Songs for the Montagu Monuments

Remembrance and Rebirth – Songs for the Montagu Monuments

In late 2015, the Deep Roots Tall Trees Choir was commissioned to create and perform four songs inspired by the Montagu Monuments. The Deep Roots Tall Trees Choir is a group of local choir singers based in Corby, Northamptonshire. Its Musical Director is Barb Jungr, an acclaimed singer-songwriter, and its Choir Director Gareth Fuller.

Around Christmas 2015, the group visited St Edmund’s Church for a guided tour and to experience the Montagu Monuments for the first time. The Choir’s musical team subsequently visited Boughton House to have a look at the Montagu Music collection, over 2,000 scripts of sheet music held at Boughton House and instigated by Duchess Elizabeth Buccleuch, commemorated in the fourth monument.

Original music

The Choir’s song writing group, “Ring of Fire’, met with Barb Jungr to write the song lyrics. The group researched the lives of those depicted in the monuments in order to write the lyrics, and Barb Jungr worked with the choir’s musicians to create the music, inspired by the pieces they had discovered in the Montagu Music collection at Boughton.

Award-winning concert

On Thursday 5 May 2016, the concert “Remembrance and Rebirth” took place at St Edmund’s Church. The event was opened by Kettering Buccleuch Academy’s Chamber Choir, who performed a hymn from the Montagu Music collection. This performance was followed by a number of speeches. After an interval, the second half of the concert comprised of a performance of the “Songs for the Montagu Monuments” and various numbers from the Choir’s repertoire. The songs were introduced by members of the Choir who researched and wrote a speech to explain the song’s significance to the story of the monument.

The concert won a Northamptonshire Heritage Forum Award 2016 for the Best Event in a Historic House. You can watch the concert here:

The individual “Songs for the Montagu Monuments” are:

”Planter of Trees” – Song for John, 2nd Duke of Montagu
”For Travelling I Will Go” – Song for Mary, 2nd Duchess of Montagu
”Mary and Issie” – Song for Mary, 3rd Duchess of Montagu
”I Want to Choose It For Myself” – Song for Elizabeth, Duchess of Buccleuch

A CD recording of the concert is available for purchase from St Edmund’s Church and Boughton House.