October, 2023

Will Todd’s Mass In Blue & Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert28oct7:00 pm11:00 pm7:00 pm - 11:00 pm The Subscription Rooms, George Street, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 1AE, UKMusic


Stroud Arts Festival Presents Will Todd’s Mass In Blue & Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert

A wonderful evening to celebrate two composers whose skill of weaving choral and jazz together brings us an exciting and inspiring night of sacred music.

Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert
Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (1899 – 1974) was a true giant of the Jazz Age and beyond whose influence has continued through generations of jazz musicians. Always a religious man, Ellington wrote Three Sacred Concerts in the 1960s claiming that they were “personal, not career” and that they are ‘the most important thing I have ever done’

Conducted by Paul McLaughlin. Originally from Dundee, now living in Stroud, Paul is a choral singer, jazz musician, teacher and conductor. He feels he has found his home in the sacred music of Duke Ellington and Will Todd and is delighted to be performing at the Stroud Arts Festival this year. Joined by the fantastic soprano, Nina Bennet and dancer Luc Bailey, the uplifting music of Duke Ellington perfectly complements Will Todd’s beautiful and exciting setting of the mass.

Will Todd’s Mass in Blue
Another sacred work in a jazz style, this time by a contemporary composer, Mass in Blue is an upbeat jazz setting of the latin mass text blending jazz and classical choral singing to stunning effect. With a soprano soloist and a choir drawn from the community, this is a vibrant, colourful work celebrating its 20th anniversary and performed for us by the composer and his ensemble.

Will Todd taught himself the piano from an early age and his love of improvising has been the central force in a wide-ranging career of composing and playing. His love of choral music is reflected in a large output including masses, anthems and larger sacred concert works including Mass in Blue, which has been performed hundreds of times around the world since its 2003 premiere. Audience and participants alike will find this a truly inspiring and joyful event.

The evening starts at 7pm with Will Todd in conversation with Paul McLaughlin.  An opportunity to hear a composer discussing his work and inspiration before the performance.  The conversation will run from 7pm to approximately 7.20pm when there will be a short break before the performance of Ellington’s Sacred Concert at 7.30pm. The specially formed Community Choir joins the stage in the second half of the evening for Will Todd’s Mass in Blue.

Come and sing! A wonderful opportunity to sing the mass in blue with the composer.

Calling all singers! Will Todd strongly believes in music making for all, and his personal motto when directing choirs is ‘find the passion’. This is a unique and brilliant opportunity to work on a choral masterpiece with the composer and his ensemble.