The bells It was the massive success of his symphony that first caught the eye of Ebor Vox Director Stephen Burke. “Stephen had lots of ideas about the performance, such as getting 800 singers involved and marching them through the streets. I thought that idea was astonishing.” The plan for the procession through the city is to start at York Minster. From there a huge crowd of choirs will begin to walk through the streets of the city. “They will pick up the rhythm from the bells and run with it, letting the music grow and grow.” He laughs again. “Of course we can’t rehearse this. We have no idea how it will work. As the choirs march along the acoustics will change making it difficult for them to hear each other. It’s all very exciting.”
Poetry in motion The 30-minute procession will reach its crescendo by Clifford’s Tower when a brass orchestra will start up. “It’s a big anthem they’re playing, very moving, very upbeat. I’ll be there conducting it all.” But what is most exciting, he explains, is that the lyrics sang by the choirs are based on two poems written by York residents. “At first we selected just one entry from the many submitted, but I was so impressed, I chose another – and was amazed to find it had been written by a ten-year-old girl! So the Symphony for Yorkshire was based on the poem
of a 98-year-old, and this is based on the words of a ten-year-old! I love that.” The show sounds like it will be truly amazing and a very fitting way to mark the 800th anniversary of the York’s freedom – a performance by the people, for the people. The performance will take place on Charter Day, 9th July, beginning at the Minster. For more information visit www.yorkfestivals.com/ebor-vox Read the exclusive extended interview online at www.yourlocallink.co.uk
What is… York 800? 9th July see the celebrations for Charter Day. But what is it all about, anyway? Here are the facts. • York 800 is not the 800th anniversary of York’s foundation, it instead marks 800 years since we were given our Royal Charter in 1212. • A Royal Charter allowed York to take charge of its own affairs, form a council, elect a mayor and give a voice to its people. • The charter was given by King John, the monarch who would later sign the Magna Carta, a document considered to be an early step in the evolution of the constitution of the UK.
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