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By George

Saint Cecila, the patron saint of musicians, composers, instrument makers and poets, is said to have lived in the second or third century, and died in 177 AD. Centuries later, in 1948, she was the inspiration for a composition by celebrated Australian-British composer George Frederick Loughlin.

Sadly, the work was hidden away in archives and never performed. Until now. This month, accomplished Darwin choir Vocalective presents the world premiere of the special work, Saint Cecilia’s Day.

By Kate Conway

Vocalective Music Director Michael Loughlin is George Frederick Loughlin’s son, and said he discovered the piece by chance when he was looking into his father’s academic history.

“Dad never talked about it during his lifetime, I just happened to be looking through the Durham University archives. I thought I could find his name there, because a Doctor of Music is not something that’s handed out to everybody, it’s quite a special degree,” he says.

“Beside his name was the name of this piece, Saint Cecilia’s Day, so I delved a little deeper and discovered it was written for his degree, and when he had finished it, disappeared into the university archives never to be seen again.”

Thanks to a helpful librarian at the university, the delicate 172-page handwritten manuscript was photographed, saved to a compact disc, and sent halfway across the world.

It was then transcribed, using the wonders of modern technology, in a reduced orchestration suitable for Vocalective’s 30-person choir.

Sticking to the theme of undiscovered music, rounding out the concert is a medley of choruses from George Frederick Handel.

Best known for the joyful, rousing Hallelujah chorus in Messiah, the renowned composer has a whole host of oratorios (aka, works with a religious theme) in his repertoire.

“There’s not a Messiah chorus in sight … We’re just letting our audience know about some of these other amazing pieces that Handel wrote that very rarely seem to get performed,” says Loughlin.

In a charming coincidence, both Loughlin and Handel have the same first and second names, George Frederick. But the similarities don’t end there, both renowned for vibrant, melodic and entertaining compositions.

Don’t miss this special performance of an exciting and historic world premiere, featuring some of the most beautiful, powerful voices in the Territory.

Your Voices Tune
WHEN FRI 28 APR | 7.30-9.30PM
COST $35 | $15 U18

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