THE world premiere of the latest work by a young Somerset composer, Chris Grabham, is to be performed at a Christmas concert in Wiveliscombe next week.

The Wiseman Time Forgot is a Christmas oratorio for brass band, choir and solo instruments, with a narrator.

It is based on a short story written by Henry Van Dyke, The Other Wiseman in 1895. Artaban, a noble from Persia sees the holy star in the sky, and like the other wisemen, starts to follow it.

He hopes to meet Balthazar, Melchior and Caspar, but is prevented by a sandstorm. Artaban continues his journey alone, hoping to find Jesus, and on his way encounters different characters and challenges.

Chris’s music, with its middle eastern themes, creates atmosphere, intensifies tension and brings resolution.

Chris is the director of music of Wiveliscombe Town Band, and assistant musical director for the Brewhouse’s production of The Railway Children.

He comes from Ilminster, was educated at Richard Huish College, Taunton, and is now studying for a degree in composition for film and theatre with the Conservatorium of Music in ArtEZ, Arnhem in the Netherlands.

These studies have already led to collaborations with filmmakers and theatre directors from around the world. Chris says that this is something he is eager to pursue further.

During his two and a half years leading Wiveliscombe Town Band, Chris has written arrangements of film and television music, and of pop songs for the band.

The Town Band will be performing Wiseman with Wiveliscombe Community Choir, led by Tom Morrell. There will be festive music to enjoy, and carols to sing.

Entry is free. There will be donations buckets so that people can support the band.

See Chris Grabham at St Andrew’s Church in Wiveliscombe on Monday, December 23 at 7.30pm.