At the moment, I am working an anthem in memory of Helen Black, lately a popular member of the Scholars of St Mary’s, Warwick. Entitled When I look at the Heavens, this piece considers God’s love and mercy in the context of a vast universe. I hope it will be a worthy tribute to a warm and generous lady who loved astronomy.
I have recently finished a new setting of I Sing of a Maiden for the choir of Woldingham School. The challenge in setting such a beloved text is to find an angle to set it apart from the many wonderful settings that already exist, such as that by Patrick Hadley and those published in Multitude of Voyces (more of that in a moment!). I elected to focus on the idea of a Mary as a young girl, and so I aimed for simplicity and emotional directness instead of medieval mysticism.
Also, this year I have been learning how to write orchestral music with sample libraries. Composition “in the box” with Digital Audio Workstations and sample libraries has become prevalent in film, television and game music. It offers not only economic benefits, but also unique musical ones: one can find convincing sound worlds unachievable in any other way. Here are three of essays in this way of working:
In late 2020, I was thrilled to have an arrangement of my Noel: Verbum Caro Factum Est included in Stainer and Bell’s Multitude of Voyces: Sacred Music by Women Composers. Volume 3, which you can order here.
In 2019, I was delighted to have had my first piece published under the wing of Tim Knight Music. It’s the organ voluntary Recessional, which featured on my Of a Rose album, and it can be purchased from this link.
Arlington Chamber Choir, dir., Barry Singer, will be premiering (as a virtual choir) the first movement of my commissioned Shakespeare cycle Love Unchangèd. Details TBA.
16 June 2021
My new motet, Peace I leave with You, was performed for the first time by the choir of Somerville College, Oxford, dir., Will Dawes, as part of their Choral Contemplation for Pride Month.
The service begins with Luca Morgante’s lovely improvisation on themes from Peace I Leave with You. A big thumbs up from me!
6 June 2021
The choir of St John the Divine, Victoria, BC performed my Chester Service at Evensong. Online stream here.
3 June 2021
The choir of Mansfield College, Oxford University, dir. Joseph Lord, sang my setting of In Paradisum as part of their Evening Service. Online stream here.
29 May 2021
City Choir Dunedin, dir., David Burchell, gave the premiere perfomance of my Beethovenian tribute Von Herzen at Knox Church, Otago, New Zealand.
Concert review here.
11 May 2021
A recording of the BBC Singers, dir. Owain Park, performing my carol Noel: Verbum Caro Factum Est was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as part of the 2 PM Afternoon Concert. You can hear their wonderful rendition at this link.
23 December 2020
The Choir of St John the Divine, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, dir. David Stratkauskas, performed Noel: Verbum Caro Factum Est as part of their Virtual Carol Service (begins at about 47:25).
20-25 December 2020
Chamber Choir Ireland, dir., Alan Leech, streamed a concert of “Carols at the Gallery” including my own Noel: Verbum Caro Factum Est.
30 November 2020
The Multitude of Voyces version of Noel: Verbum Caro Factum Est was performed by the choir of Fitzwilliam College Chapel, Cambridge University at their Service of Six Lessons and Carols for Advent. You can watch the service here:
18 November 2020
My organ voluntary O Welt ich muss dich lassen (O World, I must leave thee), was used in the Transgender Day of Remembrance Service at Mansfield College, Oxford. (Starts at 06:50 in the video).
8 November 2020
My motet For the Fallen formed part of the live Remembrance Service from Somerville College, Oxford. It may be view here.
31 August 2020
My song In Summer Time was given its virtual premiere as part of the Winners’ Concert on YouTube and other platforms by Melissa Piantedosi (mezzo) and Felicity Mazur-Park (piano).
9 May 2020
The renowned pianist Duncan Honeybourne gave the premiere of my lockdown composition Prelude and Fugue in D.
24-5 December 2019
Noel: Verbum Caro Factum Est was sung at Midnight Mass at Leeds Cathedral.
16 December 2019
The Sitwell Singers, dir. Malcolm Goldring, performed Sing Lullaby at St John the Evangelist Church in Derby.
Concert review from Classical Music Daily here.
15 December 2019
Pro Nobis Singers, dir. Clive Walkley, performed Sing Lullaby in their Christmas Concert at St Mark’s Church, Natland, Kendal.
10 December 2019
Keswick Choral Society directed by Ian Hare gave the premiere of Be Merry! at St Kentigern’s Church, Crosthwaite, Keswick.
9 December 2019
Noel: Verbum Caro Factum Est was included in Leeds Cathedral Choir’s concert at Leeds Town Hall for the second year running! I feel extremely honoured and grateful to have had my music sung at this very prestigious event.
8 December 2019
Noel: Verbum Caro Factum Est was sung by Leeds Cathedral Choir, dir. Ben Saunders, in their Christmas Carol Concert at the cathedral.
