I was very excited to hear that my anthem For He is Our Peace (2016) won the First Baptist Church, Worcester, Massachusetts, Tenth Anthem Competition this week. The piece will be premiered by the Chancel Choir of the Church on the 30 April during their annual arts and music week.
An odd coincidence sees the King’s College Chapel Choir (of Aberdeen University) on tour in Poland at the same time I will be there at a conference – unfortunately in a different city! They will be giving three performances of my motet O sacrum convivium (2012) in various venues around the historic city of Kraków and one performance of Veni Sancte Spiritus (2012).
Next Thursday (23/03/2017) the acclaimed vocal ensemble, Juice, will give the premiere of my new arrangement of the traditional English folksong, The Three Ravens at King’s College Chapel, Aberdeen. I’ve always found this tune fascinating, both the words and the music, so it was great to be able to work with it for this excellent ensemble.
A good week for performances with the Cathedral Singers of Christchurch, Oxford, giving the premiere of the SATB version of Missa Brevis (2011) in service at the cathedral on the 05 January followed shortly after by the premiere of my setting of Laurie Lee’s Twelfth Night (2017) given by the Glasgow Chamber Choir, conducted by Michael Bawtree. This performance will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 Sunday Worship at 08.00 on Sunday 08 January.
There was a lovely broadcast on Classic FM last night (23/12/16) of my arrangement of Silent Night performed by the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir, conducted by Paul Mealor. Amongst other festive fayre, there were pieces by Paul and by Sarah Rimkus, one of my PhD students.
I have recently been commissioned to write two new pieces for performance next year. The first of which is a setting of Laurie Lee’s Twelfth Night for the Glasgow Chamber Choir, which will be performed on the 8 January in a live broadcast for BBC Radio 4 Sunday Worship. The second is a ‘pop-up’ opera for the 2017 SOUND festival, taking the 1715 Jacobite Uprising (one of my anorak interests…) as it’s theme. More information to follow.
The Christmas period will see two premieres by Aberdeen choirs – firstly my new setting of I sing of a maiden will be performed by the King’s College Chapel Choir in the University Carol Service in St Machar’s Cathedral on Wednesday 07 December, conducted by David Smith. The University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir will then perform my new arrangement of Silent Night at the University Carol Service at St Marylebone Parish Church, London on Wednesday 21 December. This concert will be recorded by Classic FM and broadcast on Christmas Day.
Here are some photos from the recent recording session at St Mary’s Chapel, Blairs, Aberdeenshire. Paul Mealor conducts the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir.
Next month sees the recording of my arrangement of Robert Burns’s Green Grow the Rashes, O! (2016) by the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir, conducted by Paul Mealor. The recording is a CD entirely of new Burns arrangements by staff and students of the Department of Music at the University of Aberdeen, including PhD students of mine Edward Rhys Harry and Sarah Rimkus. The recording will be made at the beautiful St Mary’s College, Blairs, Aberdeenshire and will be released on the university’s own Vox Regis label next year.
This autumn will see two performances (including the Dutch premiere) of my Housman setting How clear, how lovely (2010) in the beautiful university town of Leiden. The work will be performed by the choir Het Zingend Hart and conducted by Rob Kapetein.