Music event marks Titanic centenary

Violinist Lizzie Ball
Violinist Lizzie Ball

ONE of the 20th century’s greatest disasters is commemorated at a charity concert in aid of the RNLI at Ecclesall Parish Church on March 10.

A matter of a month later, 100 years ago on the night of April 14-15 1912, the Titanic sank.

Five works in the second half of the concert are associated with the tragic event, with particular emphasis on the eight members of the Titanic band who carried on playing as the ship sank.

Legend has it that their final item was Nearer, My God, to Thee, and shortly after American composer Harold Jones penned a song in memory of the ship’s musicians quoting Lowell Mason’s hymn tune ‘Bethany’ to the words – heard here.

It crops up at least twice more if James Horner’s music from the film Titanic and its fleeting use in Nielsen’s Paraphrase (written for a proposed Titanic benefit concert) is counted, in both instances to ‘Bethany’.

Nielsen’s piece has been orchestrated by the concert’s conductor Michael Coe who contributes an arrangement of Nearer, My God combining the three best-known hymn tunes it is set to, ‘Bethany’, ‘Propior Dio’ (Sullivan) and ‘Horbury’ (Sykes).

Bizet’s March from Carmen is the fifth piece associated with the Titanic musicians.

Elsewhere, are Mozart’s Overture to Don Giovanni and Tchaikovsky, his Violin Concerto and Hamlet Overture, the soloist in the concerto being the versatile Lizzie Ball – also the vocalist in the Jones song!

The orchestra is the South Yorkshire Symphony and tickets, £15, £10 students, can be purchased from Eyam Hall Gift Shop, The Maynard, Grindleford, by calling (0114) 230 4831, via email to sjfd@fdgroup.com and on the night if available.