February 2003 update
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Welcome to this newsletter (issue no. 10), a more-or-less annual round-up
of performances, publications, reviews and previews of my work as
composer and arranger. I hope that you may find some information of
interest – to find out more, please feel free to contact me on 020 8632 1854,
or at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to join, or leave, the mailing list
for these occasional communications, please let me know.
Thanks for taking the time to look through the booklet.
NEW WEBSITE ARRANGEMENTS
February 2003 sees the launch of www.paulayres.co.uk. The grey area between “mere” arrangement and “original” composition is a
The most important feature of this new site is a fully-searchable database of creative area in which Paul has enjoyed working. In Purcell’s Funeral Sentence,
more than one hundred compositions and arrangements. To help musicians in the original continuo was removed, and four new vocal parts added to Purcell’s
their quest for just the right repertoire item for their concert programme / SATB, which “very neatly amplifies the intensity and passion of the original”
ensemble / choir / school / church, the cyber-visitor can search under any (John Scott – Director of Music, St Paul’s Cathedral).
combination of categories: In 2002, the repertoire standard to fall under such an attack was the much-
• length loved Fauré Requiem. Recast as 4A Wreck, each of the seven movements has
• voicing been treated to changes in one or more parameters: metre, pitch, harmony,
• instrumentation style, speed, instrumentation, text and overall effect. Quotes from Bach,
• subject matter Handel, Stravinsky and Queen creep in. The publicity for the event warned:
• keyword. “If the Fauré Requiem is your favourite piece, and you don’t want to hear it
being altered in any way (never mind being processed, cut up, stapled and
Another new feature will be a selection of scores in PDF format, so that the re-vamped), you may want to avoid this piece.” However, the premiere (with
music can be viewed and (extracts) printed off and tried out – ultimately it is James Bowman, counter-tenor) is now available on CD, and Harlow Chorus,
hoped that almost all scores will be displayed in this way. under Sarah Tenant-Flowers, will give the ‘world deuxième’ in 2003.
Deep River, Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Go down Moses and Didn’t
All the information from the old site – forthcoming performances, my Lord deliver Daniel? The popular acappella arrangements of four spirituals
biographies, sound files etc, is still there, and the previous address (“well and aptly arranged” – John Rutter) have now been performed
(http://home.clara.net/paulayres) links through to the new one, throughout the UK and in the USA, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary,
which benefits from: Turkey, Slovakia and Australia.
• more space for the continually-expanding catalogue Paul has made a vocal and instrumental (flexible scoring) version of
• a professional design Crimond in which, unlike the hymn, the musical phrases reflect the sense of
• a more memorable address. the words (The Lord’s my shepherd / I’ll not want / He makes me down to lie in
pastures green / He leadeth me the quiet waters by). It has been premiered and
Enjoy your visit! recorded by the Queldryk Chamber Choir (London), published by Zimbel Press
(New York) and taken on tour by Harlow Chorus (Lisbon).
Many arrangements have been made to suit the specific needs of Ealing Youth SCHOOL MUSIC
Choir, which Paul directs. Over the past year these have included:
Cry me a River (Arthur Hamilton) for SATB and one or two soloists This is the third year of Paul’s work with Gallions School, an ArtsMark primary school in
Wisl a (a beautiful Polish folksong) SATB Beckton, East London with a very strong musical tradition.
We three Kings (John Hopkins) SSAB
Michelle (Lennon/McCartney) SATB 2000-2001 saw Paul compose and musically-direct a children’s musical,
Scheherezade (funded by the London Arts Board’s 1000 Artists in 1000 Places
THE CHRIST 2001-2002’s project was a themed piece, The Great Water (funded by the
Performing Right Society Foundation’s Composers-in-Education scheme). All of
Paul’s biggest piece yet is the dramatic oratorio The Christ – 90 minutes long the school’s 120 pupils wrote and improvised their own music – using
and scored for soprano, tenor and bass soloists, (spoken) narrator, choir percussion instruments, vocal and body sounds – on various watery themes
SATB, strings (quartet or small ensemble), trumpet, organ and percussion such as the creation of the world, Noah and the Ark, flooding and
(two players) plus (optional) children’s choir. A result of a private commission, environmental issues (not irrelevant for a school in the low-lying zone just
it was premiered in November 2001 by the Petrus Singers and Ensemble, with outside the Thames Flood Barrier!).
