Following on from the continued success of our previous four Organ Music competitions on the themes of 'Organ Music for Quiet Moments', 'Organ Music for Joyful Moments' and 'Organ Music for Solemn Moments' and 'Organ Music for Praise and Worship we are now delighted to announce the winners of our fifth competition on the theme of 'Organ Music for the Christmas Season' and would like to thank each and every person from around the globe who entered for your support and interest - the standard, as ever, was very high and our winning pieces (we hope you will agree) fit the brief of our theme perfectly! We are delighted to welcome six new composers to our catalogue!
We are greatly indebted to Aspire Classical Organs once again for sponsoring the prize money for this competition and our outright winner claiming the cash prize is:
'Joyful Angels', by Colin Ashworth
Colin took up the organ when he left Peterborough Cathedral choir and his early lessons were at the nearby parish church of St. John’s. Later, with the help of Andrew Newberry back at the cathedral, he became Organ Scholar at Bristol University. After his PGCE, Colin taught in Wellingborough for 24 years and then spent 16 years as Director of Music at Maidwell Hall Prep School before his retirement.
Colin's piece was enthusiastically adjudged as follows...."Cheerful. Not difficult, and the tune (Angels from the realms of glory) is easy to detect. Workable on a small organ. Should keep congregations and organists happy!"
A few words from the winning composer
"I have been involved in church music for just under 60 years, during which time I have written a number of short, hopefully useful, anthems and voluntaries mainly for use in churches where I have been organist. Had it not been for Tim Knight’s competition I would probably not have composed “Joyful Angels” but, just occasionally, I find that I am able to cobble together a piece of music which seems to ‘hit the spot’. Perhaps I am not the only person who likes interesting chords and frequent changes of key. Naturally, I was delighted to receive the genuinely unexpected news that I had won a third competition in the space of two years and it may be that I now quit whilst I am ahead!
I have added a lot of detail to the score but it was written to be enjoyed and organists may take whatever liberties (within reason) they feel enhance their performance."
We are very grateful and indebted to Alejandro D. Consolacion II for providing us with this wonderful recording of the winning piece ...
The other winning entries which will be published with 'Joyful Angels' in the anthology booklet are as follows (see below for links to the PDF and printed copies and details of our special pre-release offer price on the printed copy):
'Masters of This Hall' by Anthony Giamanco
Born in Detroit, Michigan (USA), Anthony majored in music at Eastern Michigan University. To date, he has published over 350 works which have been performed throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. Anthony’s works for organ have been recorded by Carson Cooman, Eric Holderman and James Flores. He is a writer member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), and a member of the American Guild of Organists (AGO). Anthony says about his piece: 'Who says music in a minor key must be solemn? This one certainly is not! I have dedicated this piece to a wonderful organist who occasionally subs for me. Thank you, Jim!'
'Prelude on "Cranham"' by Adam Heron
Adam was born in Durham in 1998. He began learning to play the organ aged 18 having played the piano from a young age. Adam continued to play the organ for church services and recitals during his time at the University of Sheffield, graduating with a masters’ degree in Engineering in 2021. He currently lives in Durham and continues to pursue his passion for music outside of his career in engineering. Adam's piece is inspired by the rich and mellow timbres typical of late 19th and early 20th century English organ building. It primarily features the 8’ foundations of the Swell and Great, which are contrasted and combined, building to a climax before concluding with the gentle murmuring of the Swell strings.
'Prelude on "In Dulci Jubilo"' by Theo Van Wyk
Theo currently resides in Pretoria, South Africa where he is active as a recitalist, conductor, accompanist and composer. He is the organist of the New Apostolic Church Pretoria Central since 1997 and has been Secretary of the Southern African Church and Concert Organists Society from 2012 to 2022. Moreover, he is an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Pretoria, as well as the University Organist and Curator of Organs at this institution. Theo says about his piece: 'Ever since I was a child, the melody of In dulci jubilo has been part of my singing and organ playing repertoire.... Its soothing interval contours and lilting rhythm have so many possibilities for development and treatment especially for an instrument such as the organ. It is hoped that the chorale’s effectivity in simplicity will inspire many more composers now and in the future.'
'Prelude: The Truth from Above' by Jim Dalton
Jim Dalton is a composer, performer, and professor of music theory at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. His works have been performed in throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He says of his piece: 'I have a deep interest in traditional music of various kinds but especially traditional ritual music. This prelude for the Christmas season is based on a tune collected in the early 20th century at King’s Pyon, Herefordshire. “And at that season of the year/ our blest Redeemer did appear...”'
'Yea, Lord, We Greet Thee' by Alison Willis
Dr Alison Willis (b. 1971) is an award winning composer whose works have been performed and broadcast internationally. She finds particular inspiration in historical sources and events, forgotten women, social issues and English Folk music. Her music has been described as, 'Intensely moving', 'Beautiful yet pragmatic' and 'Saying what you have to say and then stopping'. Alison says about her piece: 'I wanted to write a nice big, joyful and bright piece for Christmas morning. The Postlude is based on Adeste Fideles incorporating bits of the tune and the descant (which also has flavours of Ding Dong Merrily on High)! It is written to be achievable and enjoyable to play, and is possible on one manual with pedals although directions are given for two.'
The Anthology printed booklet (TKM877) will be available week commencing 3rd October 2022 priced at £11.95, but it is now available only via Tim Knight Music website until 3rd October at the
PRE-ORDER PRICE of just £10.50
The PDF Download (TKM877DL) is available now priced at £9.00
(see links below)
WITH GRATEFUL THANKS TO OUR PROUD SPONSORS
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