The world premiere performance of Gerson Batista’s Golden Day given by Reading Phoenix Choir at the Reading Concert Hall as part of their annual concert was awarded Performance of the Year at the recent Reading Cultural Awards dinner at the Hilton hotel.
Walter Hussey Composition Competition organiser Howard Jenner and Reading Phoenix Choir chair Chris Riley were there to collect the award from the representative of the award’s sponsor Berkeley, the home developers.
BBC Radio 3’s Fiona Talkington announced the win as the performance of a new piece written to celebrate a Reading institution, performed in a Reading institution, as part of a global competition with wide-reaching impact. The performance was conducted by David Crown in the presence of composer Gerson Batista who had travelled from his home in Portugal to be there and who accepted his award on stage following the performance to rapturous applause from both the audience and the choir.
The inaugural Walter Hussey Composition Competition winning piece Golden Day has now been professionally published by Scherzo Editions, enabling it to be performed by choirs across the world; each edition explaining the background of the piece, and its place in the history of the Reading Phoenix Choir and the town of Reading.
On 13th July, the same day as Reading Phoenix Choir’s 50th Anniversary Gala Concert at the Great Hall at the University of Reading, the world premiere of yet another Gerson Batista piece Wandering the Seven Seas was taking place at the amazing Colyer-Fergusson Hall in Canterbury by the Caritas Chamber Choir.