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JOHN MARSH 1752-1828

250th Anniversary Celebrations

Chichester is hosting the 250th anniversary celebrations of the birth of John Marsh by a week of events – talks, walks, concerts and an exhibition, from 21st to 30th June 2002. Who was Marsh?

JOHN MARSH was a man of the southern counties. Born in Dorking in 1752, he was resident in Gosport, Romsey, Salisbury and Canterbury before settling in Chichester in 1787 until his death in 1828. His lifelong activity was devoted to music. As a composer, he numbers over 350 compositions, including forty symphonies; as a concert organiser he was responsible for the music making in the towns and cities where he worked, Romsey, Salisbury, Canterbury and especially in Chichester, where he led the subscription concerts for some 35 years. He was man of means, with interests in astronomy, change ringing, philosophy, travel, theatre, in addition to involving himself in business, church and charitable activities in the city. He was author of books and articles on music, geometry, astronomy and religion, but his greatest achievement was in maintaining his diaries, which vividly recount his daily activities from birth to death, and paint a revealing portrait of provincial life at the time.

Brian Robins, from Eastbourne, has edited the Marsh Journals to 1802, with copious footnotes, which are a mine of information about life in Georgian England and of especial relevance to our area and are published by Pendragon Press, New York: Amazon UK Amazon US Ian Graham-Jones, who recorded five of the symphonies in 1989, has just completed an edition of the nine extant Marsh symphonies and the three finales for orchestra, and are now published by A-R Editions, USA, details of which are given below.

The celebration week is organised by the John Marsh Anniversary Group, chaired by Timothy McCann, deputy county archivist, West Sussex Record Office, Chichester.

Friday 21st June

Opening talk on John Marsh by Brian Robins, County Record Office, 7.30. Exhibition open. Georgian refreshments.

Friday 21st June – July 20th

Exhibition at County Record Office.

Saturday 22nd, 7.30

Opening concert, Assembly Rooms, North Street, Chichester.

The Consort of Twelve choir and period orchestra, with Close Harmony.

A mixed concert re-creating a typical programme that Marsh might have organised at the Assembly Rooms c. 1790, including music by Boyce, Handel, Purcell, Marsh (movements from symphonies), and glees, sung by the lay clerks of Chichester Cathedral.

Sunday 23rd, 3pm

John Marsh guided walk round Chichester, led by Brian Robins

meeting point: Pallant House – SOLD OUT

Monday 24th, 7.30

"John Marsh and Intellectual Life in Chichester"

Talk by Alison McCann, County Record Office.

Tuesday 25th, 1.10

Cathedral lunchtime concert. Organ voluntaries and duets by Marsh and others; readings from the John Marsh Journals.

Tuesday 25th, 7.30

Concert by Fitzwilliam String Quartet, Assembly Rooms

Programme includes quartets by Marsh, Rosetti, Haydn and Mozart.

Wednesday 26th

"Goodwood through the eyes of John Marsh" Talk by Timothy McCann, Goodwood House Ballroom.

Thursday 27th, 7pm

Ensemble Türk – classical concert in St Johns Chapel

Programme to include Marsh Sonatinas, arrangements, etc.

Friday 28th, 6.30pm

Repeat of guided walk – SOLD OUT

Sunday 30th, 7.30

Orchestral concert, St. Paul’s Church, Chichester.

The Chichester Concert perform Symphonies by Marsh, Boyce and Arne on period instruments.

(Chichester Festivities concert)

Marsh’s anthems will be sung at services in Chichester cathedral on 22nd, 25th and 30th June. (evensong 5.30pm, 3.30 Sunday)

Tickets for talks and walk, £2.50. Goodwood house talk £5.

Tickets for concerts £10 (£30 for all four concerts)

Cathedral lunchtime concert free.

John Marsh, Symphonies: Part 1, The Salisbury and Canterbury Symphonies
(1778-1784), edited by Ian Graham-Jones, Recent Researches in the Music of
the Classical Era, vol. 62 (Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2001), xxi + 255
pp. (ISBN 0-89579-486-1), $127.00.

John Marsh, Symphonies: Part 2, The Chichester Symphonies and Finales
(1788-1801), edited by Ian Graham-Jones, Recent Researches in the Music of
the Classical Era, vol. 63 (Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2001), xviii + 213
pp. (ISBN 0-89579-487-X), $92.00.


Further details from Ian Graham-Jones at igraham-jones@clara.net

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