Christmas Quire performs music unheard for 200 years

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Music which has not been performed for about 200 years has been resurrected for a Christmas concert by Bedford Gallery Quire.

The group, which performs songs and music from the early 18th century to the mid-19th century, presents a night of Christmas music by local composers.

During its research, they found music by Thomas Jarman, a Northamptonshire tailor, some of which has not seen the light of day for almost two centuries.

During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, villagers often provided their own music in church.

Bedford Gallery Quire presents this music in the same way they did – using authentic instruments and costumes to recreate the period.

A new feature this year will be the first public performance by their 1830 Ophicleide, a large brass bass instrument which returning militiamen sometimes brought back with them into the church bands of that time.

The Christmas concert is at All Saints Church, Great Barford, on Saturday, December 13, at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £8 and include seasonal refreshments.

The Sunday after Christmas, four members of the Quire will feature on Radio 4’s broadcast of a service from Wesley Chapel, London.

The singers joined about 50 others from the Francis Roads and London Gallery Quire to form an ‘ad hoc’ quire at the request of the BBC.

A spokesman said: “We were worked very hard by the producer to get us up to BBC standards, but the afternoon was very enjoyable.

“I’m sure the output will give the nation a taste of what our music is all about.”