photograph of the Titanic

Titanic Centenary Concert

Tuesday April 10th 2012, 7:30pm

Queen Elizabeth Terminal, Southampton Docks

Conductor: John Traill
Soprano: Jane Streeton
Baritone: Mark Oldfield

Vaughan Williams – A Sea Symphony

The City Of Southampton Orchestra commemorated the 100th anniversary of the sailing of the Titanic from Southampton on 10th April 1912 with a very special concert. In a joint event with Associated British Ports and Brazier Interiors we presented a concert from the Queen Elizabeth Terminal, overlooking the berth from which the Titanic set sail.

“Behold, the sea…”

The orchestra was joined in Vaughan Williams' magnificent Sea Symphony by soloists Jane Streeton (soprano) and Mark Oldfield (baritone) as well as a specially formed “Titanic Chorus” made up of members of Southampton Philharmonic Choir, Taunton's Community Choir, Romsey Choral Society and Basingstoke Choral Society. The symphony combines the quintessentially English music of Vaughan Williams with texts by American poet Walt Whitman — a fitting tribute to the Titanic and the spirit of adventure of those sailing on her.

The evening commenced with an ‘embarkation experience’ with drinks reception and palm court music from the White Star song book. Greyladyes Arts Foundation presented an exhibition reflecting the dockside experience of 1912, and members of the Sarah Siddons Theatre Company which specialises in reconstructing Southampton's history enacted characters of the time.

Following the exhibition, we performed a short piece inspired by the Titanic story composed by Ian Towson, a double bass player in the orchestra. This piece had developed from music written for a performance of the Sarah Siddons Theatre Company in April last year. There was then a short dedication by a member of the Southampton clergy before the performance of A Sea Symphony.


The orchestra is very grateful to ABP for providing the venue for the concert, which overlooks the berth from which the Titanic set sail. Brazier Interiors kindly supported the concert; their Managing Director Roy Martin has a personal connection with the Titanic, his great-grandfather having sailed on the ship. The orchestra is also grateful to Minuteman Press, Hedge End, for their support for this concert and the rest of the CSO season.