Gustav Holst: The Songs That Time Forgot

by Caritas Chamber Choir in Canterbury, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 9th December 2019 we successfully raised £1,320 with 31 supporters in 34 days

To record 9 World Premieres of Partsongs by Gustav Holst, on an album including partsongs, folksongs and carols.

by Caritas Chamber Choir in Canterbury, England, United Kingdom

Caritas Chamber Choir will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020.   ‍

Caritas ‍Chamber Choir is based in Kent and is ‍passionate ‍about ‍raising ‍money ‍for ‍charities ‍through ‍singing, ‍composing and ‍performing ‍to ‍the ‍highest ‍level ‍both ‍in ‍the ‍UK ‍and ‍throughout the world.

‍The ‍choir ‍performs ‍music ‍from ‍all ‍periods ‍and ‍holds ‍an ‍annual ‍Competition ‍for ‍Emerging ‍Composers. Our finalists for the competition have come from as far afield as the United States of America, Asia, Africa and Australia, which provided our winning entry in 2019.  Our links with these composers have led to Caritas commissioning new works from many friends around the world.   

‍The first 2 Caritas albums ‍are available on ‍iTunes, ‍Spotify ‍and ‍Amazon.

‍On ‍average ‍the ‍group ‍presents ‍between 15 and 20 ‍concerts ‍per ‍year ‍as ‍well ‍as ‍‍services from time to time ‍in ‍Canterbury ‍and Lille Cathedrals. The ‍Founder ‍and ‍Music ‍Director ‍is ‍Benedict ‍Preece.

In October 2017, Caritas were invited by the Juan March Foundation in Madrid to take part at the opening of an Arts and Crafts exhibition featuring the work of William Morris.  They specifically requested a group of songs that had been composed by Gustav Holst, and which used poems by William Blake.  You can see and hear the recording made in Madrid on our attached video.

Whilst engaged in learning and performing these works, we became aware that there were no existing recordings of any of the songs we were performing.   Upon further investigation, it became clear that Gustav Holst was a prolific writer of short songs, many of which have not been performed in public for decades, and very few of which have ever been professionally recorded.

In collaboration with The Holst society, Caritas is delighted to have been asked to record a whole album of songs by Gustav Holst, which will be released in 2020.   This exciting project will help to uncover some of the less well-known works of one of our nation's most beloved composers.  It will, we hope, help to encourage fans of Holst to go beyond The Planets, and to explore some of his beautiful lesser known works.  We hope to inspire a growth in the revival of choral works from the 20th Century, by expanding this project further in 2020/2021 to include the works of other composers from the same period. We also hope to encourage emerging composers of the 21st century to write music in this genre, continuing from our success with The Caritas International Emerging Composer Competition.

Our Music Director, Benedict Preece has edited several of these songs from copies of Holst’s original manuscript, making this a very unique project. 

We are asking for financial support to record, manufacture and distribute an album of Holst songs. It is a big project, and potentially has a far wider reach than our existing fan base.  We would like to be able to include a high end launch with the media interest that Gustav Holst and Caritas deserve.  If we raise enough money we would like to extend the project to commission some new works using Gustav Holst as an inspiration for emerging composers.  

Thank you for reading, and I hope that you will be interested in supporting this exciting project.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

Caritas Gift Voucher

The perfect gift just in time for Christmas! A beautifully crafted Caritas Gift Voucher, which can be used at any time towards the purchase of CDs, Concert Tickets or other merchandise. Who wouldn't be delighted to find a Caritas Gift Voucher in their stocking this yuletide?

£20 or more

Friends of Caritas UK

We are both proud of and grateful for the support we receive from our Caritas supporters in the UK. To acknowledge this, in exchange for your donation, you will receive a first edition copy of the Caritas Gustav Holst CD, and your name will be listed as a Friend of Caritas on the CD booklet.

£20 or more

International Friends of Caritas

We very much value the support we get from our Caritas friends all around the world. In exchange for your donation, we will send to you a signed copy of our new CD featuring previously unrecorded songs of Gustav Holst. That's right, you won't find this collection of songs anywhere else in the world right now. Our Music Director will personally sign your first edition CD.

£50 or more

Annual Friends of Caritas Subscription

This reward offers the bearer a complimentary entry for up to 6 future ticketed Caritas events. This offers a saving of up to £10 on our normal ticket price. We'll even throw in a complimentary programme to make your Caritas experience even more enjoyable.

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