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Anglo-Japanese Society of Wessex

An Unincorporated Association

Honorary Patrons:
Kazue Yanagida, Aisa Ijiri, George Logan (Dr Evadne Hinge), Michael Soumei Coxall

Japan Representative:
Kazue Yanagida

Please see Links for more information on our patrons

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Jackie Wright

Godfrey King

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Steve Rice

Established 1996

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柳田 和江(名誉パトロン)AJSW日本代表

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Event Info

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Choral recital by the Mercury Glee Club

Wed Aug 25th 2010, 12:15–1:00 pm ◀ This event has finished
St Dunstan-in-the-West, 186a Fleet St, London, EC4A 2HR


Artist Info

Mercury Glee Club

The Mercury Glee Club (MGC) — the all-male choir of Tokyo’s Hitotsubashi University consisting of 50 members — was founded in 1999 by former members of Chor Merkur. Although the choir itself is relatively young, club members are on average in their mid 60s and are drawn from a wide cross-section of both international and domestic professions.

Under the leadership of Hiroshi Nagai, who has been the resident conductor of MGC since its foundation, and under the technical guidance and training of Nobuaki Tanaka, one of the top choral conductors of Japan and a guest conductor of MGC since 2005, the club has gained an excellent reputation both in Japan and abroad through regular performances. They have performed a wide variety of songs, from traditional standard numbers for male choruses to technically challenging pieces by contemporary Japanese composers. The choir has been hailed by many choral specialists for the maturity of its technique and the individuality of its style and expression arising from the diverse experience of the members.

MGC has held regular concerts of its own so far and has also participated in numerous other performances all over Japan. In July 2004, they sang at the Sainte Baume International Music Festival in Provence, France, and also went on a concert tour in Southern Germany in July 2006 which was a great success. Whilst in Germany, they performed ancient Japanese Buddhist music at several local churches, leaving a deep impression on the audience and contributing greatly to cultural and international relations. They will be touring North Italy in August 2008. A concert tour to the United Kingdom is being planned for 2010.

MGC’s principal repertoire covers Japanese and international folkloric and concert music as well as European sacred music from the Renaissance period to the present era. A point of special note is its active commitment to the performance of contemporary Japanese choral music. Under the baton of Nobuaki Tanaka, the choir has sung pieces by such major Japanese composers of today as Michio Mamiya, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Akira Nishimura, Akira Miyoshi, and Minao Shibata.

The name Mercury (Merkur in German) derives from the emblem of Hitotsubashi University, originally known as the Tokyo College of Commerce. The emblem features Caduceus, the winged cane of the ancient Roman god of commerce, Mercury. Hitotsubashi University is a state-run 133-year-old university, one of Japan’s most esteemed academic institutes, and its alumni include numerous leading business figures both inside and outside Japan.

Hiroshi Nagai (Resident Conductor)

Hiroshi Nagai graduated from Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo. He studied the art of conducting under Shunji Aratani , President of the Conductors’ Association of Japan, and under the late Noriaki Hamada. He also studied viola playing under Yoshimichi Higashi. He conducted Chor Merkur, the male choir of the university, during his university days, and after graduation, whilst working for a private corporation, gathered wide-ranging experience in conducting amateur orchestras and choruses. He assumed the position of resident conductor of MGC when it was founded in 1999. He is also the resident conductor of Chor Anemone, a female choir, and honorary conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. Ltd. He and his family lived in London from 1980 to 1985 whilst he was on a company posting there.

The Guild Church of St 
Dunstan-in-the-West August Classical Music Festival

Venue: St Dunstan-in-the-West

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Pictures of St Dunstan-in-the-West at the Flickr website

The church of St. Dunstan in the West dates back to circa 1070 AD, and the present building was completed in the early 19th century.

The nearest tube stations are Chancery Lane (Central line) and Temple (Circle and District line).

For more information, visit the church's website.


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