Celebrating 12 Years

Tribute to Women

Luminosa Voices have extra spring in their step and joy in their voices this Easter as they celebrate their twelfth anniversary, two years later than scheduled, with a concert on 2nd April at the magnificent All Saints Church, Odiham. The evening will showcase music from composers who have all drawn on inspirations from the past for their text.

At the heart of the programme, the Choir is honoured and excited to.

Da Vinci Requiem

which was composed by Cecilia McDowall for the 500-year anniversary of the artist’s death in 2019. It has been performed only once before in the UK, in the same year at its premiere in May at the Royal Festival Hall, London by Wimbledon Choral Society, under the baton of Neil Ferris. Composed from Leonardo’s

be performing the large-scale.


and his reflective and penetrating insights into the nature of mortality, this work sheds new light on familiar requiem texts through its palette of light and shade and textural detail. The composer’s distinctive fusion of fluent, melodic lines with occasional dissonant harmonies and rhythmic exuberance speaks directly to listeners, instrumentalists and singers alike. The piece is powerfully communicative and will be conducted by Rebekah Abbott, Artistic Director of Luminosa, and accompanied by Michael Higgins at the wonderful Odiham organ and a beautiful grand piano, hired especially for the concert.

The evening will be enhanced by a rare and thrilling opportunity to hear an illuminating talk by world famous composer, Cecilia McDowall, about the links to Leonardo Da Vinci within this work, the composition process and about the composer herself.

Also in the programme is Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, based on the devotional poetry of the seventeenth century Welsh-born poet and Anglican priest, George Herbert. The work is a fitting musical prelude to Easter: opening with simple, direct, intrinsic spirituality and finishing with the majestic Antiphon, “Let all the World in Every Corner Sing”. Stuart Orme is the Baritone soloist who will join Luminosa for this performance.

Luminosa is also delighted to have commissioned a new work, Salve Deus, Rex Judaeorum, an impassioned portrayal of the Easter Cantata, by composer Alison Willis. Alison has breathed musical life into the work of Aemilia Lanyer (1569–1645), one of the first Englishwomen to publish a volume of original verse at a time when there was still suspicion of women’s work in print.  Both Rebekah and Alison fell in love with the honesty in her writing. The poem is a daring version of the story of Christ, told from a female perspective. The cantata takes as its focus Pilate’s wife who, according to Matthew 27.19, tried to dissuade her husband from ordering Christ’s death. This moving and compelling piece is a synthesis of choral clarity, striking chords and harmony. Its composer, Alison Willis, is already a feted musician, having composed Non Omnis Moriar for the BBC Singers and A Light Not Yet Ready to Go Out for the London Concert Choir, raising awareness of, and money for, Breast Cancer Now.

With robust direction by Artistic Director and Conductor, Rebekah Abbott, the addition of high-quality instrumentalists and soloists, and motivated by a shared philosophy of outstanding collective music- making, the Choir has enjoyed consistently enthusiastic responses from audiences over twelve successful years. Luminosa looks forward to performing these vibrant pieces at Easter, with its focus on spiritual celebration and human growth, in the beautiful setting of All Saints Church, Odiham on Saturday 2nd April. Doors open at 6.30pm for the concert at 7.30pm.

Luminosa is grateful for the sponsorship of Hattingley Valley Wines which enables them to offer tickets at just £15 for adults (under 12s-£5), available on Ticket Source www.luminosamusic.com from January 22nd. More information can be found on the Choir’s website www.luminosamusic.com