A CONCERT of songs for summer will be performed at St Mary's Church in Thorncombe on Saturday, July 14.

West Dorset choir Cantamus will perform a programme called ‘Sumer is icumen in’ after the joyous song of the same name that opens the concert. Composed in the mid-13th century and sung in the form of a round, it is the oldest English song to have been written down, but it still sounds magical and fresh to 21st-century ears.

The first half of the concert continues with two songs from the reign of Henry VIII – Ah Robin, by William Cornysh, and Pastime with good company, by the king himself – and the gorgeous Lamento della Ninfa (Monteverdi), with a soprano solo sung by Phoebe Goodfellow.

‘Come heavy sleep’ and ‘Can she excuse my wrongs’ (Dowland) follow before the first half concludes with ‘Welcome to all the pleasures’ by Purcell.

The second half begins with Ständchen (Schubert), written for women’s voices, two songs by Pearsall – Great God of love and Lay a garland – and Water night by the contemporary American composer Eric Whitacre.

Traditional folk songs Barbara Allen and The ballad of Tom Bowling (arranged by Cantamus musical director Malcolm Knowles) follow, and the evening comes to a close with a rousing version of Dance to thy daddy, made famous in the 1970s as the theme tune to When the Boat Comes In.

The concert begins at 7pm and tickets are £10 (to include refreshments) from Thorncombe village shop or on the door.

For more information, including full details of the programme, visit cantamus-dorset.org or the choir’s Facebook page Cantamus - Dorset.