The Melody Makers of Bath Abbey
We are delighted to introduce the performers who will sing the parts written for children’s voices in The Cool Web.
Their presence is very important to us, and central to the narrative of the oratorio, which not only focuses on the journey from the vivid responses of youth to the wariness of experience, but also returns again and again to both the joys and the nightmares of childhood.
Robert Graves, like so many of his contemporaries in the trenches, was only 19 when he arrived on the Somme; the memories of childhood were not far behind him, and a natural source of emotional reference for his poetry.
The Melody Makers will be singing in very distinguished company; under the baton of Robin O’Neill, they will join Endymion, Philharmonia Voices, and soloist Edward Grint in the first ensemble ever to perform this vibrant and exciting new oratorio.
We are so grateful to them for joining us; we know they will add that final touch of enchantment to what promises to be an exhilarating evening.
The Melody Makers were founded in January 2011 by Bath Abbey’s Assistant Director of Music, Shean Bowers. The group has grown consistently over the years and now has forty members from all over the city who regularly meet for music, song and friendship.
The choir sing a lively and varied repertoire which is accessible to all and always enjoyed by both the children singing it and those listening to it.
As well as one-off performances during the year, the youngsters also give a number of regular concerts, including a slot at the opening of Party in the City, they always turn out to give a warming rendition of carols at the Christmas market and never fail to delight at the Carols for Choir and Audience in the Abbey, where they get to sing alongside the Girls’ and Boys’ choirs too.
The group have travelled a fair amount in their short history, singing in places such as Salisbury and Gloucester Cathedrals and Stroud Town hall, as well as lending their voices to various performances, including Carmina Burana, Britten’s Friday Afternoons and even appearing BBC Radio 4.
Many of the children will go on to join the Bath Abbey Girls’ and Boys’ choirs when their time as a Melody Maker comes to an end, and it’s with great joy that we help them develop their singing to a point where this is achievable.
We can’t wait to hear them.