Contemporary Choral Music Workshop
Discover surprising new choral works written by composers who have made their mark in contemporary choral music but are not yet known to the general public.
On 11 February and 15 April 2023, choral singers and conductors will be able to explore new choral works by renowned composers of our time. Sing along and let yourself be astonished by beautiful new compositions. Perhaps you’re already a fan of contemporary compositions and are looking for new pieces to add to your choral repertoire. Whatever your motivation, you’ve come to the right place at Koorschool Delft.
New choral works
We are organising 2 workshops in which choral works by contemporary composers will be on the music stand. Both workshops – which you can attend independently of one another – will give you an opportunity to join with fellow singers in singing choral works that are not yet well known to the general public and which may not be sung so readily by your own choir. After the workshop, you might just be able to convince your board to programme one of these works for a future concert.
We have selected pieces by 6 composers, and they are by no means the least illustrious! We will sing works by ‘Master of The King’s Music’, Judith Weir, as well as compositions by her British colleagues Oliver Tarney, Cecilia McDowall and former King’s Singer, Philip Lawson. Also on the programme are works by Hayo Boerema, composer and organist of the Laurenskerk in Rotterdam. The beautiful ‘Muusika’ by the Estonian composer Pärt Uusberg completes the choice of repertoire for these workshops.
A number of these composers have won awards and/or have been given an exclusive commission by, for example, King’s College Choir of Cambridge, to compose for the famous annual Festival of Lessons and Carols which is broadcast all over the world.
A brief description of the background of all the composers as well as an overview of all the works can be found below.
The workshops will be led by regular guest teacher David Hurley. David Hurley was part of the world-renowned ensemble The King’s Singers for many years.
David knows some of the composers personally and is the coach par excellence for these workshops. We’ve asked Judith, Cecilia, Philip, Oliver, Hayo and Pärt to recommend choral pieces and in early 2023, we will let them speak for themselves on this website and social media to explain their works. A more personal approach is hardly possible!
In order to get the most out of this workshop, all participants are asked to prepare their parts at home. MIDI files are available for this purpose and will be posted on the website a few weeks before the workshops. PDFs of the choral works will be provided by email and the original sheet music will be sent in advance.
Information and tickets
Schuilkerk, Bagijnhof 21, Delft
We will be singing in the charming Schuilkerk known for its beautiful acoustics. The Bagijnhof is located in the centre of Delft, about a 12 minute walk from Delft railway station. Parking is available in one of two car parks 5 minute’s walk from the Bagijnhof. Paid parking (day ticket) applies in the entire city centre and is for permit holders.
The Schuilkerk is wheelchair accessible, but please note that we unfortunately do not have a wheelchair toilet.
Saturday 11 February and Saturday 15 April 2023
14:00 – 17:00, including a coffee/tea break
The workshops can also be followed independently of one another; if you book both workshops, you will get a discount.
11 February 2023:
• Indelible, miraculous – Judith Weir
• A Gaelic Blessing – Cecilia McDowall
• Under the Starlight – Oliver Tarney
• Muusika – Pärt Uusberg
• Magnificat – Hayo Boerema
15 April 2023:
• Leaf from leaf Christ knows – Judith Weir
• A Prayer of St Columba – Cecilia McDowall
• The Wise Men and the Star – Oliver Tarney
• If Music Be The Food of Love – Philip Lawson
• Nunc dimittis – Hayo Boerema
- 1 workshop: € 44
- 2 workshops: € 84
Early bird discount – sign up before 1 January 2023:
- For 1 workshop: 5% discount
- For 2 workshops: 10% discount
2 workshops in combination with the Workshop ‘Father of Musick’ – William Byrd: 15% discount.
- all original sheet music;
- exclusive use of practice files;
- singing under the direction of David Hurley;
- coffee and tea.
Everyone is welcome to attend. Participants are asked to study their part in advance. Practice files for this will be available from 15 December and 18 February respectively.
Permission from parents/carers is required for participants under 18 years of age: in this case, please send an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) before signing up.
Sign up and pay via our ticket page. After receipt of payment, the admission ticket (electronic ticket) will be sent by email. Remember to also check your spam mail!
The composers and their works
We are delighted to introduce the composers to you. You can find out more and listen to recordings via the links to their websites.
The English composer Judith Weir (b 1954) played the oboe with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and studied composition with John Taverner while still at secondary school. She went on to study at King’s College in Cambridge. After graduating, she worked as a music teacher and was attached to several universities as well as the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
She has composed numerous operas, choral and orchestral works. She has also written a lot of commissioned music for leading orchestras, choirs and renowned singers such as Jessye Norman and Dawn Upshaw. In recent years, in particular, she has significantly expanded her choral catalogue.
