On July 28th 2012 the Cumbria Choral Initiative is to perform the entire Song of Hiawatha as the opening concert for the Lake District Summer Music Festival in the Coronation Hall in Ulverston, Cumbria. We are excited about this project, designed to coincide with SCT’s centenary year.
The concert will involve a choir of 90 singers from all over N. West, and be accompanied by the Northern Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Chorus Master, Ian Jones. Since embarking upon this project we have discovered many interesting things: SCT himself was the conductor in 1901 at a performance of The Death of Minnehaha and The Departure in Kendal when there were 600 singers, accompanied by the Halle orchestra. This was part of the Mary Wakefield Festival which still is held bi-annually today. We have in our CCI choir someone whose aunt performed in the 1930s spectaculars in the Royal Albert Hall under Sir Malcolm Sargent. She is 100 years old and is to give us her recorded reminiscences.
We have also discovered The Hiawatha Man, the biography of SCT written by Geoffrey Self, whose son Adrian is a brilliant local musician and friend of the choir.
We plan to involve local school children prior to the performance by using an American Indian History and Dance Company to hold a day of workshops, and we hope to introduce a singing workshop on the music itself and to have a pre-concert seminar on the music/poem.