Concert to celebrate King James Bible at Cathedral

PUBLISHED: 13:21 16 May 2011

King James Bible concert at Ely Cathedral

King James Bible concert at Ely Cathedral

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"While the BBC and the Globe Theatre are celebrating with readings of the Bible text, we are the only group using words and music to give an overview of the whole Bible in one sitting."

A NATIONWIDE concert tour celebrating the 400th Anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible comes to Ely Cathedral on May 26 at 1.10pm. Entry is free but there will be a retiring collection for this lunchtime concert.

2011 is the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible, one of the treasures of the English language which has made a huge impact on our daily speech. Whenever we put words into someone’s mouth: ‘see the writing on the wall’, ‘go from strength to strength’, ‘fight the good fight’, ‘read the signs of the times’, ‘find a fly in the ointment’ or ‘eat, drink and be merry’ we are quoting the King James Bible.

In addition to shaping the way we speak and providing a handbook for Christian worship it has also inspired vast amounts of music, in hymns, anthems, spirituals and oratorios. Lance Pierson (Actor), Belinda Yates (Soprano) and Heather Chamberlain (Pianist) put together a special concert to celebrate both words and music. They are currently travelling across the UK on an exciting 70-date concert tour. They began with a performance on Radio 3s In Tune in February, the full length concerts then followed, including one at Durham Cathedral. The tour now comes to Ely Cathedral on May 26.

In putting together the tour, Pierson said: “While the BBC and the Globe Theatre are celebrating with readings of the Bible text, we are the only group using words and music to give an overview of the whole Bible in one sitting.”

The concert presents highlights of the Bible narrative from Genesis to Revelation using both the King James Bible words and the famous pieces of music which those words have inspired. This includes excerpts from Haydn’s Creation, Handel’s ‘Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Oh for the Wings of a Dove and several modern compositions. The concert has received overwhelming praise with the Church of England newspaper describing it as “Must see” and a former Bishop of Ely, Stephen Sykes, saying: “It was an unforgettable evening.”

The concert is accompanied by images from the Bible story making it a complete audio-visual experience. Pierson is especially proud of the concert and is urging everyone to see it.

INFO: The musical trio formed in 2008 aiming to create special concerts of words and music. Since then they have brought their unique ensemble to a variety of locations such as the National Gallery and Kings Place. Lance Pierson is an experienced actor who offers one-man performances of John Betjeman’s poems and the Gospel of Mark. Belinda Yates sings frequently with the Monteverdi Choir and Heather Chamberlain is an experienced and accomplished pianist and teacher.

Their 2011 tour takes The Bible in Voice and Verse to more than 60 venues including the Edinburgh Fringe, the Chichester Festivities and the Buxton Festival.

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