Sunrise Mass

7:30pm, Sat, 10 Jun 2023

  • Event Details
  • Production: Sunrise Mass
    Type of event: Concert
    Start time: 7:30pm
    Duration: 2 hours
    Venue: Holy Trinity Church
    Trinity Churchyard
    Guildford GU1 3RR
    Description: Sunrise Mass

    As we approach the mid-summer solstice, very aptly at the heart of this programme will be the evocative and beautiful Sunrise Mass by Ola Gjeilo. Also in the programme, which brings together music from the classical, romantic and contemporary periods, will be Haydn – ‘Little Organ’ Mass and Hierusalem by Sir George Dyson, one of the most underrated of late-Victorian English composers.

    Joining Guildford Choral for this concert amidst the beauty and lovely acoustic of Holy Trinity Church will be soprano soloist Charlotte Kennedy and the strings of Southern Pro Musica

    “Sunrise Mass” by Ola Gjeilo

    Ola Gjeilo, born in 1978, is a Norwegian composer and pianist, currently living in the United States. One of his major works is “Sunrise Mass” which is orchestrated for strings and choir. It is a hauntingly evocative piece. “It creates images and emotions by taking the listener on a journey”

    Ola Gjeilo wrote about his piece:

    “The reason I used English titles, seemingly unrelated to the (mostly) Latin texts, for the movements in the setting of the Mass has mainly to do with the initial idea behind Sunrise Mass. I wanted the musical development of the work to evolve from the most transparent and spacey, to something completely earthy and grounded; from nebulous and pristine to more emotional and dramatic, and eventually warm and solid - as a metaphor for human development from child to adult, or as a spiritual journey.

    Most of my favourite composers are film composers working in America today, and this piece is partly influenced by movies and film scores from the past few years that I love dearly.”



    “Hierusalem” composed in 1956 by Sir George Dyson (1883 - 1964); an English musician and composer

    As a teacher, broadcaster, author, administrator and public figure, Sir George Dyson played an influential role in British musical life for nearly 50 years. He was a Yorkshireman of working-class origin who owed none of his success to birth of influence. He won a scholarship to the RCM in London where he studied with Stanford.

    Dyson’s “Hierusalem” is lyrical, even romantic; the scoring (for both voices and instruments) not merely competent, but masterly; there is a dramatic streak; a sense of colour, of fitness of sound, of beauty of sound: Dyson is a poet, not a pedant (he disliked pretentious solemnities of all kinds, within music and without) and clearly a lover of the good things in life.

    Hierusalem” was written in the composer’s old age, but isn’t an old man’s music. Remarkably, Dyson’s music grew younger as the years advanced.

    Extracts by Christopher Palmer 1985


    Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo by Joseph Haydn (1832 - 1809)

    Haydn was an Austrian composer of the Classical period. He was instrumental in the development of chamber music such as the string quartet and piano trio. His contributions to musical form have lead him to be called “Father of the Symphony” and “Father of the String Quartet”. Interestingly, like Dyson, Haydn also came from a poor background.

    The missa brevis (short mass) was written around 1774. Scored modestly for soprano, four-part mixed choir, two violins, organ and bass, it is known as the Kleine Orgelmesse (Little Organ Mass) due to an extended organ solo in the Benedictus movement.


    Charlotte Kennedy - Soprano

    We are delighted to have as our soprano soloist, Charlotte Kennedy. Charlotte is a British Soprano and is in the first year of her Master of Performance at The Royal College of Music studying with Janis Kelly and Caroline Dowdle.

    At the RCM, Charlotte has played Venus in the Opera studio’s production of Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, La Bergere/La Chouette in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges and is covering the lead role of Jenny Lind the their summer production of Libby Larsen’s Barnum’s Bird.

    On Twitter: @charlottesop

    Poster PDF / JPG
    Flyer PDF / JPG
    Seating Plan