Christopher Hogwood was so many things to British music-making over the last 50 years. To us, New College Choir, he was an inspiring presence in two wonderful recordings, Handel's Athalia, Haydn's Creation, and then in a series of December European tours of Messiah (sometimes Christmas Oratorio). These he directed with his customary finesse, generosity of spirit and musical flair. No concert was ever merely 'another concert'. He, and the Academy of Ancient Music, made for the most exciting and gratifying musical companions. Those in the Choir who participated in these projects count themselves fortunate. This of course represented a very small part of his activity. More broadly he made a quite unique, ground-breaking and massive contribution to Early Music - in his lifetime scarcely paralleled in its range and diversity of achievement. A truly remarkable person, intelligence sharp as a razor, musicianship of the first order, and a perfect gentleman. There are not many who combine all those qualities. EH
19 October - Robert Quinney (Organist)
J. S. Bach, Prelude in E flat, BWV 552i
C. P. E. Bach, Sonata in F, Wq 70/3
J. S. Bach, Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, BWV 688 & BWV 689
J. S. Bach, Fugue in E flat, BWV 552ii
26 October - Nicolas Haigh (Organ Scholar)
J. S. Bach, Prelude & Fugue in c, BWV 546
J. S. Bach, Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr, BWV 622
C. P. E. Bach, Cantabile e mesto; Rondo
J. S. Bach, Sonata IV, BWV 528
2 November - Timothy Wakerell (Assistant Organist)
C. P. E. Bach, Fantasia & Fugue in c, Wq 119/7
J. S. Bach, Sonata V, BWV 529
C. P. E. Bach, Sonata in a, Wq 70/4
W. F. Bach, Nun komm der Heiden Heiland, Fk 38/1 no 1
W. F. Bach, Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christ, Fk 38/1 no 5
J. S. Bach, Prelude & Fugue in G, BWV 541
ALL WELCOME - FREE ENTRY
Our Encore on tour this Summer (here in the last concert of the tour at Saint Sernin,Toulouse), and the final in our series of downloads.
Murray Somerville, a former organ scholar of New College (1967-1970), has donated to his College the sum of £250,000 to endow in perpetuity a New College choristership. The recipient (who will be one or other of the two leading choristers in any one year) will be known as the Murray Forbes Somerville Chorister. A specially designed medallion will be worn by the chorister thus honoured. In this way, Dr Somerville contributes significantly and munificently to the financial support for New College Choir. It is hoped that further legacies from other supporters of the Choir will complement his outstanding endowment for the maintenance of the boy chorister tradition at New College.
After his time at Oxford under Sir David Lumsden, Dr Somerville has led a distinguished career as a church musician and organist in the USA, including appointments at the Cathedral of St. Luke in Orlando, where he founded the Orlando Deanery Boychoir and directed the Winter Park Bach Festival; and at Harvard as University Organist and Choirmaster, where he was also Founding Conductor of the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra. Now Artistic Director Emeritus of Music City Baroque in Nashville, where he also directed the music at St. George's Church, he has been a regular and much valued supporter of New College Choir recording projects.
Dr Somerville has written the following account of the purposes behind his endowment:
“Hazel and I are very grateful for this opportunity to contribute to the musical tradition of New College Chapel, and can think of no better occasion for this than the triumphant conclusion of Edward Higginbottom's brilliant tenure as Organist and Fellow in Music.
“Actually, our gift is really in honour of three great men – Edward, who has brought the choir to its unparalleled position of international renown; Sir David Lumsden, who was generous enough to give me the opportunity to "enter into the inheritance of this place"; and William of Wykeham, whose ground-breaking choral foundation in the fourteenth century has had such a great influence on the whole history of English church music.
