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 a choir performing at any level, from absolute beginners and children’s choirs to professional choirs, large and small.
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, 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!)
Recent commissions include:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, recorded 2013 – CD release later in 2014. 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.