The Letchworth Chorale’s spring concert this weekend focuses on very diverse settings of religious texts, with particular reference to two settings of the Latin mass.

Mozart’s Coronation Mass is paired with the Misa Criolla by the Argentinian composer Ariel Ramirez, which uses Argentinian folk idioms and instruments, and is a refreshing take on the central rite of the Catholic liturgy.

There is now renewed interest in the music of Ramirez, and in the Misa Criolla in particular, after the work was performed for Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Basilica during the Feast day of Our Lady of Guadeloupe shortly after he became pontiff.

Other items on the programme include Beatus Vir, a psalm setting by Monteverdi, written for St. Mark’s Church in Venice in 1643, and a sparkling organ solo by Theodore Dubois, played by Tom Nichol.

The choir will be accompanied by pianist Alison Borner and organist Tom Nichol, a music teacher at Letchworth’s Highfield School, who, with a number of his students, has also sung with the choir on a number of occasions.

The Ramirez will be accompanied by a ‘Latin’ band of students from the school.

Choir director Kevin McCalman says that the choir has savoured this venture into Latin American music, adding: “They have entered the spirit of it with lots of enthusiasm, improving their Spanish vocabulary and pronunciation at the same time!’

The concert takes place at Letchworth Free Church in Norton Way South tomorrow, Saturday, at 7.30pm. Tickets are £10, with £8 concessions and students paying £5.

Find out more about Letchworth Chorale’s activities here