First performance – Robert Howard
The first performance of Robert Howard’s Patronal Anthem ‘For Mary, Mother of our Lord’ will take place on Sunday 9th September, 10.30am, at Prescot Parish Church, Church Street, Prescot, Merseyside, L34 1LA, as part of Sung Eucharist for the annual Patronal Festival of St. Mary the Virgin. It will be performed by Prescot Parish Church Choir, directed by David Kernick with organist Tim Hall. It is dedicated to the composer’s own mother, Dorothy, and the Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Prescot.
For Mary, Mother of our Lord is a joyous verse anthem for SATB choir and organ, in a melodic folk-like idiom. It begins with a solo voice verse, before building throughout a series of imitative choral variations. The work passes through a sequence of distantly-related keys that represent Mary’s challenging journey, and culminates in an affirmative final verse with quasi descant, extended into a rapturous coda.