Autumn is a busy season of premieres and performances for me, with the majority being in my adopted home town of Aberdeen. Many of the performances are by the Chapel Choir of King’s College (the University chapel) who are performing the Three Partsongs and three motets in a concert in the chapel on the 22 November. Prior to this they have given the premiere of two motets in recent services: O lux Beata Trinitas (27/10) and O Sacrum Convivium (03/11) and will give the Scottish premiere of the third, Veni Sancte Spiritus, on Sunday 10 November. Jeremy Huw Williams gave the premiere of my song-cycle Sudden Light as part of the Sound Festival at St Machar’s Cathedral, Aberdeen on the 30 November and on the 11 November the Girl Choristers and Lay clerks of Ely Cathedral will perform my first setting of the Evening Service in evensong in the cathedral. On the 13 November the University New Music Group (conducted by me) will perform three works of mine and two arrangements in the chapel at 17.15. Looking slightly further ahead, the choir of St Andrew’s Cathedral, Aberdeen will give the Scottish premiere of my Second Service on the 4 Decemeber and the Aberdeen based choir Con Anima will perform my new carol, There is no rose, twice, on Saturday 14 December. I should imagine after that, the good people of Aberdeen will be truly sick of my music. PAC
The leading baritone Jeremy Huw Williams will give the world premiere of my new song cycle Sudden Light at St Machar’s Cathedral, Aberdeen on Wednesday 31 October at 13.10. The concert is part of the Sound Festival and contains new works by my colleague Pete Stollery and by Joseph Phibbs. I will be giving a pre-concert talk at 12.30 in the same venue.
The Aberdeen University Chamber Choir will give the world premiere of a new short motet of mine, Veni Sancte Spiritus in a late night concert in St Asaph Cathedral on Monday 23 September at 22.00. The concert will be conducted by Paul Mealor and will feature works by two of my graduate students (Ed Jones and Gemma McGregor) as well as works by Faure and Howard Goodall. The concert is part of the North Wales International Music Festival 2013.
I was recently made aware of this excellent recording of my first set of Preces and Responses (2009) performed by the choir MiContraFa at St James Episcopal Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA. The recording can be listen to on their website here. The choir will give the US premiere of my Evening Service (2009) in the same venue on Sunday 12 January 2014.
Despite a summer mainly taken up with moving house I have managed to finish three works. Sarabande (in modo elegiaco) is an arrangement of Hebert Howells’s organ work of the same name from his Six Pieces for Organ and will be performed by the Aberdeen University Contemporary Music Group in a composer portrait concert of your truly in November. I have also finished two short choral works: Wedding Introit is a setting of the famous lines of Virgil (‘Love conquers all’) and Matin Responsory is a setting of the first responsory of Advent Sunday. Now for the oratorio.
I have recently finished two new pieces: Secret Ceremonials for trumpet and piano (for the Arcomis International Brass Event) and a song-cycle Sudden Light for the baritone Jeremy Huw Williams. I have also uploaded two new recordings: Con Anima performing Ave verum corpus (2008) in Aberdeen in May and The Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge performing The Eternal Ecstasy (2013) in Cambridge last month. Now for a holiday. PAC
The Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge will record my new motet The Eternal Ecstasy in Ely Cathedral this week as the title track of their new CD. Alongside my work there will be pieces by many of the world’s leading choral composers including Eric Whitacre, Morten Lauridsen, James MacMillan and Paul Mealor. There are also works by some of this country’s finest composers including Cecilia McDowell, David Bednall and John Duggan. The CD will be released in 2014 on the Regent Records label. More info to follow.
The Scottish premiere of Ave verum corpus (from Three Marian Motets, 2008) will be given this Saturday (11/05/2013) at High Hilton Church, Aberdeen. The piece will be performed by the North East of Scotland’s premiere chamber choir, Con Anima and will be conducted by Paul Mealor. The main piece on the programme will be Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms alongside shorter works by MacMillan, Leighton and Lauridsen.
I was delighted to hear recently that the Choir of Trinty Episcopal Church, Newport, Rhode Island will perform my first setting of the Preces and Responses (2009) tonight in evensong. This is the second choir to perform the work in the USA and I am very excited to hear. For more info click here.
I’ve been getting carried away recently and have made more YouTube videos of some of my scores. Following on from O Salutaris Hostia, I have now made videos of Green, How Clear, How Lovely and I Stood on a Tower from the recent JAM concert and a performance of the Evening Service from 2011. All performances from the wonderful Selwyn College Choir, directed by Sarah MacDonald. To view any of the videos, click on the individual pieces above.