In the beginning was the Word

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Rehearsals started last night (on the hottest day of the year) at Hudderfield Town Hall for our recording of The Holy Face. We were joined by the marvelous Black Dyke Band, Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and members of the Yorkshire Youth Choir and were under the beady eyes of Darius Battiwalla, Nicholas Childs and the Philip Wilby himself. The Holy Face has been a challenge to learn, both because it is very complex and unpredictable and also because (unlike almost everything else a choir sings) we have no past recordings of it to listen to. Last night was the first time we have heard the whole ensemble of choirs and band, the first time that music has ever been heard in its entirety and we got to perform it in front of the composer. It was an incredible privilege and an experience that I doubt any of us will ever forget. Philip Wilby even applauded us at the end of one section, which has to be one of my proudest moments. The world can seem like a hard and ugly place at the moment. This brand new music is a wonderful and timely reminder that there is always beauty and harmony to be found too.

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John Pryce-Jones and Dr Nicholas Childs