gerontius newsletter - February 2010

Here is the Gerontius newsletter for February 2010.

This newsletter includes news of a competition to compose a new Christmas carol, details of a choral workshop in Brittany, details of an opportunity to hear James Macmillan's St John Passion in London, with a discount voucher, and news of the Sixteen's Choral Pilgrimage.

Please feel free to send this newsletter on to other members of your choir and to friends.

Please let us know if you would like us to feature your choir in a future newsletter.

Newsletter contents
1. Sing a New Song. Brand new Christmas carol competition is launched
2. Langlais Festival Choral Workshop with Malcolm Archer
3. James MacMillan: St John Passion
4. The Sixteen's Choral Pilgrimage
5. Gerontius Site Sponsors
6. Next Gerontius newsletter: March

Sing a New Song. Brand new Christmas carol competition is launched

Sing a New Song

To celebrate its 21st birthday year, Waverley Care, Scotland's leading HIV charity, is organising a Christmas carol writing competition.

New and established composers are invited to submit a carol for SATB voices of maximum 4 minutes duration.

Initial shortlisting will be undertaken by Jenny Sumerling, Musical Director of Edinburgh-based choir, Cadenza and Scottish composer, Tom Cunningham.

A final shortlist of six will be selected by a judging panel consisting of composers Bob Chilcott and James MacMillan and Simon Woods, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

The six shortlisted carols will be performed by Cadenza at a concert in Edinburgh on Saturday 27th November 2010, and a cheque for £500 will be presented to the winning composer.

The winning carol will also be included on Cadenza's forthcoming Christmas CD.

Full competition guidelines and an application form can be downloaded from Waverley Care's website: or telephone 0131 556 9710 to request an application pack.

Closing date for entries: Friday 21st May 2010.

The competition is sponsored by Sir Tom and Lady Farmer.

Waverley Care Charity

Waverley Care Charity No: SC036500

Langlais Festival Choral Workshop with Malcolm Archer

Langlais Festival Malcolm Archer choral course

Brittany Music Workshops are organising their third annual choral course which will take place from Sunday 25th to Thursday 29th July in la Fontenelle, Brittany, birthplace of Jean Langlais.

The course will be directed once again by Malcolm Archer, with David Bednall (organ), but this year we have the additional help of vocal coach Hilary Jones, whose expertise will undoubtedly improve the quality of the sound that the choir is able to produce.

The aims of the course are to study and perform choral works by Jean Langlais, his contemporaries and those who influenced him, to bring experienced singers together in the Breton village where Langlais was born, to work intensively with living composers (Malcolm and David) and to perform two concerts in the Langlais International Festival.

Last year's very successful course united singers from the UK, France, Hong Kong and Morocco. Here is what some of them said :-

"The workshop has exceeded my expectations and given me the confidence to sing at a level I didn't think I was capable of. I have really appreciated Malcolm's direction and the different strategies, patiently employed, to get what he wanted from us."

"The workshop is exceptionally well planned and organized. The bringing together of a choir of people who have not sung together before and shape them into concert standard after five days is a remarkable achievement, and hugely rewarding."

For full details, please see or
Email:, tel: 01296 688976

James MacMillan: St John Passion

James MacMillan

Sunday 28 February, 7.30pm

Barbican, London

James MacMillan: St John Passion

London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

Sir Colin Davis conductor

Christopher Maltman baritone

Full details and online booking:

For 20% discount on all ticket prices (£7 - £32) please quote 'Chorus offer' when booking by phone on 020 7638 8891 or use discount code 28210 when booking online here
Tickets subject to availability. Offer does not apply to tickets already purchased.

MacMillan's St John Passion was composed for Sir Colin Davis's 80th birthday in 2008, and was premiered that year by the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. The work fuses MacMillan´s own Catholic faith, compositional style and musical influences with the long tradition of settings for the passion of Christ in both the Catholic and Lutheran faiths. In addition to the choir and orchestra, MacMillan uses a small choir of soloists to provide the narration and a solitary baritone soloist to portray Christus.

"A blazing blockbuster, a piece as fiercely communicative as anything the 48-year-old MacMillan has written before... " The Times
"This is a piece you simply must hear if you have any interest in contemporary sacred orchestral and choral work." Audiophile Audition

Sound clips are available here:
 Listen to a clip of Part II, 5. The Crucifixion
 Listen to a clip of Part II, 6. Christ's garments divided

The Sixteen's Choral Pilgrimage

The Sixteen's Choral Pilgrimage

Ceremony & Devotion - Music for the Tudors

Join Harry Christophers and The Sixteen as they celebrate ten glorious years of The Choral Pilgrimage. First established as a millennium project, the Pilgrimage has since breathed life into the stones of the UK's great cathedrals and churches, with the music that was written for those spaces. This year the tour focuses on some of the finest music by three leading Tudor composers: John Sheppard, Thomas Tallis and William Byrd. All three composers lived through times of massive religious and political upheaval and yet, through the chaos, they managed to produce some of the most sublime and lasting choral music ever written.

Forthcoming concerts:
12 March University Church, Oxford
13 March St John's College Chapel, Cambridge
10 April St Albans Cathedral

- for the complete tour schedule and full programme details, visit

Accompanying the concerts is a series of choral workshops led by The Sixteen's Assistant Conductor, Eamonn Dougan, and Sixteen soprano & musicologist, Sally Dunkley.
London - 21 March
St Albans - 10 April
Blackburn - 5 June
Norwich - 12 June
Tewkesbury - 18 September
Edinburgh - 16 October

Places are £25 and participants are offered a special concert discount to the Choral Pilgrimage. Early booking is recommended!

For more information please contact Marie Fenton
020 7936 3420

Gerontius Site Sponsors

Many thanks to the following:

Rayburn Tours

Chameleon Arts Orchestras and soloists

Manchester Amateur Choral Competition

Choir Practice

Davies Music

Music Dynamics

ScoreStore Printed Music Ltd

La Maison Verte

Hungarian Choral Castle

Chameleon Wedding Music

QuintEssential - early music ensemble

Alberon - web design

Next gerontius newsletter - March

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For further details and previous newsletters please see:

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best wishes
Tim Ault

Gerontius website

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