soloists Moira Harris (s), Wills Morgan (t), Nigel Cliffe (b) and Ceri Lewis (n) 2002-2003 is another PRSF scheme, which builds on the pupils’ increasing
under the direction of Steve Jones. A double-CD (live recording) is now ability in instrumental playing and musical notation. The end-product is the
available. Reviewing the first performance, The Church Times said Gallions Symphony, a work inspired by the classical four-movement
symphonic form. The music for the first two movements is composed by all the
“Ayres has a great appreciation of musical colour, and he uses his children in years 4 to 6 (that’s 9-11-year-olds, for those of the ‘O’-level
resources masterfully to achieve just the right effect... employs musical generation) and will be performed on violins and cellos by all the children in
word-painting effectively and in a manner that lends his writing a fresh and years 2 and 3 (who are learning with the Colourstrings technique), some older
appealing immediacy.” children, the staff orchestra (of 20 teachers and assistants) and a professional
band. The third movement is composed and arranged by members of an after-
There will be another chance to hear it, on 10 May 2003, in the second school composing club (funded by the National Foundation for Youth Music)
St Pancras Festival of Contemporary Church Music. from Gallions Primary and Kingsford Secondary schools. The last movement
is a ‘choral finale’ involving the whole school singing as well as playing.
The whole thing comes together, miraculously, in April 2003.
SONGS FOR SOLO VOICE PUBLISHERS AND DISTRIBUTORS
In addition to settings of Shakespeare, John Donne, Michael Drayton, William Blake and Most titles are published by the composer, and can be ordered through email@example.com or
Wilfred Owen, Paul’s new departure in the last year has been working with texts in 020 8632 1854 or www.paulayres.co.uk. For multiple copies (eg choral scores), a licence to
languages other than English make photocopies is provided. Self-published scores are guaranteed free of misprints. Some works
Hör´ ich das Liedchen klingen sets words by Heinrich Heine – the same poem are published and distributed by the organisations below.
that Schumann used in Dichterliebe. Ian MacDonald, accompanied by Leigh
O’Hara, premiered the song at the Blackheath Halls, London in November In the UK: Canonic Movements (clarinet, cello, piano); The Schoolboy (voice and
2002, as part of a programme including new music inspired by, or related to, piano; William Blake) – Nymet Music
the Schumann song-cycle. Volume of 20 ‘last-verse’ harmonisations for organ – Fagus Music
Great and wonderful are your deeds (‘worship song’) – Decani Music
Nicki Kennedy (soprano) and Katherine McGillivray (viola d’amore) will
Love divine (choir SATB and organ), Jerusalem the Golden (choir SB and organ)
premiere a brace of songs – He to Her (in English) and She to Him (in French). – Parish Publications
The words, by Sue Powell, are a fictional dialogue between Harriet Smithson Vari8 for celtic (lever) harp – Beartramka Press
and Hector Berlioz, and will appear in the Figur’d Shade show Harriet’s First In the USA: Eight Songs (voice and piano; Shakespeare, Wilfred Owen, John Donne,
Tape. The commission and the production are supported by SoundSense. Michael Drayton, Psalm 91, traditional) – Kallisti Music Press
Music of the Fuchsia is the name given to the voice and piano duo of O little town of Bethlehem (choir SATB and piano) – Roger Dean (Lorenz)
Rosemary Forbes-Butler and Paul Ayres. Through improvisation and Let my prayer rise before you (‘worship song’) – Oregon Catholic Press
experimentation, they have a unique repertoire, particularly of re-worked Three Songs of Henry VIII (choir SSS and piano), O people of God (choir SATB and
songs from the Baroque period – Handel’s I know that my Redeemer liveth as organ) – National Music Publishers (California)
Gospel, Lully’s Espoir le cher as Parisian chanson, Monteverdi’s Ohimè ch’io cado Three Chorale Preludes (organ), The Lord’s my shepherd (arr for choir SATB and
as bilingual dialogue etc… Several singers have asked for copies of Music for a accompaniment) – Zimbel Music Press
While (the Fuchsia version of the Purcell song is swing, uptempo with a big The Three Kings (any four voices; Dorothy L Sayers) – Gordon V Thompson
band feel) – and it’s now available in print. (Warner Chappell)
Arrangements of spirituals: Deep River, Joshua fought the battle of Jericho,
* Gift Idea! – if you’re looking for a unique gift for one you love, and/or for Go down Moses and Didn’t my Lord deliver Daniel? (choir SATBdiv) – distributed
someone who has everything, why not commission a song, setting their by Mainely A Cappella
favourite poem, or an arrangement of their favourite tune? Anthem for Remembrance (choir SS, cello, organ), Veni creator Spiritus (choir
SSAABar) – Yelton Rhodes Music
CHORAL MUSIC THEATRE AND INSTRUMENTAL
Paul’s work will be heard for the first time at three top venues: Carnegie Hall, The musical for children of all ages, The Princess and the Goblin, was selected
Avery Fisher Hall (Lincoln Center) and Riverside Church, when the ten-part for a showcase performance in May 2002 at the Greenwich Theatre, as part of
wedding anthem Ruth is sung by the Texas choir Conspirare, directed by Craig their Musical Futures festival. A cast of four (Cathie Nicholls, Fru Cass, Josh
Hella Johnson, at the American Choral Directors’ Association (ADCA) Emdon and Stephen McCarthy) and band of three (Alexander L’Estrange,
National Convention in New York, February 2003. Julian Watson and Paul Ayres) presented a half-hour production, with eight
songs and a ‘Reader’s Digest’-style condensation of the plot and dialogue to
Choral premieres in 2002 included: link them together. A tape from this show is available to any youth theatres or
Easter Anthem (St Pancras Parish Church / Chris Batchelor) schools interested in the work, which is based on the eponymous novel by
Chapel Royal Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (Choristers of the Chapel Royal, George Macdonald, with book and lyrics by Fiona Angwin.
