Tag Archives: cathedral

Three Choirs Festival this Friday

This Friday, a special late-night meditation on the Rig Veda will take place at Gloucester Cathedral as part of the prestigious Three Choirs Festival. The concert weaves together Vedic chant with choral settings of these Hindu texts. Jean Coulthard, a student of Vaughan Williams, exults the mystery of creation, while delicate music of contemporary composers Anna R Matthews, Roxanna Panufnik and Sally Lamb McCune embraces the listener, mirroring the celestial beauty of Holst’s settings for choir and solo harp.

This concert will see the Oriel Singers give the premiere performance of Asvins under the baton of Ben Sawyer.

Tickets and full details: https://3choirs.org/whats-on/meditations-on-the-rig-veda/

The prestigious Three Choirs Festival is the oldest non-competitive classical music festival in the world, celebrating its 300th anniversary in 2015. It comprises a week-long programme of choral and orchestral concerts, cathedral services, solo and chamber music recitals, masterclasses, talks, theatre, exhibitions and walks, rotating each summer between the beautiful English cathedral cities of Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester.

New: Carmichael setting for double choir

Waverley Turner Carmichael was an African-American poet born in Alabama in the late 19th century. His poem ‘Keep me, Jesus, keep me’ has an attractive
call-and-response structure which lends itself ideally to song and particularly to a setting for double choir. Indeed, a collection of Carmichael’s poems was published in 1918 under the title, “From the Heart of a Folk: A Book of Songs”.

 The repetitive use of language in this poem is almost meditative. This new setting reflects this in the serenity of the majority of the music: openly spaced harmonies, calmly lilting time signatures and frequent pauses to hear the voices resonate and fade. In this respect, the work is particularly suited to cathedral performance. The same music is used to set the two strophes, with recurrence of the line, “Keep me, Jesus, keep me,” forming an imploring refrain. Preview the score.Carmichael's "From the heart of a folk"

Thank you, Guildford!

Sunday was my first visit to Guildford Cathedral and I was delighted to arrive in time to hear the choristers doing a quick run-through of my piece before Evensong. ‘Come unto me’, which I was commissioned to write by Choir & Organ Magazine, was given a stunning first performance by the men and boys of the cathedral choir during the Evensong service.

I would like to pass on my heartfelt thanks to all of them for putting so much into it, and particularly to their director Katherine Dienes-Williams. I also want to thank Shirley and Maggie of Choir & Organ for the wonderful opportunity, for making the arrangements and for coming along to witness the premiere.

‘Come Unto Me’ in Guildford

Just a reminder to anyone in the Surrey area: ‘Come Unto Me’, written last year for Choir & Organ Magazine, will receive its first performance this Sunday, 19th February, at evensong in Guildford Cathedral. The service starts at 6:30pm. Full details are available here: http://www.guildford-cathedral.org/worship/services/2012-02-19 [07.08.2012 update: link no longer live]

World Premiere to take place in Guildford

The world premiere of my piece, Come Unto Me, will take place at Guildford Cathedral on Sunday 19th February, at 6:30pm. It will be performed by the cathedral choir during the Evensong service. Get directions to Guildford Cathedral.

The piece for unaccompanied four-part choir was commissioned by Choir & Organ magazine and written to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible in 2011. The score is available to download free of charge from the Choir & Organ website until March 2012.