This is the first of what will be an occasional newsletter replacing, for this week, the regular Piece of the Week!
I’ll begin with advance notice of a brand-new piece, Endless Song – this half-hour cantata, scored for SATB choir and strings (or piano), is a response to a commission from the Essex-based chamber choir, the Waltham Singers, who, with conductor Andrew Fardell and the Maggini String Quartet, mark their 50th anniversary with a gala concert on Saturday 24th June 2023 at 7.30pm in Great Waltham Church, Essex.
Endless Song is my third commission from the choir and this will be its first performance. It is a setting of texts from a number of poets including Walt Whitman, James Weldon Johnson, and Rabindranath Tagore, and the theme of the work is a renewed celebration of the joy of singing, presented with happiness, humour, and tenderness.
The music will be published by Colne Edition next month, and I can tell you more about it then and show you a specimen score and recording.
If you are a choir director, it’s never too early to think about Christmas (!!) and here’s advance notice of the publication of Carols for Choirs 6 by Oxford University Press, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the OUP Music Department. This book of 50 new carols and arrangements, edited by Bob Chilcott and David Hill, is published on 13th July, and complements the previous volumes by bringing exciting new names and diverse styles to the series. But there’s some pieces by more established names too, and it includes a new carol by me, Candle Carol. I can tell you more about that when the book is published, but you can hear a performance here.
We recently had a lovely opportunity to hear the BBC Singers make a live recording of my Peace in the World – a movement from Images of Peace. The concert, curated by composer Stephen McNeff and containing a range of music by himself and colleagues, was at the Maida Vale Studios on 24th March, and the BBC Singers were directed by Grace Rossiter. Although the complete concert has not yet been broadcast, Peace in the World was broadcast in the BBC Radio 3 Afternoon Concert on 19th June and is available here for the next four weeks (Peace in the World is 22 minutes from the start).
Newsletter No. 2 will follow in a month or so. If you wish to subscribe to it by email, please send me your email address (it won’t be shared with anyone else). I hope you enjoyed reading this, and very best wishes for your music-making!