St James’s Palace / Andrew Gant) June 2001 saw the premiere of Fanfare for three trumpets, played by
Ecce sacerdos magnus (choir, soloists and trumpets / St John’s Ladbroke Grove) members of Philharmonia Brass in a Chelsea Festival concert.
The Lord my pasture shall prepare (Como Park Lutheran Church MN / The crazy organ work Advent Fantasia received a broadcast on Radio 3’s Late
Tom Ferry) Junction and has been recorded by Jamie Hitel on a new CD from Akron Ohio.
Prayer of St Richard of Chichester (Queldryk Chamber Choir / composer) Canonic Movements, the early (1991) work for piano, cello and clarinet, has
Outwithin (Equal Voices ensemble / New York) been published by the new company Nymet, and the music can be viewed at
Commissions in hand for 2003 include:
O praise ye the Lord – a setting of Psalm 150 as versified by Henry Baker.
Commissioned by Haven Green Baptist Church, London W5, to celebrate the CHRISTMAS MUSIC
completion of their organ restoration project (the text includes the line “Loud
organs, his glory forth tell in deep tone”, which seems appropriate!). Paul’s most popular Christmas title is undoubtedly O little town of Bethlehem.
Scored for SATB choir, children’s choir, organ and percussion (two players). Broadcast on Classic FM and featured on the mp3.com music site
Past Song – a setting of the first verse of John Clare’s poem Childhood. (www.mp3.com/paulayres), it has now been published by Roger Dean
Commissioned by Hull Ladies’ Musical Union, to celebrate their centenary. (Lorenz) in the USA. The familiar words are by Phillips Brooks, and this
Scored for SSA piano. setting includes the lesser-known fourth verse.
New arrangements of two French carols were heard for the first time in 2002: Music of a more informal style (sometimes called “worship songs” in the
Entre le boeuf et l’âne gris (a beautifully-haunting minor key melody) SAATTB, UK, and “contemporary Christian” in the USA – neither of which is a very
received performances by three different choirs. The twelve months of the year accurate description!) includes pieces published by Decani Music in the UK
(Le douze mois d’l’année / La perdriole) – not dissimilar in structure to The and Oregon Catholic Press in the USA.
twelve days of Christmas – SATB. For organists: a volume of last verse harmonisations is shortly to be
Verse twelve reads (arranger’s free translation): published by Fagus Music in Scotland.
“The twelfth month of the year, what shall I give my true love? For musically-adventurous churches, there are more extended hymn settings
Twelve young maidens in the hall, eleven suitors standing tall, ten milking (where each verse is harmonised differently, to illustrate the text), for organ
cows, nine raging bulls, eight woolly sheep, seven greyhounds, six mad and brass group, including: All my hope on God is founded (Howells),
march hares, five bunny rabbits nibbling, four winter geese ascending, For all the saints who from their labours rest (Vaughan Williams),
three woodpigeons, two turtle doves, I will give a partridge who flaps and Hark! the herald-angels sing (Mendelssohn) and O come O come Emmanuel
floats and flutters, fluffy feathered flapping floating fluttering flying fancy (Veni Emmanuel).
female partridge, a-flying in the woods!”
The rather Wagnerian re-harmonisations and double-descants of
Mendelssohn’s Hark! the herald-angels sing featured at carol services at INDEX OF SELECTED PERFORMANCES October 2001 – January 2003
St Mary’s Saffron Walden, London College of Music and Media (St Paul’s
Brentford), St Mark’s Washington DC, Speechly Bircham (St Andrew’s Known performances of Paul Ayres’s music since the last newsletter was published.
