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John Ellis

Bolton Festival Choir and Orchestra’s concert on Sunday 29 August 2010 was dedicated to the memory of John Ellis, doctor and musician, who died in April 2010. John was widely known as a composer and organist – he was a member of the group ‘Lakeland Composers’ and organist successively of St. Mary’s Parish Church, Prestwich and Bury Parish Church – and in recent years had devoted increasing time to working with singers. He had been associated with the Festival Choir since 2001 and became its regular accompanist in 2004.

The concert, in Bolton Parish Church at 7.30, was entitled
Heavenly Harmony. The centrepiece was John’s last composition The Mass of the Grove – a 15–minute work for choir, two soloists and organ, commissioned by Bolton Festival Choir. He chose texts for the piece from a variety of sources – 19th and 20th Century religious words and the great 14th Century Welsh poet Daffyd ap Gwillym – poignant and powerful texts from which he created a very moving work. John worked on this composition through the last six months of his life and completed it in late March.