Tag Archives: music

News round-up

Devon County Junior Choir

© Maggie Tamblin/DCJC

Amazing how a bit of sunshine focuses the mind! It’s been a while since I updated the website properly and, unsurprisingly, there’s been quite a bit happening since last summer. 

I have spent a lot of time “absorbing”. Most inspiration came, I think, from the CoMA (Contemporary Music for All) summer school in Bangor, North Wales, which I wrote about on 31 July 2012. Soon after that week, where I spent valuable time hearing new music and refreshing my canon of compositional techniques, I spent a week at Dartington International Summer School. This was a rare week dedicated to playing (composing being inhibited by IT problems – more below). Always a joyous experience, I met some lovely people as I played flute and piccolo in various chamber groups including a salsa band. I’ve put a few photographs into the gallery. These were two weeks to blow the office-job cobwebs away!

During the summer I wrote a new piece for harpsichord, Monsters Under the Bed. I am very grateful to Rolf Basten for sharing his knowledge of the instrument while we were at Dartington. However, the piece was somewhat thwarted by the fact that my computer hard drive went into meltdown and so ended up remaining a prelude. Download your own copy from the Portfolio page.

In the autumn, my choir was rehearsing Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and I was inspired to write an arrangement for handbells. I’d love to hear from any handbell groups who’d be interested to try it out!

Lastly, I wanted to mention the performance of Song for St Thérèse that Devon County Junior Choir so ably gave, way back in July. It was a special concert for them, having been invited to sing the Evensong service at Exeter Cathedral for the first time, and Song for St. Thérèse was commissioned to mark the occasion. The children did an excellent job. The photos above and below show the choir during and after the service with their musical director Rachel Smith. Find out more about the piece and preview the score on the Portfolio page.

DCJC with Anna at Exeter Cathedral

DCJC with Anna (far right). © Maggie Tamblin/DCJC

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.

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!

By popular demand

I have had a number of requests from people wanting to be able to listen to my music online. Thanks to my recent discovery of SoundCloud.com, I am excited to announce that this is now possible! Head to my Listen page to hear three newly uploaded tracks. Alternatively, visit my SoundCloud profile.

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