Caritas Chamber Choir International Young Composer Competition

Probably the most exciting piece of news I’ve had recently is that I have been shortlisted for Caritas International Young Composer Competition 2017! The brief was to write a piece for SATB (up to SSAATTBB), with or without piano, which depicted a character or story from the Canterbury Tales. I chose the Pardoner as he’s a rather nasty piece of work, but one which Chaucer treats quite humorously. I was thrilled to find out I was one of the six finalists and cannot wait to go to Canterbury on the 8th July when all six pieces are performed and the overall winner is announced! The American composer David Conte from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music will be adjudicating and giving a master class, so I’m sure it’ll be an invaluable opportunity to learn a lot.

Preces and Responses

I was very lucky to have my responses selected as part of the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music, and they were premiered beautifully on May 7th in St Pancras Church. Fitzwilliam College Chapel Choir sang them again on the 14th, and we are due to sing them again on 11th June; after having written them last summer, which feels a very long time ago, it’s strange (but lovely) having so many performances of them in quick succession!

Factus Est Repente and Granta Chorale

This piece has also had multiple performances recently, as we sang it in Granta Chorale in two concerts – one in Ely Cathedral Lady Chapel on 22nd April, and then again in Saffron Hall on 14th May. The two acoustics were so very different that it almost didn’t feel like the same piece! Here’s a recording of the performance in Ely with the gorgeous long echo:

 

Circle Dances at Haywards Heath

This Saturday (27th May) I am really looking forward to going to Haywards Heath to hear my piece Circle Dances for viola, bass clarinet and piano; it hasn’t been performed since the Music for the Festive Season concert in 2014 in Newnham College, when I was playing the piano part, so I’m very excited to hear it as a member of the audience rather than as a performer. It’s also had a very nice mention in the newspaper where it’s described as ‘a powerful toccata-type piece for the unusual combination of viola, bass clarinet and piano’!

 

At the moment, amongst other things, I’m working on a piece for upper voices and piano about the trail-blazing mathematician Philippa Fawcett, so hopefully at some point soon I’ll have more to say on how that’s progressing. For now, though, I think that’s all my news!

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