The Music of Herman Van Dyk publicly performed at the Halifax Minster

On Saturday 18 October the Overgate Hospice Choir delivered a performance of Herman Van Dyk’s The Lord Is My Shepherd, as part of the ‘Lest We Forget’ First World War Centenary Commemoration Concert which also included The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins. This was probably the first public performance of Van Dyk’s work in over 70 years. This Dutch born composer lived and worked in Halifax in the early 20th century and during his lifetime struggled to gain any significant recognition for his music. During and following the Great War it is possible he experienced some difficulty in gaining acceptance for his music because of his name which for some people may have had too close an affinity with Germany. Since his death in 1940 he had passed into obscurity. He has been ‘rediscovered’ by the research of John Sunderland and the efforts of Elaine Beach bringing his work to the attention of the conductor, Simon Lindley. Both John and Elaine performed in the choir on the night.