top of page

Sun, 23 Apr


St Lawrence Church & Parish Rooms,

MRF Festival '23 - PARTICIPATE - sing and / or play

BOOK NOW to join the Choir & / or play in the Flexible Ensemble - to perform in the concert. To purchase an audience-only ticket, go to:, click AUDIENCE

Registration is closed
See other events
MRF Festival '23 - PARTICIPATE -  sing and / or play
MRF Festival '23 - PARTICIPATE -  sing and / or play

Time & Location

23 Apr 2023, 12:00 – 21:30

St Lawrence Church & Parish Rooms,, Church St, Alton GU34 2BW, UK


About the Event

We’re aiming high this academic year to mark Martin’s 10th anniversary.

The focus of the Festival will be war, past and present and performances will include Martin’s cantata 2000: The Death of Colonel Boles, 4 new works for solo cello by our 2023 awarded young composers, and, from our alumni: a new work for flexible ensemble, composer TBA, and a choral piece by Freddie Hodkin - Lorem Ipsum

Schedule for participants:

12 noon - Festival Choir rehearsal – Parish Rooms,

c.2.00 - Flexible Ensemble workshop – Parish Rooms.

3.00 - Boles full rehearsal – St Lawrence Church

c.5.30- sound checks for other concert items

6.30 - food break

7.30 – concert

Background to this festival: 

While many of the MRF Annual Festivals have taken place in Alton, where Martin Read taught music for so many years, Festival ‘23 links contemporary composition with a unique historical event in Alton town centre. Established in 2014 in the wake of Martin’s premature death, 2012, MRF has so far supported over 15 young composers, setting them on a path to the undergraduate study of composition. The Festival is the annual culmination of the Foundation’s work.

Having arrived in Alton in 1981, Martin spent his working life inspiring countless young local people through his teaching of music at Eggars School and Alton College. In this 10th year since his death, the focus of this special annual festival is to be Martin’s highly acclaimed Cantata: The Death of Colonel Boles, c.25 mins. This is his setting of the true story of the murder of Colonel Boles in St Lawrence Church in 1643 during the Civil War’s Battle of Alton.

Commissioned as part of Hampshire’s Millennium celebrations, and premiered in St Lawrence in 2000, this 2023 performance of the Cantata would take place on that same spot where the Civil War murder took place. The work is scored for double choir, baritone solo (representing Boles), solo cello, recorder ensemble and solo drum. 

Performance ’23 will follow in the footsteps of the popular re-enactment of the Battle of Alton, April ‘22.

The young composers awarded by MRF for 2023, will respond to this focus of war and have been commissioned to write for Joseph on solo cello - Performer in Residence for the MRF '23.

The choir will also premiere Lorem Ipsum by alumnus Freddie Hodkin.


The core of the choir will be from Oxford-based Commotio, joined by local singers including members of Winchester-based Southern Voices. 

Professional musicians: Joseph Spooner – solo cello, Paul Sheenan – Baritone (ENO chrus) in the role of Boles, David Gibson – conductor, with a recorder group & drummer.

We hope you can join us to Celebrate New Music


  • Festival participant - FULL

    Age 18 and up. Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

  • Festival participant - STUDENT

    This ticket is for participants under age 18.

  • MRF '22 personnel

    For MRF award-holders, mentors, flexible ensemble workshop leaders, cellist, baritone, conductor, patrons, trustees.




Share This Event

bottom of page