, in the 1560s, England’s “rock stars” were formally educated church musicians. Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, and Orlando Gibbons were household names. Like Lennon and McCartney, these men understood how to touch people’s hearts with their music. As with many present-day rock stars, our 1560s music heroes had their ups and downs. Tallis and Byrd made and lost a fortune together in music publishing. Byrd in particular ran into trouble with the law of the church, in that he had Catholic sympathies at a time when Catholicism was banned in England. Meanwhile, Orlando Gibbons shocked his friends and admirers by dying young, in another foreshadowing of some rock-star lives today.

Our upcoming concert will focus on music by Tallis, Byrd and Gibbons, with a nod to more recent English music heroes Gustav Holst, John Rutter, and, yes, The Beatles. Our arrangement of “Blackbird” was created by a member of another 1960s upstart English group: The King’s Singers. With guest pipe organist Timothy Pyper contributing his own musical genius to our concert, this will be an event you don’t want to miss.

This concert will be in part a fundraising event for Calgary’s National Music Centre, which lost part of its historical keyboard collection in the June flood. In the spirit of the season, please bring your chequebook and help this valuable community organization find its footing again.

Saturday, December 7 at 7:30pm
pre-concert talk at 7:00pm
Hope Lutheran Church
3527 Boulton Rd. NW, Calgary (map)

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Best regards,
Jane Perry
Artistic Director, Calgary Renaissance Singers & Players

Alberta Foundation for the Arts Calgary Arts Development       UnitarianChurch-Thanks