Press Releases

Music@Reading celebrates Friends' 80th year – University of Reading

Release Date : 08 March 2007

A gala concert to celebrate the 80th year of the Friends of the University of Reading will be held next month.

The University of Reading chorus, Symphony Orchestra, Gospel Choir and Chamber Choir will all take part, along with soprano Maureen Brathwaite and Baritone Keel Watson to help celebrate the Friends' 80th anniversary.

The concert, which is Music@Reading's Spring concert and forms part of a programme of events this year to celebrate the anniversary of the Friends, will be conducted by Stuart Dunlop, the University's Director of Music and will feature the music of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, and Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture

Mr Dunlop said: "Tchaikovsky's characteristic intensity saturates this, one of his most admired works. The tumult of the warring families, the headstrong passion of the lovers, the tragedy and the final reconciliation are all here in music that is by turns hard-hitting and tender.

"In Gershwin's Porgy and Bess the tunes are the thing! Gershwin's crowning achievement is stuffed with them. The tale of murder and redemption, tragedy and hope teems with life so various and vibrant that it transcends all categories.

"This Gala for the 80th anniversary of the friends of Reading University will open with choral items ranging from Holst to Gospel to make a birthday celebration to remember."

Brenda Morris, Secretary of the Friends, said: "This Concert is the main event marking a very special year in the history of The Friends of the University. The 80th Anniversary of our foundation falls on 15 March, and we are delighted that Stuart Dunlop is generously dedicating this gala concert to our celebrations. We look forward to building further on our excellent working relationship with Stuart and his team, to the mutual benefit of both Music@Reading and The Friends."

Andrew Palmer, Chairman of the Friends, added: "I wholeheartedly endorse Brenda's comments. It should be a great evening on 17 March. The Friends are keen to continue to work alongside Stuart Dunlop in fostering further links between the University and the wider community."

The concert will be held in the Great Hall at the University's London Road Campus, on Saturday March 17 at 7.30pm. A pre-concert reception will be held in Building 46 at the London Road Campus at 6pm. Tickets cost £12, £6 for concessions, which includes refreshments and interval drinks, and are available on the door or in advance by calling Alex Richardson on 0118 378 5256, Brenda Morris on 0118 378 8006 or emailing > or The Friends. For more information visit:visit the University of Reading website

More about the Friends:

In 1927, the year in which the University obtained its Royal Charter, it was agreed that an Association, to be called 'The Friends of The University of Reading', should be formed on an entirely voluntary and unofficial basis, with the object of bringing friends and supporters into contact with the University and of enabling them to promote its interests and welfare. The Association came formally into existence on 15 March 1927. Since that day, companies, organisations and individuals, including former students and staff, who wish the University well have become members and, through their subscriptions, donations, bequests and support, have been able to help the University - by funding amenities and activities and through their advocacy of the University's interests.

The membership currently stands at more than 400 and new members are always welcome. The Association's affairs are managed by a committee comprising representatives from the University and elsewhere.

More about Music@Reading:

Throughout the term, Music@Reading arranges an exciting array of musical events, providing great opportunities for students, staff and others from outside the University to perform and enjoy. Events include concerts at the Great Hall, London Road campus, and regular Lunchtime Concerts on the Whiteknights campus. Making music at Reading is for everyone. Your degree subject or area of work in the University or the community makes no difference – if you want to be involved in music making, come along and do it.


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