4 December 2019
Queldryk Choral Ensemble, dir., Paul Ayres, performed Hard is the Road to Bethlehem at St Lawrence Church Jewry, City of London.
2 December 2019
London College of Music Chorus, dir. Paul Ayres, performed Hard is the Road to Bethlehem at St Mary’s Church, Ealing, London.
2 November 2019
Sonatiny, the diminutive flute sonata (about 30 seconds and can be played on one breath), was performed by Kathryn Williams at the Purcell Room as part of the Deep Minimalism 2.0 event.
27 October 2019
SOAS University of London – Encounters, my suite for ‘cello, flute and gamelan orchestra was performed at the London Gamelan Workshop by Lucy French and Aris Daryono and others.
12 October 2019
My Neo-Baroque Clavier Sonata in C minor was performed by Dominic Downs (a pupil at Chethams) at the Coffee Concert at Lancaster Priory alongside compositions by other members of Lakeland Composers.
18 August 2019
Eden Baroque performed The Good-Morrow at Scalesceugh Hall, near Carlisle.
10 August 2019
3 July 2019
Eden Baroque gave the premiere of The Good-Morrow at Crosthwaite Church, Keswick.
15 June 2019
Collegium Ancora gave the world premiere of To the Rainbow at their concert In Harmony as part of Rhode Island Pride 2019. Watch the video here!
7 June 2019
Kathryn Williams performed Sonatiny at a concert at Churchill College, Cambridge.
8 March 2019
Ian Hare (former Organ Scholar, King’s College, Cambridge) performed my organ voluntary Marche Royale in a recital at Kendal Parish Church.
25 February 2019
Kathryn Williams performed my Sonatiny – a complete flute sonata that can be performed in a single breath! “Spread” at the Crescent Community Venue, York.
24 February 2019
The St Mary’s Scholars, dir., Mark Swinton, performed my new communion motet, The Call, at Eucharist at St Mary’s, Warwick.
23, 24 December 2018
My carol Sing Lullaby was performed in the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at Carlisle Cathedral.
23 December 2018
Antiphon performed Noel: Verbum Caro Factum Est in their Nine Lessons and Carols at St Mungo’s, Simonburn, near Hexham.
23 December 2018
Fellow composer and pianist-organist Felicity Mazur-Park played my Baroque Fantasia on Joy to the World as the postlude to the Fourth Sunday Morning Service in Advent at Bethany Lutheran Church in Dallas (10101 Walnut Hill).
Various Dates: December 2018
The three-part version of Sing Lullaby was included in Canty’s tour of historic venues in Scotland, including world-famous Rosslyn Chapel, the Chapel Royal in Stirling Castle and St Machar’s Cathedral, Aberdeen.
See https://cappella-nova.com/news/ for the exciting schedule!
20 December 2018
Hard is the Road to Bethlehem featured in Nine Lessons and Carols, St Barnabas Church, Ealing, dir. Paul Ayres.
18 December 2018
The Lazard Choir, dir. Paul Ayres, performed Hard is the Road to Bethlehem at the Grovesnor Chapel in Mayfair, London.
16 December 2018
Welcome Sir Christèmas! A concert of Seasonal Music and Readings, featuring Mathias’s Ave Rex and Schütz’s German Magnificat performed by Pro Nobis Singers, dir. Clive Walkley. This featured the premiere performance of my carol Gloria tibi Domine. St Mark’s Church, Natland, Kendal. Starts at 7.30 PM.
Here is a video of the performance of Gloria tibi Domine:
12 December 2018
Southwark Cathedral – the Financial Times Choir, dir. Paul Ayres, performed Hard is the Road to Bethlehem.
10 December 2018
I was featured on Your Classical, hosted by John Lipscombe on BBC Radio Cumbria at 6PM. Repeat on Sunday. Also available online here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06r4xmd (my contribution starts at about 14:50).
The choir of Leeds Cathedral, under the direction of Benjamin Saunders, performed There is no Rose, which I composed especially for them, at their concert in Leeds Town Hall. It was a magnificent performance and thrilling for me to hear!
9 December 2018
The choir of Leeds Cathedral (RC), directed by Benjamin Saunders, performed my one of my carols at the Cathedral Carol Concert.
7 December 2018
Carlisle Carliol Choir, directed by Jonathan Millican, performed my setting of Creator of the Stars of Night in the Eden Valley Hospice Carol Service. Carlisle Cathedral.
1 December 2018
10 October 2018
The exciting young Canadian Flute ensemble Trio Taco performed my Fugue in Sepia on the following dates in their Autumn 2018 tour of Ontario:
10 June 2018
Trio Taco gave the first performance of Fugue in Sepia in Victoria, British Columbia.
5 June 2018
Jack Stone, Organ Scholar of Carlisle Cathedral, performed The Blackbirds: Fantasy in C major as part of his lunchtime recital at Carlisle Cathedral.
