Tag Archives: King James Version

Missed the BBC broadcast?

Hear  Hast thou not known? and an interview with the composer (moi!) on Aled Jones’ Radio 3 programme The Choir, on the BBC iPlayer for 7 days from today: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b011ty04/The_Choir_King_James_Bible_Composer_Awards/ – 23 minutes in.

In other news, the latest commission, Come unto me, is very nearly finished. I completed the last section on Saturday and have a couple of days left to make any final edits and do all the ‘tidying’ and checking – accidentals, lyrics, layout, etc. A different style to the celebratory Hast thou not known?, it is a calm and gentle setting (mostly!) written for a capella SATB choir.

A new commission

Hast thou not known? was premiered on Tuesday 17th May by the Royal College of Music Junior Department Chamber Choir at the beautiful Temple Church, London, in the finals of the King James Bible Composition Awards. It was a lovely evening of new choral music, each piece very different but equally exciting. I love listening to new music – you don’t often get the chance to hear much down in Devon!

The piece was one of four finalists in ‘Category B’ (a piece for professional choir) and received excellent feedback from the adjudicating panel, which included James MacMillan, Roxanna Panufnik and James O’Donnell, and from the audience.I am grateful to the choir and their conductor Joy Hill for doing such an excellent job. You can find out more about the event and the other composers here.

I am very pleased to announce that, as a result of the competition, I have been commissioned to write a new piece for Choir & Organ magazine. So although I didn’t win, I am thrilled to have been a finalist in this international competition. It is onwards and upwards, and I am ever more determined to write. I’m glad there’s another bank holiday on the horizon!

King James Bible Composition Awards: Final

I received some exciting news last week: ‘Hast thou not known?’ has been shortlisted for the final of the King James Bible Composition Awards! It will be performed alongside the seven other shortlisted works (three others in the same category as me and four in the other category) at the beautiful Temple Church, London, on 17th May at 6pm.

To find out more and book tickets to the concert, where the winners will be announced, visit www.kingjamesbibletrust.org/community/king-james-bible-composition-awards.

‘Hast thou not known?’ was written for category B of this competition:

CATEGORY B (in partnership with the Royal College of Music)
Adjudicator: James MacMillan, in conjunction with Grayston Ives, Roxanna Panufnik, William Mival and James O’Donnell.
Requirement:
An anthem for an experienced choir (such as a cathedral, well-resourced church or professional group) in up to eight parts (SATB), unaccompanied or with organ, suitable for use in worship. Duration must not exceed eight minutes.
Prize:

• £2,000
• Performance by the Choir of Westminster Abbey at the service to mark the completion of the 2011 celebrations on 16 November 2011
• Publication by Chester Novello music publishers

Information on Category A:

CATEGORY A (in partnership with the Royal School of Church Music)
Adjudicator:
Bob Chilcott, in conjunction with Malcolm Archer, Margaret Rizza, Tim Ruffer and Philip Wilby.

Requirement:
An anthem or song for up to four vocal parts (SATB) and keyboard, suitable for use in worship. This should be composed with non-professional, less experienced, performers in mind, and be adaptable to whatever resources might be available, for example, optional instruments. Duration must not exceed four minutes.
Prize:

• £2,000
• Performance by the Royal School of Church Music Millennium Youth Choir
• Publication by the RSCM

Experiments in form

Work began a few weeks ago on the third of my King James Bible 400th anniversary trilogy, When thou passest through the waters. This was to be an antedote to the whirlwind of Hast thou not known? and I decided on a simple melody. To make things interesting, this time the main area for experimentation is therefore not melody or harmony, but form.  The first draft presented options for singing it as some kind of structured, irregular ’round’.

I then began to consider how best to notate such a thing, so it appeals to amateur singing groups and yet doesn’t over-instruct. I could foresee bars and bars of rests while one part waits for their entry. I decided to sleep on it.

Since then I have not been brave enough to return to the page! I know that it is nearly finished but the next stage will be the labour intensive part. The devil is in the detail. Once again, I really ought to just get on with it and stop making excuses!