To celebrate the firm’s 150th anniversary, we commissioned Cecilia McDowall to compose a new work for the organ, Sacred and Hallowed Fire: the first performance was given by Robert Quinney at Westminster Abbey on Palm Sunday 2013. We also sponsored a composition competition, which was won by Paul Ayres.
We ran various events throughout 2011, including a travelling exhibition, workshop tours, and a big party for the whole firm. A special highlight of the festivities was the commemorative organ recital given by James Lancelot in Durham Cathedral.
Please see links below.
Paul Ayres was born in London, studied music at Oxford University, and now works freelance as a composer & arranger, choral conductor & musical director, and organist & accompanist. His compositions usually involve words – solo songs, choral pieces, music for theatre productions – and he is particularly interested in working with pre-existing music, from arrangements of folksongs, hymns, jazz standards and nursery rhymes to ‘re-compositions’ of classical works, as in Purcell’s Funeral Sentence, 4A Wreck and Messyah. New pieces have been commissioned by the BBC Singers, the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music, Concordia Youth Choir, The Esoterics, Texas Lutheran University, Wartburg College, Wheaton College and Alexandria Choral Society. Paul is the regular conductor of City Chorus, the London College of Music choirs and the Walbrook Singers, and he is the associate accompanist of Crouch End Festival Chorus. He has led many education workshops for children, played piano for improvised comedy shows and musical theatre, and has given solo organ recitals in the UK, Scandinavia, Europe, North America and Australia. Please visit www.paulayres.co.uk to find out more.
We’d like to congratulate Paul for his wonderful composition and to thank everyone who entered the competition.
Below is a slideshow of images taken at the 150 year Anniversary party held at Durham Boating Club