Sarah Rodgers Composer.jpg

Date published: 19th June 2018

The composer of a world premiere and the musicians who will be performing it are getting ready for their big night, with the specially commissioned piece set to be the highlight of a concert in North Norfolk.

Agnes, a pocket oratorio, has been written by Norfolk-based composer Sarah Rodgers (pictured above) for the event, which will be held at St Nicholas’ Church, North Walsham, on July 1.

Sarah said it was “a special privilege to be part of this exciting project and to be commissioned to write new music for the concert”, which is being put on by North Norfolk District Council and Orchestras Live.

The performance by the acclaimed Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) is one of several events tied in to the Paston 600 celebrations, which will take place later this year to mark the first Paston letter.

Sarah’s piece celebrates the letters of Agnes Berry Paston, and it will be sung by the choir and the girls’ voices of St Nicholas, with soprano Julia Doyle.

“It has been fascinating putting together the words for Agnes, from her letters, in order to create a story to tell through the music,” said Sarah.

“The OAE are wonderfully versatile players and I'm really looking forward to hearing them play my piece. I hope lots of people will take advantage of the opportunity to hear a wide range of music performed by these talented musicians.”

The concert, entitled Reliving History, will also include works by Purcell, Handel, Holborne, Warlock and Mozart.

Cherry Forbes, the orchestra’s education director, said: “We are really excited to hear the new commission by Sarah, which is now complete. Working with composers is a wonderful way of making the past come alive and I am already a fan of Sarah’s work, so I can’t wait to hear her new piece!

“Combining the old music we play with the new is always enlivening for us as an orchestra and we are delighted we will be joined in the concert by the boys, girls and men of the St Nicholas choir.”

You can listen to an interview with Norfolk-based composer Sarah Rodgers conducted by four North Walsham High School students.

Tickets are £12 in advance and £15 on the door, with free entry for under-18s and students. They are available online at or in person from North Norfolk Information Centre, Louden Road, Cromer, or North Walsham Community Shop, 1 Market Place, North Walsham.

Last updated: 20th June 2018