Newsletter 7 – February 2024

Welcome to my February 2024 newsletter!

My Alde Sandlings Mass is now published by Encore Publications. Written originally for the churches of the Alde Sandlings Benefice in Suffolk, and using the Common Worship text, it can be sung either in unison or SATB, with organ. The score, and a separate congregational part, is available from Encore Publications.

My new hymn tune, St. George Martyr, written for the text of the same name by Doug Constable, was the winner of the St. George’s Paris Hymn Competition to celebrate the church’s bicentenary, and was sung enthusiastically at the St. George’s Paris Celebration Eucharist on February 10th. Please contact me if you would like to see a copy.

Publishing in April/May are the final two volumes of Oxford Hymn Settings for Organists (popularly known as OHSO). Volume 8 and Volume 9 each contain forty preludes on general hymns (i.e. those that can be used throughout the year), by some of the best organ composers from the United States and the United Kingdom – many names well known in the organ world, but some new ones as well. Co-edited by Rebecca Groom te Velde (Stillwater, Oklahoma) and myself, this has been a long journey and we are really pleased to see the books nearing completion, and excited at the diversity of approaches and styles that the books contain.

Colne Edition, my own self-publishing company, continues to expand by publishing new pieces and arrangements by me, and re-issuing older ones. All Colne Edition publications are available, as downloadable pdfs, from Sheet Music Direct and Sheet Music Plus.  Some are also available from JW Pepper as pdfs or printed copies, and most are also available direct to order from Colne Edition.

Recent Colne Edition publications include
Reflections (for cello and piano)
God be in my head (for SATB and organ)
Suffolk Sketches (for solo violin)
Lord of all hopefulness (arrangement of the traditional melody for mixed choir in two or three parts, with organ or piano)
All is well with my soul (arrangement of the popular nineteenth century worship song for mixed choir in three or four parts, with organ or piano)
Steal away (arrangement of the popular American spiritual, for SATB unaccompanied)

Colne Edition publications are sold all over the world and recent sales have been in Austria, Australia, Canada, Germany, Isle of Man, Japan, Macao, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, and Spain, as well as the USA and UK.

Performances: My music is often associated with Christmas, and certainly there were performances of many of my Christmas carols, and my Christmas cantatas, last December. But it is not just about Christmas – and here are a few of the performances of my choral cantatas coming up in the next few months:
Psalmi Penitentiales (Writtle Singers / Christine Gwynn, Writtle Parish Church nr. Chelmsford, 23 March, 5pm)
Wondrous Cross (Church Choir / Ian Ray, Lion Walk Church Colchester, 24 March, 10.15am)
Choristers of Flight (Elysian Singers / Sam Laughton, St Peter’s Eaton Square, London, 25 May, 7.30 pm)
Endless Song (Colchester Choral Society / Ian Ray, St Botolph’s Church Colchester, 22 June, 7.30pm)

South Chiltern Choral Society: I was recently invited to be President of the SCCS – a purely ‘honorary’ role. I have a long association with the Society who have performed a number of my pieces over the years, and I am honoured to be recognised by them.

I do hope you’ve enjoyed reading this newsletter. If you’d like to receive this by email and don’t already do so, please let me know!

Best wishes, Alan