“We want also to affirm the place of the boy chorister tradition in the College and in English musical life. Though we have both happily directed girls choirs (indeed, the first RSCM girls course in the USA was set up during my time as Chairman of the Board of RSCM in America), we are concerned to see it getting seemingly harder and harder to persuade boys (and their parents) to choose singing over soccer – or even both soccer and singing! The boys' choir of New College is thus ever more important as a beacon of excellence in this specific area, demonstrating that singing is indeed a boy-friendly activity.
“So we happily make this investment in the future of New College Choir, just as Robert Quinney brings his own youthful ebullience and musical brilliance to the institution. Floreat in aeternam chorus collegium novum Oxoniensis!"
Jeremy Pound evokes the scene.
Read all about it.
Timothy Wakerell moves from St Paul's to New College
The College is delighted to announce the appointment of Timothy Wakerell as Assistant Organist from September 2014 to replace Steven Grahl who moves to take up the post of director of the choir at Peterborough Cathedral. Mr Wakerell is currently Sub-Organist at St Paul’s Cathedral, where he has made an important contribution to all aspects of cathedral music, including playing for major national services. He holds an MMus (distinction) from the Royal College of Music, and has an impressive record of recitals and concerts. We look forward to welcoming him to the choir team in September.
EH talks to Sara Mohr-Pietsch about his time at New College: 'not so much being proud as being grateful'
If you missed the interview you can download the podcast, or listen by clicking on this link:
If you are a collector of novelties, the place to be this weekend is New College Chapel, where on Saturday you will hear the first performance of Grayston Ives' 'Rejoice, the Lord is King', a setting of famous words by Charles Wesley on the very day the Church commemorates the work of the Wesleys (John and Charles). Then on Sunday, another new commission by Rhian Samuel, her 'Ave Maria'. And on each weekend between now and the end of term, the commissions continue with new pieces by Matthew Martin, Ryan Wigglesworth and Alastair Putt. EH
This term the New College Chapel will resonate to the sound of eight new works, commisssioned by the College to mark my retirement from the post of College Organist. On each weekend between the end of April and the middle of June, you will be able hear one of these new pieces. They have been written by composers with a close associations with New College, a number of them former pupils or choristers. Edmund Finnis begins the series on 26 April with his Verbo Domini. Ed was a New College chorister in the late 90s, as was Alexander L'Estrange at an earlier time (who is writing us some canticles). Ryan Wigglesworth and Alastair Putt were respectively organ scholar and academical clerk. Antony Pitts read Music here. Matthew Martin was Assistant Organist for a time. And then Grayston Ives - former Informator Choristarum at Magdalen College - having previously written some highly successful music for the Choir, is doing so again. And from the Warden's Lodgings I am delighted to have the involvement of Rhian Samuel. Whilst it would be one thing to see out my last term with lots of old favourites, it is another to have it enriched with new works which will keep us all on our toes, and as importantly, replenish the tradition of choral music within the Anglican Tradition. EH
The College intends to appoint a full-time Assistant Organist with effect from 1 September 2014, to succeed Steven Grahl, following his appointment as Director of Music at Peterborough Cathedral.
The Principal duties of the Assistant will be to accompany the Chapel Choir, assist with the training of the choristers, and deputize for the Organist when he is absent. There will be some administrative duties, including the management of the choir’s sixth-form singing scheme. The successful applicant will have time and opportunity to develop his or her personal musical career alongside the post. The Assistant will be required to keep school terms (these being longer than the University Terms during which the Choir sings its daily offices.) He/she will also be expected to be available for the periods when the Choir tours and/or records; the successful applicant must be prepared to be flexible in this regard.
The annual salary will be £25,00-£30,000, according to experience. The College is able to offer modest accommodation at a small rent.
The Further Particulars may be downloaded here.
The closing date for applications (covering letter, CV, and the names of two referees) is 16 May 2014; interviews and assessments will be held on Wednesday 4 June 2014. Please respond to the Chapel Administrator, New College, Oxford, OX1 3BN : firstname.lastname@example.org, from whom copies of the Further Particulars may also be obtained.