Pupils in tribute to author

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Two Tadcaster schools are to star alongside Harry Potter celebrity David Bradley to mark the tercentenary of Laurence Sterne.

Tadcaster Riverside and Grammar School will be among four others, to premiere a new composition by internationally-renowned pianist, composer and broadcaster David Owen Norris to honour novelist and vicar, Laurence Sterne.

The work will be presented at a special Arts Council-funded performance in the Quire of York Minster on Monday October 14 entitled ‘Voice from the Pulpit’ where Yorkshire-born actor David Bradley will play the speaking part of Sterne.

Bradley is well-known for his roles in television and film including Harry Potter.

Norris has set a new composition especially for children’s choirs based on Sterne’s final sermon in 1764; ‘Hezekiah and the Messengers.’ T

he piece concludes with the epitaph on Sterne’s gravestone which gives the composition its title: Sterne, was the Man.

A year in the making, children at Riverside Community Primary, Tadcaster Grammar, Carlton Miniott, and St Peter’s Brafferton have received professional coaching by expert choirmaster Jonathan Brigg.

The accompaniment at this special event will comprise period instruments which Sterne would have recognised including a square piano and a viola de gamba.

Patrick Wildgust, Curator of The Laurence Sterne Trust at Coxwold-based Shandy Hall said: “The 300th anniversary of Laurence Sterne’s birth provides an opportunity to focus on his other, somewhat neglected profession – that of preacher of sermons.

“The trust is grateful to Arts Council England for supporting this project and to York Minster and to the schools involved for their support in this partnership.”

Pupils from the schools visited York Minster for a tour to understand and appreciate the context that Sterne gave his sermons in.

Sterne wrote and published ‘The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman’ in 1759.

To book tickets for Voice from the Pulpit visit www.laurencesternetrust.org.uk.