20 April 2011
The Choir & Organ Composition Competition 2011, held in partnership with the International Organ Festival at St Albans, has been won by Joute (Duel), a duo for trumpet and organ by Valentin Villard.
Villard was born in 1985 in Lausanne, Switzerland; he is choral director for the parish of Sainte-Cécile, Morges (on Lake Geneva), and is studying for a Master of Arts in Composition at the Amsterdam Conservatorium. A full interview with Villard will appear in the July/August issue of Choir & Organ as part of our New Music series.
The premiere of Joute is being sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Musicians and will be given by two Company Yeomen (former WCM grantees) on 16 July in St Albans Cathedral as part of the IOF Prize-winners’ Concert.
John Alldis memorial service
8 February 2011
John Alldis inspired his singers, whether professional or amateurCourtesy Dominic Alldis
A memorial service for John Alldis will be held in St Mary Abbots Church, 2 Kensington Church Court, London W8 4SP on 1 April at 12 noon, followed by a reception.
John Alldis died on 20 December aged 81. He gained international renown as a choral conductor for his ability to interpret new music, the creation of the definitive performance, and the continuing development of vocal expression.
Full obituary in Choir & Organ March/April 2011, on sale from 22 February.
NEW COMMONWEALTH VOICES RELAUNCHES
6 October 2010
The vibrant young choir New Commonwealth Voices relaunches on Wednesday 13 October with a rehearsal at St Pancras Church from 7pm to 9pm (www.stpancraschurch.org). Their next public engagement will be the Commonwealth Carol Service in St Martins-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London on 15 December.
Winner of Choir & Organ Composition Competition 2010
23 July 2010
James Davy, assistant director of music at Blackburn Cathedral and winner of Choir & Organ's 2010 Composition Competition
The Choir & Organ Composition Competition 2010 has been won by James Davy with Domine clamavi.
Davy is assistant director of music at Blackburn Cathedral and a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. His setting of the psalm text (taken from Psalm 141 vv1-3) focuses on the reflective aspect of worship. He commented, 'At the cathedral, psalms are part of our daily tradition. In these particular verses there's a lot that sums up worship, and music for it – it is quiet and reflective in nature, rather than triumphal. For me it expresses an aspect of worship that often goes by unnoticed, and that is certainly underrated.'
The competition was judged by Gabriel Jackson, John McCabe, Andrew Nethsingha, John Rutter, and the editor of Choir & Organ. The premiere will given in November (date TBC) by the Choir of St John's College, Cambridge, directed by Andrew Nethsingha.
£950,000 lottery award for Royal Festival Hall organ
17 June 2010
The restoration of the Royal Festival Hall organ gets green light© Morley Von Sternberg
The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded a grant of £950,000 to Southbank Centre towards the restoration and reinstallation of the Royal Festival Hall organ, it was announced today.
The 1954 Grade 1-listed Harrison & Harrison organ was taken out in 2005 in preparation for the restoration of the Royal Festival Hall; when the Hall reopened in 2007, only one-third of the instrument was replaced. The completion and reinstallation of the remaining two-thirds - with almost 5,000 pipes of the organ's full complement of 7,710 - will be the final piece of the jigsaw in the architectural centrepiece of Sir Leslie Martin’s concert auditorium.
Harrison & Harrison will carry out the work, which is expected to be completed in time for the organ's 60th anniversary in 2014.
A complementary community learning and engagement programme will enable people of all ages to experience the organ for free. These will include an organ scholar placement, free monthly recitals in partnership with the Royal College of Music and Royal Academy of Music, and provision for two new apprentices to work with Harrison & Harrison.
Southbank Centre chief executive Alan Bishop said:
'I would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for their significant contribution to the full restoration of the great organ of the Royal Festival Hall for the next generation. This is a major boost ahead of our fundraising campaign, which we will launch in September, announcing how the public can also support the completion of the organ project.'