A Concert to Celebrate St. Robert of Knaresborough.
A feast of music was on offer at the concert which was part of a series of events taking place to mark the 800th anniversary, on 24th September, of the death of St. Robert of Knaresborough. The concert, involving up to 100 musicians and singers, took place on Saturday 24th June in the Chaloner Hall at King James's School in Knaresborough in front of the town’s Mayor, Councillor Phil Ireland, and many others.
The evening began with an introduction by Peter Lacey, one of the key organisers of the events talking place, who entered the hall dressed as St. Robert.
In his time St. Robert was known across Europe for his wisdom and acts of service.
The events and activities taking place this year are designed to reawaken an appreciation of who Robert was and what he stood for in the hope of informing and inspiring people today.
The programme included hymns sung by the audience - Praise my Soul, the King of Heaven by Henry Francis Lyle and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling by Charles Wesley.
The concert involved Knaresborough Silver Band, conducted by its musical director Nick Garrett, and a children’s choir made up of pupils from Aspin Park Academy Choir and the Richard Taylor School Choir. They were conducted by Carmel Wake, who is the music co-ordinator at Richard Taylor School, comprising 6th form students at St Aidan’s Church of England High School in Harrogate.
Solos were sung by Niamh Robinson-Wakefield, 15, of St Aidan’s, who was the winner at the young musician singer competition at the Harrogate Competitive Festival for three years running and who has sung at different venues not just in this country but in Europe and the USA.
Throughout the evening several pieces were played and sung which had been composed or arranged by internationally known Philip Wilby who is a lecturer in the Department of Music at Leeds University and who co-founded the university’s Liturgical Choir. He accompanied several pieces on the piano.
The concert ended with the band and choirs joining forces to perform Flower of York composed by Mark Pallant who conducted that performance. He is director of music at St Aidan’s School and during the evening also accompanied several pieces on the piano.