National Centre for Early Music

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Podcast presentation

Having just sung at the funeral of their master, Henry Purcell, three young choristers of Westminster Abbey reflect on his life and music.

This eighteen-minute presentation can be played for children to listen to, or you can listen to it to for ideas about how to perform your own version.

Croft: Jack Firth
Baker: Peter Isaac
Jenkins: Daniel Wilkinson

Featuring members of the Ebor Singers (directed by Dr Paul Gameson)
Organ/harpsichord: Andrew Passmore

Written by Cathryn Dew
Sound design Peter Nash

With special thanks to Playbox Theatre Warwick

Click on the player below to listen to the podcast.

Download 'Happy Birthday, Dear Henry' mp3 (Right click and select 'save target as' to save the file).

Perform the presentation yourselves ...
If you have time, you may wish to work with your class, or perhaps the school choir, to perform your own version of the audio presentation. This takes the form of a short cantata, celebrating Purcell's life and music.

Although it contains a significant element of drama, the presentation is designed for audio rather than visual effect. For this reason, it is not necessary for the actors to learn their lines. They could read them from static locations.

If you wish, you could edit the script to involve a larger number of readers. You may wish to devise ways of including your own sound effects for the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London.

Download the script here: dramatised presentation.pdf

The mp3 podcast will give you ideas for performing the presentation.