A community choir based in Wythenshawe has performed a new musical composition at historic Wythenshawe Hall exploring the human impact of Oliver Cromwell’s siege of the Hall in 1643.
With words written by local resident Nathan McIlroy and music composed by Sasha Johnson Manning, a renowned artist who wrote the music for the Manchester Carols by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, the new piece tells the story of Mary Webb who was killed at Wythenshawe Hall under the orders of Oliver Cromwell during the English Civil War. Her ghost is said to haunt the hall to this day.
The piece was performed by Wythenshawe’s 050 Choir, a group comprised of Wythenshawe residents all over the age of fifty. The choir has been in existence for over fifty years now and were joined for the occasion by local school children. They were led in song by teacher and choirmaster Jill Lingard.
The 050 Choir gave the composition its premiere in the main Dining Room of Wythenshawe Hall looking out over the park where a statue to Oliver Cromwell now stands - having been relocated to the park from Manchester city centre in the 1970s.
A short film of the performance can be found here - http://youtu.be/YvfpRzCDWZk
Choirmaster of the 050 Choir Jill Lingard says, “The title of the piece is ‘Cromwell Gave the Orders’ and it is very appropriate summing up a specific moment of history that took place at Wythenshawe Hall.
“The 050 Choir is a wonderful group of people from the area. Each has their own reason for being part of the choir but they come together in song to celebrate the community.”