To mark the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620, Arts Council England provided funding to enable West Lindsey District Council to commission David to write a new cantata: A sure refuge – the story of the Mayflower Pilgrims.

The 50-minute work tells the story of the religious Separatists from the borders of Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire, who after years of exile in Holland joined the Mayflower as it sailed to the New World.

The work deals with themes of persecution, alienation, exploitation and refuge. Choral movements draw on text from the Book of Psalms, to tell a story which is as resonant today as in the seventeenth century.

Originally scheduled for performance in November 2020, plans had to be changed in response to COVID-19 restrictions. It is now planned that the first performance, by Gainsborough Choral Society, will take place on Saturday 13 November 2021, coinciding with publication of the work.

A sure refuge is scored for SATB choir, Mezzo, Tenor and Baritone soloists, 3 horns, timpani, strings and piano.

A movement-by-movement description of the cantata can be read here, and individual choral movements can be sampled in the videos below (which use synthesised soundtracks).

For further information about the work, please contact the composer.