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Feb Feb
2018 2018
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St Hilda of Whitby: A Cantata A celebration of music at St Hilda's


The University Church of St Mary the Virgin

Concert and drinks reception

Pre-concert talk 4:45pm 

The event starts with an optional pre-concert talk where Wendy Cope and Nicola LeFanu will talk to Prof Martyn Harry about their experience meeting and working together for the first time over this project.

Concert 5.30pm, followed by Drinks Reception

Performed by the College Orchestra and Choir the concert includes the international debut of 'St Hilda of Whitby: a Cantata' created by award-winning artistes the poet Wendy Cope (History 1963) and the composer Nicola Lefanu (Music, 1965). It is an inspired as well as most generous gift to College from the Association of Senior Members and one that we confidently expect will continue to have a performance life long after this premiere.

Nicola LeFanu has composed over a hundred works which have been widely played, broadcast and recorded; her music is published by Novello and by Edition Peters. She has been commissioned by the BBC, by festivals in UK and beyond, and by leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists.

Wendy Cope's poetry collections include Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis (1986), Serious Concerns (1992) and If I Don't Know (2001), and Two Cures for Love (2008), a selection of previous poems with notes, together with new poems. Her latest collection is Family Values (2011). Wendy Cope is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She was awarded an OBE in 2010.

Lasting around an hour the concert also features 'Zadok the Priest' and our Music Scholar, first-year musician, Toto Gill (piano) performing Liszt’s transcription of Wagner’s ‘Liebestod’ from 'Tristan und Isolde'. It will be followed by a drinks reception in the church for all artistes and audience.

'Come and Sing'

In keeping with our annual ‘Come And Sing’ concerts, Nicola LeFanu will welcome alumnae to sing in the choir of this exciting new piece (SATB.) Rehearsals will take place on the afternoon of the concert. Numbers are limited. To apply, please contact Triona Adams.


Celebrations will continue over a 3 course dinner in College at 7.30 ( bookable separately, please see below.)

Concert and Drinks Reception (booking deadline 17 February 2018)

Standard: £20

St Hilda's Alumnae and Guests: £15

Students: £5

Dinner at St Hilda's College (booking deadline 12 February 2018)

St Hilda's Alumnae and Guests: £29

Students: £15

Online booking is available here. When booking, the opportunity is available to make an additional voluntary donation to the 125th Anniversary Fund. Please note we are unable to issue refunds after the booking deadline. 

College accommodation is extremely limited during term time. For information on checking availability, please visit our Accommodation for Alumnae Events page.