US Jazz Age celebrated in Chamber Choir concert

Will Todd

Will Todd - Credit: Archant

American Independence Day will be marked with a jazz concert from St Albans Chamber Choir this Saturday, July 4.

The programme at St Paul’s Church in Hatfield Road includes arrangements for choir of some of George Gershwin’s most famous songs from the USA in the 1930s including I Got Rhythm, Summertime and It Ain’t Necessarily So, written at the height of America’s great jazz age.

The influence of jazz was felt well beyond the shores of America and many European composers incorporated jazz harmonies and rhythms into their own work. That is particularly apparent in the symphonic jazz piece, The Rio Grande, by the British composer, Constant Lambert, a setting of a poem by Sacheverell Sitwell.

The programme also features the little-known work, The Jumblies, by the American Broadway composer F.J. Brown. A setting of Edward Lear’s famous poem it shows the composer’s love of rhythmic dance music and the sounds of a jazz band and he sets each verse in a different musical style.

The Chamber Choir will also perform Songs of Love by their current president, British composer, Will Todd, who has written many jazz-influenced works.

For the concert, which starts at the earlier time of 7pm to allow for a longer interval at which American-themed refreshments will be served, the choir will be joined by The Jim Brown Jazz Band.

Tickets are £13, available from 07570 454744, by emailing or online at www.allaboutstalbans.