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Visually Impaired Composer Zoe Dixon – JCS summer concert

Zoe Dixon, a visually impaired composer, attended New College Worcester, along with studying at the Junior Department at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and went onto study Music, specialising in Composition, taught by Robert Saxton and Thomas Hyde, at Worcester College, Oxford, where she gained a first class degree in 2021. Additionally, she was a choral scholar at Worcester College Chapel. She became the Joyful Company of Singers first Composer-in-Association in 2022. The Joyful Company of Singers are one of the UK’s leading chamber choirs and are directed by Peter Broadbent MBE. They perform around the UK and also frequently record contemporary repertoire. This concert at St Gabriel’s Church, Pimlico, London, is the last of Zoe’s residency and will feature several of her works written for the Joyful Company. Zoe won her first composition prize when she was fourteen (which is recorded at Orford Lighthouse | Britten Pears Arts ) ; her style has matured since then!

Our next performance – ‘Summer Schemes’
21st June at St Gabriel’s Church, Pimlico
The title of the concert is that of one of the two Thomas Hardy poems set by the JCS composer-in-association Zoe Dixon, whose skilful and subtle word-setting has provided the choir with several fine choral works marking the different seasons as portrayed in the words of Christina Rossetti, Wordsworth and Keats as well as Hardy. We shall perform all of these alongside the first performance of the two Hardy Songs and the anthem she wrote for our 2022 Gala Concert.

Over the years, the JCS has given over forty ‘first performances’, but it has been particularly pleasing to have had a young composer writing regularly and specifically for the choir and giving her the opportunity to hear her work come to life. We are very grateful for the financial support of an anonymous friend of the JCS that enabled this fruitful association to take place.
Two notable composers who have significant anniversaries this year also feature in our programme – marking the 150th of the birth of Gustav Holst and the centenary of the death of Charles Villiers Stanford, both huge figures in the British musical world at the transition from the 19th to the 20th Centuries. The Irish-born Stanford is represented by some familiar motets and partsongs, and Holst by some of his folksong settings – all superbly crafted miniatures by composers whose output was extraordinarily wide-ranging.
We also mark the close friendship that Holst had with a remarkable figure in the musical world of both Northumberland and Scotland, W G Whittaker. The two corresponded regularly from 1913, when they shared a walking holiday in the Cheviots with Vaughan Williams, until Holst’s death in 1934. The JCS visit to North Northumberland earlier this year persuaded us to explore some of the folksong arrangements Whittaker made, adding two by a contemporary Northumbrian composer, Derek Hobbs.

Do join us for ‘Summer Schemes’ – our performance starts at 7pm on Friday 21st June – at St Gabriel’s Church, Pimlico, SW1V 2AD

Tickets: £20 (£10 Adult & U30 Concessions, U12 Free) and full programme details for ‘Summer Schemes’ are available from Eventbrite (plus ticket booking fee),

Tickets ‘on the door’ will be available for £25 (£12 Adult & U30 Concessions, U12 Free)

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