Holborn), amongst others… All details based on bona fide information provided by artists and promoters.
** world premiere | * national premiere | (a) arrangement
Music for Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange (a) Questor’s Theatre Company /
CHURCH MUSIC dir. Duncan Alldridge / Questor’s Theatre, Ealing
Variants on Veni creator Spiritus composer, organ / Sheffield Cathedral
As a choir director and organist, Paul has often been called upon to write and arrange Variations on Es ist ein’ Ros’ entsprungen composer, organ / St Paul’s Church, Honiton
hymns, songs and settings for use in liturgical contexts. **O waly, waly (a) Texas Girls’ Choir / Shirley Carter / Fort Worth, TX
**The Christ Petrus Singers and Ensemble / Steve Jones / St Peter’s Church, Ealing.
St Peter’s Communion Service, originally written for St Peter’s Ealing, is now
in the repertoire at Howden Minster in Yorkshire.
O little town of Bethlehem Choir of King’s Hall School / Ian Webb-Taylor
Advent Fantasia Jamie Hitel, organ / St Paul’s Church, Akron, Ohio September ’02
Advent Fantasia Radio 3 broadcast Three Chorale Preludes Carson Cooman, organ / Rochester, NY
O little town of Bethlehem choir Windsong / Kerry Barnett / Oklahoma City **Ecce sacerdos magnus St John’s Church Ladbroke Grove
God rest you merry, gentlemen (a); We wish you a merry Christmas (a) Sounds Wicked! / October ’02
Michael Fulcher / St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, London **The Lord my pasture shall prepare Como Park Lutheran Church MN / Tom Ferry
Treasure Choir of St Bride’s Fleet Street / Matthew Morley *Deep River (a) Gallery Singers / Albert McLane / Vancouver, Canada
January ’02 **Navajo Wedding Blessing Stuart Walton, bass / Harrow, Middlesex
**Chapel Royal Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis Chapel Royal Choristers / Andrew Gant *Ruth; *Purcell’s Funeral Sentence Conspirare / Craig Hella Johnson / Austin, TX
February ’02 Three Chorale Preludes Carson Cooman, organ / Webster, NY
Opening Number; Am I too old for love (cabaret songs) Nigel Osner and Simon Gray / *Yesterday (a) Clemson University Choir / Dan Rash / South Carolina
Jermyn Street Theatre London November ’02
The Water of Tyne Rosemary Forbes-Butler, soprano / Venice -
**Wisla (a); **Cry me a river (a) Ealing Youth Choir
Strengthen for Service Choir of St George’s Church Hanover Square / Simon Williams **Hör´ ich das Liedchen klingen Ian MacDonald, tenor; Leigh O’Hara, piano /
April ’02 Blackheath Concert Halls, London
**The Great Water Gallions Primary School (years 2-6) / Beckton, London Jubilate St Mary Abbots Choir / Mark Uglow
*Outwithin Equal Voices / Merkin Concert Hall New York St Peter Communion Service David Abbott / Howden Minster, Yorkshire
May ’02 Outwithin Equal Voices / St Peter’s Church, Citicorp Center, New York
**4A Wreck; **Prayer of St Richard of Chichester; **Crimond (a); other songs and choral December ’02
works / James Bowman, counter-tenor, Queldryk Chamber Choir / London **Once in royal David’s city Árpád Darázs Singers / Robert Neese / South Carolina
**The Princess and the Goblin (abridged musical) / Greenwich Theatre . Chapel Royal Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis Chapel Royal Choristers / Andrew Gant
Wedding Anthem Anna Dennis / St Pancras Festival of Contemporary Church Music **Entre le boeuf (a) Walbrook Girls’ Choir / Tansy Castledine / Mill End, Herts.
