Chris Hutchings is a composer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. His choral works have won several awards and had worldwide performances and broadcasts.
Resources and new music for choirs who are passionate about the climate: #choirsforclimate
Free music to fight for refugees and against racism: #choirsagainstracism
Kantos Chamber Choir will be giving the first UK performance of “Let Them Not Say” in Manchester on 19th June at 6pm, in the Stoller Hall in Chethams School of Music. I’ll be there! Hope to see some friends there too. Book tickets here.
If you’re looking for new music for a youth choir or children’s choir (age ranges 5-17), check out my selection of 11 pieces for younger groups. Ranging from “Welcome Carol”, an anti-racism Christmas piece, to “All My Friends Live In My Pocket”, an upbeat number about how social media can help you make friends (now available on MusicSpoke).
If you’d like to see everything I’ve ever written for choirs, here it is in a giant spreadsheet! With useful tags like choir size, language, difficulty, links to recordings, and where to get the score.
Seattle Pro Musica performed “Where Are my Unnumbered Days?” and “The Wall” from #ChoirsAgainstRacism as part of “The Way Home – Music of Refuge”: at https://www.seattlepromusica.org/the-way-home, you can buy tickets to watch the online streamed performances, which are available until 4th July.
“Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life” reached the final of Hereford Cathedral Voluntary Choir’s composition competition! It’s a setting of George Herbert’s poem, for SATB without divisi, medium difficulty, about two and a half minutes – click here for a preview score. If you’d be interested in performing it, please email me. It would be suitable for almost any church service and for most concert settings.
Seattle Pro Musica performed “Where Are my Unnumbered Days?” and “The Wall” from #ChoirsAgainstRacism in their concerts “The Way Home – Music of Refuge” on 21st and 22nd May. Details at https://www.seattlepromusica.org/the-way-home – you can also buy tickets to watch the online streamed performances, which are available until 4th July.
Anyone wanting to get the scores for these – both pieces are available under Creative Commons at http://choirsagainstracism.com, and can be used freely for any concert supporting refugees/migrants or fighting against racism. “The Wall” is flexible 2-part, “Where Are My Unnumbered Days?” is SSAATTBB (with a longish SMezATB section, so would suit a slightly top-heavy choir).
And it seems one American choir performing my music on 21st and 22nd May wasn’t enough – here’s another one!
Ember Choral Arts performed “Let Them Not Say” (first ever live performance) from #ChoirsForClimate in their concerts in New York (21st May) and New Jersey (22nd May). The concert on 21st May will also be available as a livestream after the concerts. Again, the score is available under Creative Commons – it’s for SSAATTBB.
In other social justice bard news, I’ve just finished two other pieces for #ChoirsForClimate, both for 2-part choir (optional divisi to 4 parts) and piano: “Why We Sing” (hopeful, would suit children’s choir) and “The Rules” (dark and angry). Both are free for any relevant campaigning or concerts – please send me a message if you’d like to perform them.
I’ve been making a lot of YouTube score videos lately. Click here for my playlist of Christmas pieces – #12DaysOfChrisHutchingsMas. Includes pretty much every Christmas piece I’ve written – read the scores as you listen. Get your music for Christmas 2022 sorted now! Subscribe to my YouTube channel if you want to get updates.
Delighted to announce (ooh, first time I’ve been able to say that for a while) that my piece “When The Snow Came” has won Kantos Choir’s composition competition! They gave the premiere on 18th December in Manchester. Recording available now on my #12DaysOfChrisHutchingsMas YouTube playlist.
A big thank you to Beckington Village Choir from Somerset, who sang “Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep” on Remembrance Sunday, 14 November 2021, at 10.30am in St George’s Church, Beckington!
I’m making all my unpublished music free for the duration of the pandemic for any choirs who want it. If a piece on this site is not available through MusicSpoke or other publishers, send me an email with the name of your choir and I’ll send you a PDF of the piece, you can print as many copies as you need. This includes the new piece below:
New piece! “Be Thou A Bright Flame” (a prayer of St Columba) for SATB choir, no divisi. Perfect for choirs returning to singing and perhaps reduced in numbers. View the score here (2 pages) and listen on SoundCloud. Thanks to friends Steph, Anne-Marie, Paul and Chris J for being the virtual choir for this! Email me to order copies (post-pandemic these will be £10 for a PDF, print as many copies as you like, or £1+P&P for printed copies).
Other unpublished pieces available for free during the pandemic include: Statue Songs (5 pieces for SABar and piano, based on Scots myths); “Loch Lomond” and “A Red Red Rose” for SA choir; “A Bicycle Wheel” for flexible 3-part choir; “Come Away Death” for SATB; “Answer The Question” for SATB (verrry difficult but fun); SABar arrangements of “A Highland Lad” and “Duncan Gray”; “All My Friends Live In My Pocket”, a song about smartphones for children’s choir (1-2 parts) and piano; and “Drop Slow Tears” for SSA.
Check the #ChoirsForClimate site for lots of new music, resources, information and events!
Virtual choir recording of “Let Them Not Say” released on #EarthDay2021 (22nd April!) Watch it below:
Words by Jane Hirshfield, used with permission; music and video concept by Chris Hutchings; sung by the Piedmont Singers, directed by Helena von Rueden; video and audio mixing by Ian Richardson.
Buy the music as a single on Bandcamp (all proceeds to climate causes)
Click here for more information about the piece, including a free download of the score (for SSAATTBB choir).
Thank you to the choir of Winchester Cathedral for including my setting of the Nunc Dimittis in their evensong service on 4th December! You can listen to the recording here (Nunc starts just before the halfway point).
I’ve written a new piece for #ChoirsForClimate – “Let Them Not Say” with words by Jane Hirshfield. This is available under a Creative Commons license. It’s for SSAATTBB choir – definitely on the challenging side! World premiere available.
And in #ChoirsAgainstRacism news, “I Was Listening To A Pogrom” (words by Michael Rosen) was recently performed as part of “Occupy The Pianos” on 18th October in St John’s Smith Square, London, by Rolf Hind and Loré Lixenberg – click here for concert details and a concert programme. Recording now available – click here to watch and listen! The recording has been made into an excellent multimedia film, which moves seamlessly between film and live performance.
A new recording of “Anna, Surprised” (words by Euan Tait) – find out more about the piece and see a preview score. This recording is by Tim Krueger and the choir of St Andrew’s Church, Denver – thank you all!
“Where Are My Unnumbered Days?” has been accepted as part of Project:Encore, which aims to connect conductors with new works for further performances beyond the premiere.
So, yeah, a worldwide pandemic happened and there is probably not going to be a lot of singing happening for a while. But I was able to put together virtual choirs for two new pieces – many thanks to all the singers who volunteered online! You can listen to them below:
If you have a choir who’d like to sing one of these, get in touch!
Any choirs wishing to use my works for a virtual choir are welcome to do so as long as you’ve purchased copies – any of my pieces from #ChoirsAgainstRacism or #ChoirsForClimate are free to use. “Send Lazarus”, above, is part of #ChoirsForClimate and can be downloaded here; “Keep Watch, Dear Lord” is available to buy at MusicSpoke.