Happy Saint Cecilia’s Day!
On Sunday I had the great pleasure of attending a rehearsal, reception, Evensong and concert at Selwyn College to celebrate the launch of Multitude of Voyces’ anthology, sacred music by women composers. This is Volume 1, SATB Anthems, and it was wonderful to hear and sing some of the music. Many thanks are due to Sarah MacDonald and the choir of Selwyn Chapel, as well as everyone else who helped put together the event.
The anthology itself is excellent. There are twenty two pieces by twenty two composers, from the sixteenth century onward and including twelve by living composers. There are pieces for all levels — some that would be accessible for even the most amateur choir, and some that would challenge even a seasoned choral singer like me. There are pieces for all seasons. There is a brief commentary on each piece in the back of the book, and a biography of each composer in the front.
So far, so good. I would expect this much of any anthology these days. But the music — oh, the music! The reason that Sunday afternoon and evening was such a treat for me was that every piece I heard was stunningly beautiful. I keep flipping through it looking for highlights, and if I had to choose just one, well, I couldn’t. You can have a look for yourself, though, at a .pdf of the first page of each piece.
This is a volume that every SATB parish choir should own, and I unreservedly commend it to you. It is an invaluable resource full of simply gorgeous music. I am certain that it will make presenting a more inclusive, diverse and balanced selection of music a delight; and it will also give me something to be getting on with when updating this site. But there is a limited print run, and half of it has sold already. Go order your copy now! Go on. I’ll wait.
There are two more volumes planned for publication in 2020: Volume 2 — Upper Voices Anthems, and Volume 3 — Liturgical Works.
In other news, today marks two years since this site started. I’m currently in the throes of writing up my PhD in choral composition, so updates have been rather few and far between for a while, but I’m looking forward to getting back to it as soon as I can.