The Annunciation of Solomon (2016)

for SSATB choir and organ

Duration: 3 minutes

Text: Song of Solomon 3:6-7a, 11 (KJV) and John Milton (1608-1674)

Written in collaboration with the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. First presented in workshop with Sir James MacMillan by the St Salvator's Chapel Choir (Tom Wilkinson, dir.) with Sean Heath, organ, in February 2017. First publicly performed April 2017.

Recorded by the St Salvator's Chapel Choir on their 2018 CD, Annunciations.

Published in Annunciations: Sacred Music for the Twenty-First Century, edited by George Corbett (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2019) with an accompanying essay.

In Autumn 2016, I was selected to take part in a new project in St Andrews, Scotland, where six composers were paired with six doctoral theology students from the University of St Andrews to create new choral anthems on the theme of Old Testament annunciations. I had the pleasure of working with Kimberley (‘Billie’) Anderson, who challenged me with issues of masculine representation and emotion in the Song of Solomon. In The Annunciation of Solomon, the previously-silent bridegroom is announced in his approach (a purposeful misgendering of the original text, as he becomes ‘perfumed with myrrh…with all powders of the merchant’). The inner voice of the bridegroom is represented by an excerpt from Milton’s Paradise Lost (itself adapted from Genesis 2:23) set with lush harmonies in dialogue with the organ. The piece closes by returning to the Song of Solomon, set as a simple chant.

Click here to see the complete score.

The audio excerpt below is from the  CD recording by the St Salvator's Chapel Choir.

Simple Psalms (2016)

for SATB choir, a cappella

Duration: 7 minutes 15 seconds (2'30", 2'15", 2'30" if performed separate)

Text: Book of Common Prayer (Ps. 48, 121 & 130)

First performed in Edmonton by Pro Coro #connect (Michael Zaugg, dir.) in May 2019.

In my own ongoing personal challenge (that is, to compose shorter pieces which might be accessible to a wide range of choirs), Simple Psalms is a trio of brief psalm settings for a cappella choir, suitable for concert performance or sacred worship. The same type of harmonic writing and textural complexity from my other pieces is clearly present here, but in a simplified form. Each psalm may be performed individually or (for something more substantial) as a complete set.

Click here to see the complete score.

Cantate Domino (2016)

for SATB choir, a cappella

Duration: 4 minutes

Text: King James Bible (Ps. 96:1, 11-13)

Currently unperformed.

Cantate Domino was written alongside my set of Simple Psalms, and shares the mindset of composing an accessible psalm setting for a cappella choir, while maintaining my own harmonic and textural language. However, Cantate Domino does not aim for extreme brevity, and the text (from Psalm 96) was instead adapted into a slightly-larger anthem in binary form.

Click here to see the complete score.

A Christmas Carol (2015)

for SSATBB choir, a cappella

Duration: 2 minutes 45 seconds

Text: Reginald Heber (1783-1826)

Currently unperformed.

This brief carol for unaccompanied choir was written for my own pleasure, to create a short, enjoyable Christmas carol, suitable for either church or concert settings. I aimed to write my carol in the vein of John Rutter or David Willcocks: a memorable melody, arranged in various ways and with satisfying parts for all voices, but which also contains some brief unexpected harmonic twists along the way.

Click here to see the complete score.

I loved you first (2015)

for SATB choir, a cappella

Duration: 4 minutes

Text: Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

First performance by Wascana Voices (Regina, SK) in April 2016. First European performance in London by The Fourth Choir (Dominic Peckham, dir.) in February 2017. Also performed in Canada by the Chronos Vocal Ensemble (Jordan van Biert, dir.) in January 2018, and by the Luminos Ensemble (Margot Rejskind, dir.) in February 2018.

Recorded by the Chronos Vocal Ensemble on their 2018 CD, Fresh: New Music from Canada.

I loved you first is a simple and emotional setting of the eponymous poem by Christina Rossetti for SATB choir (notably: without divisi!). In this piece, I aimed to write something pure, delicate, and vulnerable, but which remained true to my roots (that of sacred choral music). The text, about the nature of true and lasting love, is set with clean, sterile lines juxtaposed against passionate declarations, closing with a warm and reaffirming chorale.

Click here to see the complete score.

The audio below is from the live performance by the Chronos Vocal Ensemble in January 2018.

Psalm 100 (2015)

for SATB choir and organ

Duration: 4 minutes

Text: Latin Vulgate Bible

Winner of the Debbie Fleming Prize for Choral Composition.

First performed by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (Jennifer Min-Young Lee, cond.) with Michael Bloss, organ, in January 2016.

Originally from the Wedding Cantata, this anthem for SATB choir has been extracted as a stand-alone concert work. The Latin text for Psalm 100, "Jubilate Deo," is expressed through a fluid and passionate setting, supported by an unending stream of sixteenth-note figures and athletic pedal-work in the organ accompaniment. 

Click here to see the complete score.

The audio below is a live recording of the premiere performance by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in January 2016.

Missa Omnium Sanctorum (2015)

for SATB choir and organ

See entry under Liturgical Works.

Wedding Cantata (2014)

for tenor and baritone soli, SATB choir, and organ

See entry under Solo Voice.