Memorial concert for Addingham soprano Mary Wilson

Ilkley Gazette: Soprano Mary Wilson Soprano Mary Wilson

A prestigious musical event is to be performed at Leeds Town Hall in memory of an accomplished soprano and choir president, who died last year.

Leeds Philharmonic Chorus and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra will come together on Saturday, February 15, to perform Elgar's masterpiece, The Dream of Gerontius.

The performance will be dedicated to the memory of Addingham resident Mary Wilson.

Mrs Wilson was a soprano who trained at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. She was a pivotal member of the Leeds Philharmonic Chorus for more than 50 years and latterly the president of the Friends of the Phil.

The Dream of Gerontius was her favourite work and the Trustees of the Philharmonic Chorus felt that it was entirely appropriate, with the blessing of her husband Ian and daughters Penelope and Julia, to honour her by dedicating this performance to her memory.

Mrs Wilson was also for many years a member of the Bolton Priory Choir and both acted and worked behind the scenes at the Ilkley Playhouse, where her husband Ian D Wilson has directed and performed in many successful productions.

The Dream of Gerontius is widely seen as Sir Edward Elgar’s finest choral work.

At the end of the completed score he wrote: “This is the best of me.”

It is set to a text by Cardinal Newman telling of the progress of a soul before and after death, sent on its way by the prayers of friends and guided by its guardian angel until it sees, in one blinding flash, the glory of God.

The scale and grandeur of the work is said to be perfectly suited to be performed in the grandiose Victorian setting of Leeds Town Hall.

Internationally-acclaimed choral conductor David Hill conducts the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

The Leeds Philharmonic Chorus will be joined by the Sheffield Phil and St Peter’s Singers. The soloists are Andrew Kennedy, Jennifer Johnston and Gareth John.

The performance begins at 8pm. Call (0113) 2243801, e-mail contacttickets@leedsphil.org or visit leedsconcertseason.com for tickets.

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