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UYMP’s Volume of Choral Works Reviewed in 'Choir & Organ'

We were very pleased to see an in-depth review of our ‘Anthems for Sopranos, Altos, and Unison Male Singers: 10 anthems for the church year’ in this month’s edition of Choir & Organ. Jeremy Jackman finds plenty of positives in our collection, which is published by The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM).

This collection features new works from Stef ConnerChristopher LeedhamRobert SaxtonEd HughesLaurence RomanSadie HarrisonPatrick John JonesAnne E BoydDavid Lancaster, and Morag Galloway. The composers were given a challenging brief: to write modern, but approachable works for choirs which have a limited number of tenors and basses. The works also incorporate flexible accompaniments that are designed to work well on both piano and organ.

Straightaway, there is praise for the ‘direct and fresh’ nature of Stef Conner’s ‘Beneath My Protection’. Jackman recognises Conner’s consideration of her ensemble, suggesting that the piece ‘could be learned in minutes, rather than hours.’

Chris Leedham’s ‘Come Away, My Love’ is next, and it is also held in high regard: Jackman describe the work as ‘a most attractive piece with excellent word-setting: the accompaniment is a perfect foil for the voices.’

Later in the review, there is praise for Lancaster’s ‘Song of Light’, where ‘juxtaposed verses from Isaiah and St John’s Gospel provide an ideal text for lilting phrases for S1/S2/A/Men, with delicious harmonic shifts and the ends of those phrases. The delicate accompaniment is perfectly judged. In this anthem the composer has built a lovely little house out of very few bricks.’

Jackman concludes his review by commending Robert Saxton’s ‘I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes’, describing the work as ‘a fine piece of writing’ that ‘could be a template for what our church choirs now need.’

The full review can be found in the March/April 2021 Edition of Choir & Organ.

If you are interested in purchasing ‘Anthems for Sopranos, Altos, and Unison Male Singers: 10 anthems for the church year’, it is available from RSCM Music Direct at this link.