Ipswich choir heading to Rome

A 33-STRONG Ipswich church choir is to sing during Mass at St Peter's in Rome, it has been announced today.

A 33-STRONG Ipswich church choir is to sing during Mass at St Peter's in Rome, it has been announced today.

St Mary-Le-Tower-Church Choir of boys and men will be visiting the Italian capital from February 19 to 22.

This is the choir's ninth tour since 2001 and the sixth foreign tour.

A spokeswoman for the choir said: “The highlight of the tour will be singing at Mass at 5pm on Friday February 20 in St Peter's, the great mother church of Roman Catholicism.

“It is one of the largest ecclesiastical buildings in the world and a great mecca for all tourists to Rome.

“The Choir will also sing at the English Church of All Saints, a concert on Thursday February 19 and Mass on the final Sunday morning.

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“At the Chiesa degli Artisti on the Saturday night they will sing a short concert followed by Mass.”

The choir is already in rehearsal for the tour and music chosen will include items from the sixteenth century to the present day.

The spokeswoman added: “Among earlier pieces will be Ave Verum Corpus by William Byrd, the great English composer of the sixteenth century, who had to keep his own Roman Catholicism very private during the reign of the protestant Elizabeth I.”

The repertoire includes the anthem My Beloved Spake by Henry Purcell and Oculi Omnium by composer Gabriel Jackson, commissioned by St Mary-le-Tower and first performed there in 2007.

There will also be music by Mozart, Bruckner and Durufle.

The choir includes 14 trebles, six altos, seven tenors and six basses - and 15 others including wives and parents of members of the choir.

The Choir will be directed by Dr Michael Nicholas and the vicar of St Mary-le-Tower, Rev Canon Charles Jenkin, will be singing bass.

The Choir will give a concert, including some of the music to be sung on tour, on Saturday February 7 at 7.30pm in St Mary-le-Tower Church.

This is open to all. Admission is �5 at the door, under 18s free.

Do you have a similar story? Have your heard the choir sing? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk