Premiere of Gospel oratorio

Soul Sanctuary will be premiering the gospel oratorio, The Resurrection, at the Jazz Café, Camden (London NW1) at 7.30pm on Easter Monday 6 April 2015. The group whose music is rooted in contemporary gospel and combines jazz, soul, funk, latin and “modern classical", provides the music for the 6.15pm Gospel Mass on the last Sunday of each month at Farm Street Jesuit Church in central London

The choir was founded by Miko Giedroyc in early 2005 to provide music for a weekly mass at St Patrick's Church in Soho Square, London, where it was based until early 2010. "We were founded on the firm belief that excellent contemporary music in worship would appeal to a great many Christians and even more potential Christians," says Miko.

There are some 25 singers at full strength, and the choir is dominated by professional singers who are active in London’s jazz, rock and show scenes as well as singing gospel. Over the past ten years, Soul Sanctuary (pictured left) has been home to lead singers from West End shows and jazz and soul recording artists, as well as seasoned choral directors, session singers and songwriters.  

"The shortage of repertoire compatible with the Roman Catholic mass has meant that SSGC has commissioned a great deal of original work," Miko explains. "These have included five entire mass settings (including one by renowned British jazz guitarist and band leader Dave Okumu), ten psalm tones, over 30 rearrangements of traditional songs (eg. “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”, “Soul of my Saviour”) and well over 50 entirely new works."

Sweet sound

In addition to its monthly commitment at Farm Street Church in Mayfair, SSGC has performed in Westminster Cathedral, Birmingham Cathedral (R4’s Sunday Worship), Revelation TV, BBC Four (TV), the 606 Jazz Club, the Marlborough Jazz Festival, the Pentecost Festival (Leicester Square), Spirit in the City, BBC R4’s Morning Service, BBC London Live, Premier Christian Radio (broadcast and events), with Eric Clapton/Roger Taylor/Jeff Beck for HASTE in Godalming, plus many other churches, schools and community venues.

Miko Giedroyc says their new Resurrection is a very exciting work and will be a memorable performance. "Almost all the music is written, arranged and rehearsed; we are basing it on well-known gospel anthems. Some of Britain’s finest gospel singers have agreed to perform the key roles, and we’re particularly thrilled that Tracey Campbell (SSGC's founding Musical Director) will be singing the part of Christ - I’ve never heard, and don’t know of, a better British singer than Tracey ... We’ve got exactly the five-piece band we want. The sound at the Jazz Café for a gospel choir is sweet. It’s looking really good."

You can book tickets at the Jazz Café, 5 Parkway, Camden, London NW1 7PG (020 7485 6834).

Before the premiere of The Resurrection, you will be able to hear Soul Sanctuary at Farm Street Church on Palm Sunday (29 March) at the 6.15pm Mass.