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Commissions keep Southwell composer busy during coronavirus lockdown




Lockdown has proved a busy time for Southwell-based composer Guy Turner, who has received a series of composing commissions.

Guy, who sings in the choir at Southwell Minster and is conductor of Bingham Choral Society, does not usually expect more than two or three commissions a year, but suddenly found he had five.

Apart from two Christmas carols for a Hampshire community choir, the commissions were all written with specific celebrations in mind ­— the 120th anniversary of Bruton School, the 50th anniversary of Phoenix Singers (Taunton) and the celebration concert for the completion of the Heritage Lottery funded Leaves of Southwell project at Southwell Minster.

Guy Turner (38134206)
Guy Turner (38134206)

The largest work is a setting for choir and full symphony orchestra of four folk songs ­— one each from the four countries of the UK ­— written for Bingham Choral Society’s 50th anniversary concert in November 2021, when the choir will be joined by Mansfield Choral Society and the Nottingham Symphony Orchestra.

Taking place in Southwell Minster in the form of a Last Night Of The Proms concert, Guy’s song will be the main item in the second half.

It includes the songs Ca’ The Yowes (Scotland) Sosban Fach (Wales) Carrickfergus (Northern Ireland) and All Around My Hat (England).


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