World premiere: The True St Nicolas Cantata - Hailsham Choral Society

World premiere: The True St Nicolas Cantata - Hailsham Choral Society

Saturday, June 11, 2016 - 18:30

This concert will feature the world première performance of an especially composed six part Cantata’ – ‘The True St Nicolas’, to celebrate the 800th anniversary of St Nicolas church, Pevensey. The piece has been composed by Ruth Kenward for the 60 combined voices of Hailsham Choral Society, celebrating its 55th anniversary,and children from Pevensey and Westham School.

The exciting new cantata from established Sussex based composers Ruth Kenward and Martin Neill, ‘The True Saint Nicolas’ will have its first performance at Saint Nicolas Church, Pevensey, on June 11th 2016. It has been written for the children of Pevensey and Westham Primary School to sing - along with the men and women of Hailsham Choral Society - as part of ‘Project 2016’, a series of events organised to mark the 800th anniversary of the church and to raise funds for much-needed repairs.

The 20-minute piece opens with the children asking the adults to tell them the story of the real ‘Santa Claus’. They are led on a journey through a series of miraculous events attributed to Saint Nicolas, some of them more fictitious-sounding than others! The character of the man himself is revealed through the stories told and, by the end, the children recognise the link between the generous nature of both Father Christmas and the true Saint Nicolas.

Background information:

The historical Saint Nicolas is commemorated and revered by Christians of many denominations throughout the world. He is the man behind the familiar red-and-white costumed Santa Claus - but who was he, really? How and why did he become so celebrated?

Part of a Greek family living in the third century in the city of Patara, southern Turkey, Nicolas never sought fame. However, he certainly achieved fame posthumously. He is said to be named the patron saint of more causes than any other saintand literally thousands of churches worldwide are named after him…. and now Saint Nicolas has one more thing named after him!

As a contrast excerpts from Haydn’s joyful ‘St Nicolas Mass’ (‘Missa Sancti Nicolai’), composed around 1772, some 550 years after St. Nicolas church was built, will be sung, together with some additional ‘lighter’ pieces. For all peformances the choirs will be accompaned by Colin Hughes (organ).

The conductor for the evening is Jozik Kotz who was born in Oxford. After reading music at the University of York he won a postgraduate scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he was a finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier, Royal Overseas League and Richard Tauber competitions and winner of the South East Arts competition, which led to his debut at Wigmore Hall.

The varied concert programme will be a joy to hear in the wonderful acoustics of St Nicolas.

The True St Nicolas Cantata
Ruth Kenward (1950-)
Gloria from Mass No 6 in G, 'Missa Sancti Nicolai'
(Franz) Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)


St Nicolas Church
Church Lane
Pevensey BN24 5LD
United Kingdom
50° 49' 12.4968" N, 0° 20' 16.7136" E
Event Information Box
£10, children under 16: £5 Available from 01424 216651 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm.
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