23 April, 29 April, 30 April, 6 May
I was interviewed on BBC Radio Cumbria Your Classical at 6 PM talking to John Lipscombe about my music. The programmes featured excerpts from Of a Rose, Piano Sonata in G and Clavier Suite in A.
14 April 2018
Kendal Concert Band performed arrangements of my Ouverture pour les Pâques (Easter Overture) and Sarabande (from my Clavier Suite in A major) in their Spring concert:
7 April 2018
I conducted a concert in Lanercost that included my Parce Domine, alongside other works connected with Lent, Passiontide and Easter, including a specially composed setting of Haec Dies by my friend and colleague Jonathan Millican.
1 April 2018 Easter Sunday
My motet O taste and see how gracious the Lord is was sung at St Modwen’s Church in Burton-upon-Trent.
30 March 2018 Good Friday
The Herdwyck Consort featured my Parce Domine as part of their service of music and readings at St Patrick’s Church, Patterdale (6 PM). Click here for details.
21 March 2018
Tony Westerman performed my chorale prelude O Welt, ich muss dich lassen in his lunchtime recital at St Modwen’s Church, Burton-upon-Trent. (Starts 12.30 PM.)
25 December 2017
My chorale prelude Vom Himmel Hoch featured in the pre-Eucharist music at Carlisle Cathedral.
Noel: Verbum Caro Factum Est was sung as the Offertory at Christmas Day Mass at Leeds Cathedral.
15 December 2017
The Gabrieli Choir gave the world premiere of my carol Noel: Verbum Caro Factus Est at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at St Columba’s Scottish Presbyterian Church in Budapest.
A couple of hours later, Carlisle Cathedral Choir began their Gala Concert with the same carol.
10 December 2017
St Mark’s Church, Natland, Kendal at 7.30 PM. Pro Nobis performed my carol Hard is the Road to Bethlehem at their Christmas concert (“Wolcum Yule!”), alongside Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols and other seasonal works. You can hear their performance here.
9 December 2017
“Hallelujah! A Christmas Concert”. St James’s Church, Denton Holme, Carlisle. The Abbey Singers gave the premiere of my new Grand Motet Rite majorem Iacobus canamus. The programme also featured Part One of Handel’s Messiah and other exciting and joyous pieces, including Jonathan Millican’s Ave Maria.
30 July 2017
My music was featured in a special weekend of services at Carlisle Cathedral featuring music by Cumbrian-based composers.
7 February 2017
Lunchtime lecture-recital at Tullie House, Carlisle. I celebrated contributions to music made by non-binary and transgendered people, especially the castrati, and together with Jack Stone performed a short programme of vocal solos, including selections from Schütz, Monteverdi and Carissimi.
2 December 2016
Lunchtime recital with Jordan English at St Nicholas Cathedral, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
The programme was as follows:
Purcell: Music for a While
Schütz: O Jesu, nomen dulce
Christopher Gibbons: Voluntary for Double Organs (organ solo played by Jordan English)
Orlando Gibbons: The Secret Sins
Henry Lawes: To God the Holy Ghost
Pelham Humfrey: A Hymn to God the Father
Franz Tunder: Praeludium in G minor (organ solo played by Jordan English)
Schütz: Was hast du verwirket?
Purcell: Vouchsafe, O Lord (from the Te Deum in D major)
Heinrich Albert: Hie habt ihr, ihr jungfrauen
1st October 2016
Mini-recital and panellist at Celebrate! Symposium, Tullie House, Carlisle.
20 March 2016 Palm Sunday
Alto soloist in Haydn: Stabat Mater – Carlisle Cathedral Chamber Choir, Carlisle Cathedral.
13 February 2016
Occasional Musick at Austin Friars School Chapel, Carlisle – starts 7.30 PM. This included the Byrd 4-part Mass.
19 December 2015
“Smith & Jones: A Baroque Christmas” – recital at St Bride’s (Greyfriars), Dumfries. Music by Schütz and Bach.
12 December 2015
Carlisle Cathedral Christmas Concert – starts 7.30 PM. I performed the alto solo “O Thou that tellest” from Handel’s Messiah.
21 November 2015
Concert in aid of Amnesty International at St John’s Houghton with new group directed by me, “Occasional Musick”. Music by Schütz, Fux and Praetorius.
8 October 2015
Lunchtime recital at Hexham Abbey, with Max Smith (organ scholar, Carlisle Cathedral)
17th-century music from England and Germany
Orlando Gibbons – Fancy in A re
Henry Purcell – Music for a While
Pelham Humfrey – A Hymn to God the Father
Henry Lawes – To God the Holy Ghost
J.J. Froberger Toccata VI: Da sonarsi alla levatione
Heinrich Schütz – Kläglicher Abschied
Heinrich Schütz – Was hast du verwirket?
Heinrich Albert – Hie habt ihr, ihr jungfrauen
Henry Purcell – Vouchsafe O Lord (from Te Deum in D)
6 October 2015
Lunchtime concert at Carlisle Cathedral (as member of the Herdwyck Consort)