My motets O lux beata Trinitas (2013), Veni Sancte Spiritus (2012) and O sacrum convivium (2012) will be released on a CD entitled O Sacrum Convivium on Vox Regis Records on 27 May. The recording is made by The Chapel Choir of King’s College, Aberdeen University (with whom I have a strong working relationship), conducted by David Smith, and features works by Tallis, Stanford and Purcell as well as contemporary pieces. The motets were first performed by the choir. A CD launch will take place as part of the university’s May Festival on 27 May and will feature a performance of O sacrum convivium.
March sees a busy month of premieres and performances. On the 5 March, the Harry Ensemble (conducted by Edward Rhys Harry) will give the premiere of my new motet Veni Sponsa Christi in Reading (they will give further performances in the UK and Norway this year). On the 24 March the Aberdeen University Chamber Choir will give a performance on my motet Ave verum corpus (2008) and the month finishes with the belated premiere of my anthem …He is Risen…(2012) by the Chapel Choir of King’s College, Aberdeen, conducted by David Smith. March will also see the publication by Schott Music of my 2008 motet O salutaris hostia.
It was great to hear my work Invocation (2010) on BBC Radio 3’s The Choir yesterday (in a repeat from last year). The show was dedicated to works for choir and brass and they played the recording from the CD release Phillip Cooke, Choral Music. The show can be heard here (UK only, available until the 9 February).
The wonderful Glasgow Chamber Choir, conducted by Michael Bawtree, will give a live performance of my setting of There is no rose (2013) live on BBC Radio Scotland tonight (20/12/2015) in the Classics Unwrapped programme between 21.00 – 22.00. A link to the programme can be found here.
Following a busy November, December carries on in a similar fashion. The University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir will perform There is no rose (2013) at the university carol service in London at Marylebone Parish Church on the 1st. On the 5th the Merbecke Choir will perform the same work in their carol service at Southwark Cathedral, conducted by Huw Morgan. On the same day the Northern Spirit Singers will give the UK premiere of O salutaris Hostia (2008) in Durham, conducted by Clare Wills. There are further performances of There is no rose at St Paul’s, Covent Garden on the 13th and in Glasgow from the Glasgow Chamber Choir on the 10th and 18th.
An exciting month of performances and premieres will take place this month across the country. The Chapel Choir of King’s College, Aberdeen will give the premiere of my new anthem The Souls of the Righteous in the University Remembrance Service on the 8th. This will be followed by the premiere of my oratorio Noah’s Fire in Chester Cathedral on the 21st. The month finishes with the premiere of a new piece The World on Fire by the Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford on the 28th. And the Glasgow Chamber Choir will also give two advent performances of There is no rose – busy times!
I have recently finished a couple of new works for forthcoming performance. The most substantial is the piece By Reason of Darkness for community choir and tubular bells, setting sections of Job and G S Fraser. An off-shoot from this is the short work for SATB, Hometown Fragments which again sets Fraser and will form part of a ‘sonic walk’ through Aberdeen on the 7/8 November. There is also a new anthem, The Souls of the Righteous for SATB and organ which will be premièred in Aberdeen on the 4 November. I have uploaded recent recordings of performances of Hometown Fragments and my work for choir and saxophone, Woman! Behold Thy Son! which was performed by Siglo de oro in July.
A busy Autumn will begin soon with performances taking place across the country. The wonderful choir of St Bride’s, Fleet Street, will perform my first setting of the Evening Service (2009) on the 20 September, conducted by Robert Jones. The world premiere of my work for community choir By Reason of Darkness (2015) will open the 2015 Sound Festival in Aberdeen on the 22 October. This will be followed shortly afterwards with a new setting of The Souls of the Righteous (2015) for the Choir of King’s College, Aberdeen University. November the 21st will see the most important premiere of the year, with Noah’s Fire (2015) being premiered in Chester Cathedral by the Chester Music Society Choir and Liverpool Sinfonia coducted by Graham Jordan Ellis. November finishes with two Advent performances of There is no rose (2013) performed by the Glasgow Chamber Choir, conducted by Michael Bawtree.
Organist Ed Jones will perform my short organ works Elegy (2003) and Praeludium (2013) at Carlisle Cathedral during evensong tonight. Ed (who is a recent PhD graduate at Aberdeen University and Assistant Director of Music at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Aberdeen) will shortly begin the position of Organ Scholar at Blackburn Cathedral.
On the 11 July, one of the country’s finest young choirs, Siglo de Oro will give the world première of my new work for choir and saxophone, Woman, behold thy son! (2015). The piece is a part of a multi-composer setting of the ‘Seven Last Words from the Cross’ and features contributions from John Harle, Alexander Campkin, Thomas Hewitt Jones and others. The première will take place in St George’s Basilica, Gozo, Malta as part of the Victoria International Arts Festival 2015. The choir are conducted by Patrick Allies and the saxophone will be played by Sam Corkin. A UK performance is planned for later this year.