Musical Director: Tony Yeates
The commissioning of this work came about through a link to Fairbeats! a charity working with children in the London Boroughs of Lewisham, Wandsworth and Kingston.
Rev Tony Raven, now assisting as an organist and priest at St Margaret's used to work in the Hazelbury Bryan Benefice in Dorset. One of the co-founders of Fairbeats! is Tony's niece Jennifer Raven, and it was to Hazelbury Bryan Primary School in 2009 that Jennifer brought a small group of professional musicians at the beginnings of Fairbeats! They spent a couple of days with the older children exploring Fairtrade and music from India. The children were encouraged to make music in groups using their own ideas.
Jennifer, along with Fairbeats! Co-founder Catherine Carter, has developed the charity with projects now involving around 100 young refugees, asylum seekers and new migrants every year at three refugee support centres (Action for Refugees in Lewisham; Refugee Action Kingston and Love2Learn). At Fairbeats! projects, all children are given the opportunity and skills to express themselves and connect with others through music. Fairbeats! enables children and families to overcome the barriers they face to participating fully in the musical, cultural life and wider society in the UK.
James Moriarty, a volunteer at Fairbeats!, is a young composer who's approach is enriched by his desire to encourage musical creativity in young people; alongside writing for the likes of the London Symphony Orchestra, he has delivered creative workshops for a wide range of organisations and groups. He aims to help people leading challenging lives which has led to his volunteering with Fairbeats!. He also works regularly with the Royal Academy of Music's outreach department as an Open Academy Fellow.
Just before Christmas 2015 they launched an appeal for donations so that work could continue into the new year. Donations of different amounts resulted in purchasing a 'perk'. One of the perks was to have James Moriarty compose and perform a piece of music. After some gentle arm twisting he was persuaded to write a four-part choral piece based on a sonnet by Michael Guite. Here is a small excerpt: - Pentecost a Sonnet from 'Sounding the Seasons' by Malcolm Guite - Published by Canterbury Press.
Today we feel the wind beneath our wings,
Today the hidden fountain flows and plays,
Today the church draws breath at last and sings,
As every flame becomes a tongue of praise.
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