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A new work, by John Traill (Director of Music, St Anne’s College, and Lecturer at St Catherine’s College, Oxford) will be premiered at the Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday 9th November 2011, at the last night of the Music for Youth Schools Proms. Featuring a massed choir, the Oxfordshire County Youth Orchestra, the Oxford Schools Symphony Orchestra brass section (offstage), Chamber Choir, and Solo Cello, 700 of Oxfordshire’s finest young musicians will be performing.

Oxonia explores the many facets of Oxfordshire’s history, starting with a geographical journey along the River ISIS/Thames, then answering the question – that appears on so many Oxfordshire postcards – “The more we study, the more we learn, the more we learn, the more we forget, the more we forget, the less we know, so why study?”, with verses dedicated to Oxford politicians, world leaders, Olympic medal winners, scientists, literary figures, musicians, and more. The composition takes full spatial advantage of the Royal Albert Hall, with brass ensemble in the gallery, chamber choir and solo cello on an island stage in the promenade area, and massed choir and orchestra on the main stage.

Oxonia has been commissioned by the Oxfordshire County Music Service for the last night of the Music for Youth Schools Prom. John Traill will be conducting the performance, and has said “working with the many extremely talented Oxfordshire young musicians has been a privilege, with leading talent that regularly go on to careers in music, the standards achieved are astonishing”.

Traill, who has recently returned from the premier of his song-cycle for Tenor and Orchestra, a setting of Walt Whitman’s Or, from that Sea of Time, at the Ferguson Centre for the Arts in Virginia, became the youngest person, in 2006, to have received a DPhil in composition at the University of Oxford.

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