If you’d like to discuss works for your choir or performing group, please get in touch. My work includes writing for choirs at all levels, and I am able to write suitable pieces for groups performing at any level, from absolute beginners and children’s choirs to professional choirs and orchestras.
“I am really delighted with the carol for WCS and we are all looking forward to performing in December. It has all you could want for a carol; jaunty rhythms, beautiful harmonies and a noisy finish! They really enjoyed the first look at this last night, thanks for a lovely piece.” Neil Ferris, Wimbledon Choral Society
“Chris collaborated with lyricist Julia Laylander to tailor a piece specifically to my choir’s needs. Text and instrumentation were unique to our choir and program theme. The piece was challenging but attainable stretching the limits of my young singers. It was a huge success and I am grateful for him accepting my commission.” – Jack Senzig, conductor in Wisconsin
“Very many thanks for your anthem; it was tremendously well-received this morning, and so many people said to me… how much they enjoyed it, and how effective they had found it. I think a lot of people were really moved by it. Congratulations” – Michael Harris, Master of the Music, St Giles’ Cathedral
Recent and upcoming commissions:
- Adeste Fideles – a Christmas piece for Wimbledon Choral Society (conducted by Neil Ferris) for performance in December 2016. SSAATBB accompanied by organ.
- Mary Morison – an arrangement for SSATB choir for the Deutscher Chor of London (conducted by Barbara Hoefling), which was premiered in Buckingham Palace in October 2016. See the score – recording coming soon hopefully.
- Janya, a 2016 commission for the Jan Modelski Community Orchestra in Chester, premiered July 2016. See my blog on the Adopt A Composer project for more details. Available for flexible orchestra soon – contact me for a score!
Listen to an excerpt here:
Here are a few comments from the premiere:
“It was fantastic and the group seemed to love performing it, it suited them so well and pushed them into new areas (loved the sound effects)”
“The piece by the young composer was absolutely brilliant and the orchestra played it beautifully! It seemed as if he composed it using the orchestra’s constellation eg strong brass section as a strength. I loved it”
- It’s Raining and Under The Wide And Starry Sky – for NYCOS’s 3-4-5-note Songbook series, publication coming soon
- O Clavis David – a commission for the Quodlibet Chorale in Edinburgh. See the score here – premiered Dec 2015. Hear a recording:
- 3 Churches Communion Setting – commissioned in 2015 by Greyfriars Kirk, Augustine United Reformed Church and St Columba’s by the Castle, three churches in Edinburgh. It’s in a Celtic-flavoured idiom, accompanied by organ, and can be sung by an SATB choir, a unison congregation/choir, or both together. The premiere was on October 25th – more details here – and you can also see the score.
- O Praise The Lord, Ye Angels Of His – commissioned in 2013 by the Friends of the Music of St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh (partly-professional church choir). Premiered September 2013. “Once again, very many thanks for your anthem; it was tremendously well-received this morning, and so many people said to me at the reception how much they enjoyed it, and how effective they had found it. I think a lot of people were really moved by it. Congratulations” – Michael Harris, Master of the Music. Hear the piece here! It’s also on their CD, which can be ordered from McAlister Matheson Music in Edinburgh.
- Compline – for St Mary’s Schola, Arlington, Virginia (professional church choir). Premiered at the Association of Anglican Musicians’ Annual Conference, Washington DC, in June 2014. ““Really stunning! Thank you, Chris, for a really expressive and wonderful work that will contribute to the repertoire for Compline in an important and innovative way” – Gregory Hooker, director of music, St Mary’s Episcopal Church, Arlington.
Listen to “The Lord’s Prayer”, part of the setting:
- After Culloden – commissioned in 2013 by Humberstone Choral Society (amateur chorus). “The choir was really going for it and they loved your piece” – Motje Wolf, conductor. See the score here.
- The Water Cycle – commissioned in 2013 by AppleChor, Wisconsin (children’s choir, ages 9-13). “The premiere went very well… I am extremely proud of the progress they made and thrilled they were able to tackle such an interesting and challenging piece of music” – Jack Senzig, conductor. Hear the recording!
- Requiem – commissioned by Amemptos Music in 2011, completed 2012, premiered and recorded by Glasgow University Chapel Choir with James Grossmith conducting (organists, Kevin Bowyer and Andrew Forbes). See and hear selected movements here.
- Speravi in Te – commissioned by Choir and Organ Magazine in 2011. Premiered 2012, New London Singers (winner of New London Singers Composition Prize).Hear a recording.
Money is no object; if you’d like a commission but can’t put much money towards it, I will still be willing to write a piece for you if you’re willing to apply for funding (I will write the piece whether we get the funding or not).
Rates start from a few hundred pounds for a five-minute choir piece (a piece for unison choir and organ/piano accompaniment, or a cappella SATB choir, would be around £400 for five minutes; more for a large choir with a complex organ accompaniment). I’m happy to work with your group’s budget, and can suggest several sources for further funding. My usual way of working is to find a price that you can afford, ask you to apply for funding for (at least) the difference between that price and the market rate, and write the piece anyway regardless of the results of funding applications. So if you can only afford £200 but want a piece that I’d usually charge £400 for, I ask you to apply for the £200 from at least one funding body (ideally more) and I’ll write the piece whether you get that extra £200 of funding or not.
There are several UK organisations which are willing to fund commissions: the PRS For Music Foundation Awards, the Leche Trust,, the RVW Trust, Creative Scotland, the Bliss Trust and the Britten-Pears Foundation are just some of these (I have received funding from the latter three in the past, which would bode well for any further applications).
(If you’d like a guideline on typical market rates, here are some guidelines for Britain from the Incorporated Society of Musicians and for the USA from Meet the Composer USA. Bear in mind that this is not the amount I will ask you to pay, only the amount that I will ask you to apply for funding to cover!)