Performances in New Zealand – including Dunedin

My Christmas music is getting a number of performances around the world this Christmas, including locally here in New Zealand and in Dunedin.

I was contacted by Professor Caldwell of Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania earlier in the month, letting me know that my short work, Love Will Make The Roses Grow was to be performed by the Susquehanna University Women’s Choir on the 18th of November.

Auckland’s “The Three Mezzos Vocal Trio”, comprising accomplished singers Lynne Anderson, Margo Knightbridge and Barbara Lynch, performed the three voice version of my recent composition Mary Sings A Lullaby on November 20th in the Ballroom at Highwic in Epsom.

Also on the North Island, the Renaissance Singers in Hamilton performed Mary Sings a Lullaby, in four parts, on the 20th of November, together with Samhain, Beltane, Yule and Lammas from my Wheel of the Year song cycle.

“Mary” is getting a number of performances around the world – it has other scheduled performances for 2011 by choirs in England (London) and Canada, and possibly Hong Kong (China).

Probably the most exciting performance for me, though, is one by a local choir, Southern Consort of Voices. They’re a Dunedin-based chamber choir, and will be performing my 2010 piece Sing Christmas! in St. Paul’s Cathedral in the Octagon at their traditional lunchtime Christmas concert.

The concert is at 12:15 pm, tickets are $15 and $10. This concert is particularly exciting for me, because I get to hear my work performed live – usually I only get recordings, or word of mouth that the performance occurred!

The concert is also exciting because I used to sing in St. Paul’s Cathedral. Hearing my own music performed there by a local choir will be a real honour.

Here is the press release for the concert:

    This year’s Christmas concert on Friday, December 2nd, is to be held in the traditional venue, St Paul’s Cathedral at 12.15pm. But the programme is far from traditional, with a variety of works from the 20th century, including several New Zealand pieces.

    The concert will begin with the energetic Noel by Roxburgh and the lilting Shepherd’s Carol by Bob Chilcott. These are followed by a couple of charming vignettes from John Ritchie and the warm and colourful Bless this Child from Christopher Marshall’s Triptych (No. 1). The title song, Sing Christmas, is by local composer, Leanne Veitch, and features playful rhythms and even a little percussion.

    We allow ourselves a step back in time to sing three Marion pieces, notably Phillip’s beautifully-constructed renaissance motet, Hodie Beata Virgo, and two gorgeous Russian pieces, Dostoino Yest by Tchaikovsky and Bogoroditse Djevo by Rachmaninoff, from his Vespers.

    We then finish with a flourish, tackling a couple of snappy Jazz numbers.

If you’re a Dunedinite, come along, and support a great choir, and get a chance to listen to some terrific music in a beautiful accoustic.

Three works soon for release

I’m currently working on a few pieces simultaneously.

The first is a new piece titled I Will Walk With You. It’s very traditional in feel, and set for SSATB. The piece is going well, and should be ready for release pretty shortly.

The other stuff I’m working on is re-release of some of the songs Michael (my husband) and I wrote for our musical, Blue Sky. We discussed it the other day, and I said how I thought several of the songs in the musical would work well as independent releases.

He has given me permission to rework and release them individually, so I’ll be working on that over the coming weeks. The pieces I want to release separately are Rising Stars, and a combination of Blue Sky and the reprise of Blue Sky together as one piece.

I think that will keep me busy.

Sing Christmas! (2010)

SATB. Optional hand drum and sleigh bells.

Sing Christmas! was the first in my series of original Christmas pieces to be released.

The work is based on some original ideas and rhythms I’d had sitting in my head from high school that I’d never written down. I am fascinated by lively, less-traditional rhythms, and wanted to write a Christmas piece that went against the standard of either soft, pretty pop tunes, or dirge-like hymns. I felt that Christmas should be celebrated, and a niche existed for a more animated celebratory Christmas piece, for SATB a cappella.

Sing Christmas! was released under personal copyright to CPDL (the choral public domain library) in late 2010. Performances include several in South Africa, Canada, Mexico and the USA.