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28 March 2012

All Souls Orchestra celebrates 40 years of music-making with gala concert

All Souls Orchestra celebrates 40 years of music-making with gala concert

A unique Christian orchestra, with a distinguished history of partnering with both Christian musicians and leading classical artists, is celebrating its 40th anniversary at the Royal Albert Hall.

On Saturday 21 April, the orchestra, along with founder and conductor Noël Tredinnick, will mark this special anniversary with a gala Prom Praise concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Joining them will be a massed choir and guest appearances from their friends from across the performing arts and Christian music, including Graham Kendrick, Keith & Kristyn Getty & Jonathan Veira.

Prom Praise - orch aud wide (smaller)The orchestra has often played a dual role of both nourishing the All Souls Church family through music as well as reaching out to orchestral musicians and audiences throughout the UK.

“I think in over 40 years we have seen a great deal of evidence of those two remarkable phenomena,” said Tredinnick.  “Within the orchestra players have found Christ or at least a deepening relationship with him. In our audiences, too, we are aware of the testimonies of people who have come to Christ through the playing and witness of the players and many who have been encouraged and supported in their faith.”

The development of the orchestra over 40 years has reflected the developments in Christian music in general. The orchestra’s work with Graham Kendrick goes back to the 1980s when they collaborated on many occasions, culminating in two ‘Kendrick Collection’ recordings. These were the first in an on-going series of collaborations, most recently with songwriters Keith & Kristyn Getty.

The other strand of partnerships that characterise the uniquely eclectic nature of the All Souls Orchestra, is those with leading classical artists. Foremost amongst these friends is internationally-renowned opera singer Jonathan Veira. Jonathan is a top-class operatic bass, featuring in many of the world’s major opera houses, but who is also very well known for his Christian faith.

Tredinnick has also made a point of encouraging talented young Christian artists by including them in the Prom Praise concerts. Pianist Grace Yeo is one of these artists, who this year will perform a movement from Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ concerto.

“I have always had a strong conviction that musical instruments not only celebrate their individuality and difference, but together can blend, under the mighty hand of our creator God, into a unified whole, which is the orchestra,” said Tredinnick. “God melts their differences by creating a sense of order and harmony. This gives the orchestra both a physical presence and an emotional power, which must never be underestimated.”

Looking to the future, Tredinnick and the orchestra are working to find ways of sharing with new audiences, including those who at present stand outside the church culture. One key recent project in this area is Prom Praise for Schools, which has developed in conjunction with London Diocesan Board for Schools.  

Added Tredinnick: “Still today the orchestra gives great opportunities for service (for the players), but more remarkably as the players play together as one unit, the presence of Jesus in their midst is more and more tangible and attractive; and both audiences and congregations have a deep sense of the presence and call of Christ through the music-making and come and find Christ as they are drawn by the music.”

The gala evening will be co-hosted by present rector of All Souls, Hugh Palmer.
Tickets are on sale from the Royal Albert Hall box office on 020 7589 8212 www.royalalberthall.com