Choral Society set for testing piece

Wetherby Choral Society is aiming to set new standards in the centre-piece of their season.

The group will perform Bach’s monumental St Matthew Passion at Wetherby’s St James’s Church just as the season of Passiontide starts on April 5 at 7pm.

Publicity officer Margaret Derrick said: “The scale of this piece is enormous, requiring two separate choirs and two orchestras.”

Now in their 40th season and the 20th year that they have been under the direction of John Dunford, she said the scale of the music holds no fears for the ambitious outfit.

The soloists include the Evangelist and international tenor Joshua Ellicott and Baroque specialists Rebecca Lea (soprano) and Cathy Bell (alto.

Tenor Stephen Newlove mades a welcome return.

Tim Murphy, previously a bass in Ripon Cathedral and now at the Chapel Royal, and bass Ashley Mercer make their debut performances with the society.

The orchestral accompaniment will be supplied by the Orchestra Pro Musicia.

Tickets, £13, are available from Charlotte Meek on 01937 574077