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Sir John Tavener composes �hauntingly beautiful� carol for Dorset girls� school

Published Thursday 15th of November 2012 01:16:08 PM

The Senior Choir of Sherborne Girls in Dorset will give the first performance of a new carol by Sir John Tavener at the School�s annual Carol Service in Sherborne Abbey on Saturday 15 December.

Sir John wrote the work, O that we were there! as a thank-you to Sherborne Girls for educating his two daughters, Theodora and Sofia. The text is a line from the well-known Christmas hymn In dulci jubilo expressing a longing to be present at the birth of Christ. As well as being composed especially for Sherborne Girls, the piece is also dedicated to the memory of a Tavener family friend, Blossom Perronelle Barrow, who died of cancer, aged 12, earlier this year.

Sherborne Girls are no strangers to Tavener�s music, having given first performances to the composer of some of his best-loved works in their version for upper voices: The Lamb, The Lord�s Prayer and, most notably, A Song for Athene with Sir John�s elder daughter, Theodora, playing the cello part at the School�s Commemoration Concert in June 2011.

John Jenkins, Director of Music at Sherborne Girls, comments, �The girls are thrilled that Sir John has written this hauntingly beautiful piece for them. They have developed a real affinity with Tavener�s music during the past few years and they are working hard to give their best possible performance in the presence of the composer on 15 December.�

The carol service at Sherborne Abbey is open to members of the public. For further information, please contact Claire Bowman at or call 01935 389497.
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