**Easter Anthem St Pancras Choir / Chris Batchelor. God rest you merry (a) Davenant Foundation School / Peter Crowe
June ’02 O little town of Bethlehem; Entre le boeuf (a) Denton Wilde Sapte Choir / Temple Church
*Crimond (a) Harlow Chorus / Sarah Tenant-Flowers / Lisbon Entre le boeuf (a) Choir of St George’s Church Hanover Square / Simon Williams
**Fanfare for three trumpets Philharmonia Brass / Chelsea Festival **The twelve months of the year (a); On Christmas night (a) Harlow Chorus /
Love Divine London Pro Arte Choir / Robin Kimber Sarah Tenant-Flowers
Four spirituals (a) Stanmore Choral Society / David Gould January ’03
*Joshua fought the battle (a) Coro Santa Cecilia / Angelo Gubbini / Outwithin Equal Voices / St Francis of Assisi Church New York
Wolfsberg Music Festival Incidental music for Sprout improvising comedy group / Pleasance Theatre, London
FORTHCOMING PERFORMANCES Sunday 18 May – First Baptist Church of Decatur, Georgia USA
**O people of God, bless the Lord Decatur Civic Chorus / Mary Anne Sharp
Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 February – Carnegie Hall and Riverside Church Monday 19 May – venue tbc
and Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York **Past Song Hull Ladies’ Musical Union
Ruth Conspirare / Craig Hella Johnson / ADCA convention Saturday 31 May – Westminster Presbyterian Church, Seattle
February – exact date tbc Deep River (a) Pacifica Chamber Singers / Susan Senft
*White Cliffs of Dover (a) Clemson University Choir, South Carolina / Dan Rash Sunday 8 June – St John’s Arts Centre, Old Harlow, Essex
February – exact date tbc – Anapolis, Maryland, USA **She to Him, Him to Her Nicki Kennedy (soprano) and Katherine McGillivray
**O pray for the peace of Jerusalem Choir of US Naval Academy / Barry Talley (viola d’amore)
Saturday 1 March – Haven Green Baptist Church, London W5
**O praise ye the Lord Hanwell Children’s Choir, Durston House Choir and
others / Cherry Willow-Pauls, organ
Sunday 2 March – Westminster Presbyterian Church, Charlottesville, VA, USA DISCOGRAPHY
*Jubilate Westminster Choir / Linda Hanson
Sunday 16 March – St George’s Church Hanover Square London Advent Fantasia (organ) on For M is for Musick (Lammas LAMM 144)
Strengthen for Service St George’s Choir / Simon Williams St Paul’s Episcopal Church, Akron, Ohio, USA – Jamie Hitel
Tuesday 25 March – Farnham Maltings, Surrey available at www.lammas.co.uk/musick.htm
**Cantate Domino Vivace Cantamus girls’ choir / Valerie Hoppé /
Farnham Festival Strengthen for Service on A Sure Foundation
Monday 7 April and Friday 11 April – Gallions School, Beckton, London E6 Choir of St Barnabas Dulwich – William McVicker
**Gallions Symphony Gallions School pupils and teachers available at www.stbarnabasdulwich.com/recording/foundation.html
Saturday 26 April – venue tbc Suffolk
**Saint Martin; King’s Hall Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis Harmony Girls’ Choir / Arrangement of Stille Nacht (Silent Night) on Be Merry Therefore
David Bramhall Choir of Christ Church, Deer Park, Toronto – Bruce Kirkpatrick Hill
Saturday 10 May – St Pancras Parish Church, Euston Road, London available at www.christchurchdeerpark.org/pages/choir.htm
The Christ Petrus Singers and Ensemble / composer conducting
Saturday 17 May – All Saints’ Hockerill, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire
4A Wreck Harlow Chorus / Sarah Tenant-Flowers
4A Wreck and other works
Contents: 4A Wreck; Sing Softly; Ruth; Jubilate; Wedding Anthem; The Path of
Childhood; Outwithin; Prayer of St Richard of Chichester; The Lord’s my shepherd; Blow
blow thou winter wind
Artists: James Bowman, counter-tenor; Nicholas Ansdell-Evans, piano,
Simon Williams, organ; Graham Instrall, percussion; Queldryk Chamber
Choir; composer conducting
Experience the music of Paul Ayres
Contents: Purcell’s Funeral Sentence; Treasure; Strengthen for Service; April is in my
mistress’ face; Didn’t my Lord deliver Daniel?; Deep River; Go down Moses; To Music;
To-; Scarborough Fair; Motivations 4; Motivations 5; Drive my Car; Nowhere Man;
Slap that Bass; Music for a While (Music of the Fuchsia version)
Artists: Alexander L’Estrange, double bass; Rosemary Forbes-Butler,
soprano; Queldryk Chamber Choir; composer conducting
Both these live recordings are available for the concert ticket price of £10.
Please send a cheque payable to “Paul Ayres” (free p&p in the UK) to
12 Bennetts Avenue, Greenford, Middlesex UB6 8AU.
[Overseas orders: £12.50 or US$20 including postage.]
Don’t forget to say which CD you’re ordering!
A double-CD of the premiere performance, November 2001, conducted by
Steve Jones is available by sending a cheque for £20 payable to “Petrus
Singers” to 3 Winscombe Crescent, Ealing, London W5 1AZ.