Past Concerts

A Feast of St Nicolas

Sunday 14 May 2017, 19:30
St Dunstan's Church, Mayfield


  • Britten: Saint Nicolas Op 42
  • Haydn: Missa in Honorem Sti Nicolai 1772

Mayfield Festival Choir is joined by London Primavera, a semi-chorus from Mayfield School's Schola Cantorum and soloists Eleanor Sanderson-Nash (Soprano), Katie Coventry (Mezzo), Stephen Mills (Tenor) and Harry Thatcher (Baritone) to bring you this concert of two very different musical responses to the well known figure of St Nicholas.

Tickets for this concert are now on sale

  • online
  • by telephone: 0333 666 3366
  • at the local box office: Rosina Fabrics & Wools, High Street, Mayfield

St Nicholas lived at the turn of the fourth century. Because of his penchant for secret gift-giving, by the 19th century he had morphed into the character of Santa Claus. And while the real St Nicholas had no direct contact with the British Isles, there are a disproportionate number of English churches dedicated to St Nicholas because of the Christian name of the only English Pope, Nicholas Breakspear, the 12th-century Adrian IV.

This concert presents two very different musical responses to St Nicholas. The young Haydn dashed off a mass in honour of  his patron, Prince Nikolaus Esterházy, to be performed on St Nicholas’s day 1772. Always inventive and entertaining, Haydn was never more so that when he was writing at speed. Benjamin Britten, on the other hand, wrote his cantata St Nicolas at comparative leisure, for the centenary of Lancing College in 1948. A colourful canvas of birth, death, prison, a journey to Palestine, and pickled boys, Britten uses his orchestra’s strings, percussion, pianos, and organ to colourful effect. In this performance, Mayfield Festival Choir is joined by a semi-chorus from Mayfield School and the professional orchestra London Primavera. Britten was always keen that amateur musicians and young people should work side by side with professional musicians in order to keep the professionals on their toes and to encourage the amateurs to up their game. A worthy aim, which continues in Mayfield to this day.

Why not make an evening of it in Mayfield?

Mayfield has several excellent pubs and restaurants providing pre concert food and post concert drinks.

Pink Cabbage Produce Co. (High Street) Will be offering a special, two course pre-concert supper menu at £10 per person. Reservations essential.
01435 872557

The Middle House (High Street) Serves food on Sundays until 9 pm
01435 872146

Rose & Crown (at the bottom of Fletching Street) Serves food on Sundays until 6 pm
01435 872200


Past Concerts
18 November 2018 | St Dunstan's Church, Mayfield

Baroque Showcase

Giacomo CARISSIMI (1605-74) – Jephte
Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660-1725) – Dixit Dominus [iv]
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) – Credo RV 591
Jan ZELENKA (1679-1745) – Miserere ZWV 57

Mayfield Festival Choir directed by Jeremy Summerly with the Mayfield Baroque Orchestra and soloists Eloise Irving (soprano), Beth Moxon (alto), Richard Pinkstone (tenor) and Thomas Bennett (bass)

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13 May 2018 |

Poulenc's Gloria

In the closing concert of the 2018 Mayfield Festival of Music & the Arts, the Festival Choir will perform Poulenc's Gloria.

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