Audiences can expect to be bowled over by highly regarded vocal ensemble Wessex Consort at Mitcham Heritage Day on the Cricket Green on Saturday 9 September.

The dynamic young professional singers will perform brand new choral works written especially about Mitcham by the choir’s founder, composer Graham Stansfield. 

“Mitcham has been kind enough to invite us to perform at the Heritage Day, so we thought we would create something special for the occasion,” says Graham, who wrote the international chart topping single ‘Sympathy’ for the band Rare Bird in 1970.

Wessex Consort will perform a new a hymn of praise to Mary Tate, the local benefactor who had the Cricket Green almshouses built, in the courtyard there for the current residents, then head over to the Cricket Green Pavilion for a ‘flash mob’ performance that will include a cheery piece about cricket.

There’ll be a formal concert in Mitcham Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul from 7pm at which Wessex Consort will debut an uplifting gospel piece, an angry modern anthem and Graham’s lament for the three young Attwood girls – Mary, 14, Eliza, 7 and Sarah, 5 – from Mitcham who died in October 1808 after eating poisonous mushrooms.

“Our conductor, the celebrated early music tenor Andrew King came across their epitaph in the parish churchyard and the simple human tragedy of the story has gripped us ever since,” says Graham. “Equally the example of Mary Tate who demolished her family home in order to provide shelter for 12 poor women of the parish is a fine example of human goodness – those who have helping those who need.

“The contemporary anthem is influenced greatly by my despair at recent events – both personally and in the wider world – and the gospel piece aims to offer something of the joyous life force that I constantly find such an inspiration in the 12 young singers.”

The Wessex Consort’s album ‘A Choir For All Seasons’ was released on Aeterna Records last year to widespread acclaim and follows up their debut recording, 2015’s ‘’Tis Christmastide’.

Both feature a broad mix of classical repertoire and Graham’s genre-crossing original compositions, perhaps heard to greatest effect on the vocal tour de force ‘Gastronomic’ that manages to pay tribute to the young singers’ cooking abilities as well as their fondness for clubbing on their rare free nights.

Article supplied by Nick Churchill