Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976

Jubilate Deo in C - written in 1961 for the choir of St. George's Chapel Windsor at the request of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

Rejoice in the Lamb - commissioned in 1943 by St Matthew's Church, Northampton to celebrate the church's fiftieth anniversary. In his usual manner of seeking out unusual texts, Britten turned to Christopher Smart's Jubilate Agno. Smart (1722 - 71) was confined in an asylum when he wrote the poem, the main theme of which is the worship of God by all created beings and things, each in its own way.

Geoffrey Burgon (1941 - 2010)

Nunc Dimittis was originally written for the TV series Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy in 1979 and was originally scored for two solo voices, trumpet, organ and strings. The arrangement performed in the concert was made in 1997 to make the piece more accessible to mixed choirs. The second solo voice part is often taken by a trumpet but in our concert was played on the soprano saxophone. Burgon's style is essentially conservative, influenced by Britten and medieval music rather than modern styles. 

Ola Gjeilo b. 1978

Gjeilo studied at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, The Royal College of Music in London and the Juilliard School in New York.

Northern Lights was composed in an attic in Oslo at Christmas 2007. The text comes from the Song of Solomon. Gjeilo himself says:

"Most of all, this piece and its text is about beauty. About a 'terrible', powerful beauty, although the music is quite serene on the surface. Looking out from the attic window that Christmas in Oslo, over a wintry lake under the stars, I was thinking about how this terrible beauty is so profoundly reflected in the northern lights, or aurora borealis, which, having grown up in the southern part of the country, I have only seen once or twice in my life. It is one of the most beautiful natural phenomena I have ever witnessed, and has such a powerful, electric quality that must have been both mesmerising and terrifying to people in the past, when people in the past, when no one knew what it was and when much superstition was attached to these experiences."

Eric Whitacre b. 1970

A Boy and  Girl was written in 2002 to words by Octavio Paz. It is simple, spare and beautiful; Whitacre writes, "I simply tried to quiet myself as much as possible and find the music hidden within the words." Slow moving chords are interspersed with silences, which seem almost as significant as the notes.