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posted 25 Apr 2018, 08:59 by All Saints' Highfield   [ updated 25 May 2018, 09:08 ]
Press release issued by All Saints’ Church, Lime Walk, Headington on 23 April 2018

On Saturday 28th April, the Akureyri Church Choir will be performing a range of music at All Saints’ Church, Lime Walk, in Headington. Akureyri, which is the commercial and educational centre of Northern Iceland, has an abundant cultural life with its own symphony orchestra and professional theatre. It is a very popular stop for many cruise ships during the summer months.

The choir, which has some 70-80 members, was founded in 1945 to sing at services in the church and, over the past 25 years, has also given an increasing number of concerts, featuring great choral works such as the ‘Requiems’ of Mozart and Faure, Brahms’ ‘German Requiem’ and JS Bach’s ‘Magnificat’. The choir has toured extensively in Denmark, Germany, France, Slovenia, Canada, Finland and Russia, and is currently touring in the UK. Saturday’s concert includes excerpts from Rossini’s ‘Petite Messe Solennelle’, Samuel Wesley’s ‘Thou Wilt Keep Him in Perfect Peace’, the African American Spiritual ‘Deep River’ and a selection of music by Icelandic composers.

Michael Jon Clarke, the choir’s conductor, was born in Nottingham and graduated from London’s Trinity College of Music in 1971; in the same year he moved to Akureyri. Since then, he has graduated from Southern Illinois University as Suzuki Pedagogue under John Kendall and from The Royal Northern College of Music in Opera Studies under Ryland Davies. He has had a long and diverse music career as a violinist, opera singer, conductor and composer. His emphasis in later years has been on composing and his composition for organ ‘Sally Piper’s Big Tootle Day’ was performed very successfully in St Paul’s Cathedral last autumn with the organist Gudny Einarsdottir, who wrote the story. This Saturday’s programme includes a composition by Michael Jon.

The concert, which will commence at 6.30 pm, is free with a retiring collection for the Footsteps Foundation, based in Dorchester-on-Thames, which provides support for disabled children. Refreshments will be served at the end of the concert providing an opportunity to talk to members of the choir.

The Vicar of All Saints’, the Reverend James Cocke, said ‘the church is really looking forward to welcoming the Akureyri Choir and hearing their programme. We are indebted to Headington Singers, who perform regularly at All Saints’, for suggesting All Saints’ as a suitable venue and for their help with the concert preparations. We hope everyone will enjoy this feast of music and give generously to the very worthwhile cause of the Footsteps Foundation’.

For further information ring Catherine Hodgkinson, Churchwarden: All Saints’, on 01865 741116/ 07852 338852 or email