In July 2014, Judith Weir was appointed to the 395-year-old royal post of ‘Master of the Queen’s Music’, succeeding Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, currently of course ‘Master of the King’s Music’. This position includes supporting music teachers in schools, amateur orchestras and choirs, and national festivals. In this function, she has also composed a great deal of music for national and royal occasions, including Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday celebrations and the UK’s official commemoration of the 1918 Armistice. Judith’s music has been widely recorded, and is published by Chester Music and Novello & Co. (Source: www.judithweir.com)
We will be singing Judith Weir’s:
Leaf from leaf Christ knows
Cecilia McDowall (1951, Engeland) kreeg haar muzikale opleiding aan de universiteit van Edinburg en Londen. Tijdens haar studie aan Trinity College ontving ze al prijzen voor haar muziek.
Music Opinion schreef over haar: ‘Cecilia McDowall is one of the leading choral and vocal composers of her generation.’ The Birmingham Post roemt haar bijzondere gave voor het schrijven van koormuziek.
Ze heeft in opdracht voor vele vooraanstaande koren koorwerken geschreven. In 2021 kreeg McDowall de jaarlijks begeerde opdracht van King’s College, Cambridge, om een kerstlied te schrijven voor het koor van King’s College, als onderdeel van het Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols dat op kerstavond wereldwijd wordt uitgezonden. Dat kerstlied, ‘There is no rose’, is gepubliceerd door Oxford University Press.
In 2013 ontving Cecilia McDowall een ‘Honorary Doctorate’ van de universiteit van Portsmouth en in 2017 werd McDowall geselecteerd voor een ‘Honorary Fellow award’ door de Royal School of Church Music. Ook ontving zij een eredoctoraat van de West London University en kreeg de prestigieuze Ivor Novello Award voor haar ‘outstanding music collection’ en ‘consistently excellent body of work’. (Bron: www.ceciliamcdowall.co.uk)
Van Cecilia McDowall zingen we:
A Gaelic Blessing
A prayer of St Columba
English composer Oliver Tarney (b 1984) was introduced to choral singing in his parish church at a young age. From that moment, choral singing became his greatest inspiration and remains so to this day. After studying music at the University of Manchester and earning a master’s degree in composition, he worked as Head of Composition and Singing at Winchester College. He has written a lot of music for children and adults, amateurs and professionals. Major works include his acclaimed ‘Magnificat’, recorded for Convivium Records, and his ‘St Mark Passion’, commissioned by the St Endellion Easter Festival. Oliver has worked widely to promote singing in communities, choirs and classrooms. His great passion is to inspire people to sing. (Source: www.olivertarney.co.uk)
We will be singing Oliver Tarney’s:
Under the Starlight
The Wise Men and the Star
Philip Lawson sang for 18 years with The King’s Singers, performing more than 2,000 concerts with the world-renowned ensemble and appearing on many CDs, DVDs and in radio and television programmes worldwide. Philip contributed more than 50 arrangements to the repertoire of The King’s Singers, including 10 for the2008 CD “Simple Gifts” which won the GRAMMY for Best Classical Crossover Album in 2009.
Prior to his time with The King’s Singers, he was music director at a school in Salisbury and attached to the cathedral choir. Before that, he worked in London as a freelance baritone, performing regularly with The BBC Singers, The Taverner Choir, The Sixteen and the choirs of St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. Philip has over 200 published arrangements and compositions to his name. He is a singing teacher at Wells Cathedral School, Salisbury Cathedral School, the University of Bristol and is also musical director of The Romsey Singers. Philip divides his time between arranging, composing, conducting and leading choral workshops in Europe and the United States. (Source: www.philiplawson.net)
We will be singing Philip Lawson’s:
If Music Be The Food of Love
Hayo Boerema (b 1972, Groningen) studied organ, church music and improvisation at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and choral conducting at the Rotterdam Conservatory. He specialised in improvisation and in the French symphonic organ repertoire. He has won many prizes at various competitions and festivals. Since December 2005, he has been organist of the Grote or St Laurenskerk in Rotterdam. He teaches improvisation at the Codarts School of Music in Rotterdam. Hayo performs as a soloist at home and abroad, and regularly collaborates with choirs and instrumental ensembles. He is also approached to write commissioned compositions. One of his larger compositions, ‘Messe Solennelle’ for organ, choir, percussion and soloists was recorded on CD. Since 2003, Hayo has recorded several award-winning CDs.
We will be singing Hayo Boerema’s:
Pärt Uusberg (b 1986) is an Estonian composer and conductor. Uusberg graduated from the Georg Ots Tallinn Music School in choral conducting, where he also studied composition. He was chief conductor of the chamber choir Head Ööd, Vend, which he founded himself to participate in the play ‘Head ööd, vend’(‘Goodnight, brother’) directed by his brother Uku Uusberg. As a choral conductor, Uusberg has also conducted the Estonian Student Mixed Choir and choirs of Riinimanda Choir Studio.
Most of Pärt Uusberg’s oeuvre consists of choral music, but he has also written works for ensemble, piano, orchestra and film music. His choral songs are mainly written on liturgical texts or poetry by various Estonian authors, with a tuneful and captivating meditative atmosphere full of simplicity, tenderness and emotional climaxes. Pärt Uusberg is recognised as a composer both in Estonia and abroad and has won many prizes. (Source: www.emic.ee)
We will be singing Pärt Uusberg’s: