New Piece ‘Coda’

Late last year (2020) the Hawke’s Bay choir, The Linden Singers, commissioned me to write a new piece somehow incorporating the idea of the “Linden tree” in celebration of the choir’s 50th anniversary. The choir’s director, Basil Brooker, requested a lyrical a capella piece, about 4 mins long saying “I want a tune, and shelve the minimalism!”. Coda was first performed by the combined forces of The Linden Singers and the Choir of Waiapu Cathedral at the Anniversary concert (“Music We Like To Sing”) 2021, and I was delighted to accept the invitation to conduct the first performance of the work.

Here is a link to more information about Coda.

Photo: the combined choir in rehearsal for “Music We Like to Sing” in the Waiapu Cathedral, Napier.

Napier Civic Choir to premiere ‘ Songs of the night’

I spent much of January 2019 writing a new piece for the Napier Civic Choir, who commissioned a 10 minute work for SATB and string orchestra. ‘Songs of the night’, 2 poems by Miguel de Unamuno, will be premiered in NCC’s first concert weekend for 2019, April 5th and 7th, 7:30pm at the Waiapu Cathedral, Browning St, Napier. Thanks to José Aparicio (MD), and the choir for being bold enough to programme new music and for welcoming me into your rehearsals. I’m looking forward to it!

‘La traviata’ study guide available now

A new NCEA study guide for Verdi’s ‘La traviata’ is available now. I wrote the guide for Prima Volta Charitable Trust of Napier, have you heard of Prima Volta? look at this! 

For more info on the study guide and all the other teaching resources that come with it, see


Online course launched – Gillian Whitehead’s “Lullaby For Matthew”

Earlier this year I did some work for SOUNZ, revising and updating one of their most popular secondary teaching resources (Gillian Whitehead’s “Lullaby For Matthew”) for re-release as an online course. The course was officially launched this week.

It was a pleasure working with Gillian and getting to know this special work intimately. I highly recommend this course to teachers looking for a rewarding NZ work to study at Level 1, or a way to introduce composition in the high school classroom. Gillian’s “Lullaby” really is a stunning lesson in how experienced composers use many of the composing “tools” we talk about so often (sequence, inversion etc.) to shape ideas into beautiful music.

Check out the intro video below and visit the SOUNZ website to purchase access to the resource.

“Carmen” study guide available now

I’ve recently completed an NCEA study guide for Bizet’s “Carmen”. The project was commissioned by Prima Volta, a charitable trust based in Hawke’s Bay, with the aim of helping local teachers make opera accessible for their students.

If you are a teacher looking for a music work to study in 2017, then “Carmen” is a great option, as you have the choice of attending a live performance in Napier, during the Festival Opera season in February 2017, or in Auckland, Wellington, or Christchurch as part of the NZ Opera season in June/July 2017.

For more info on the study guide and the other teaching resources that come with it, see


“Six Months in a Leaky Boat” – for Flexible Ensemble

Here’s an arrangement of the popular NZ song by Tim Finn (Split Enz) that can be used in many different settings, such as solo with accompaniment, string or wind ensemble, saxophone quartet, or full band and orchestra. A wide range of parts are provided on the enclosed CD ROM, which will allow for inclusion of most common instruments. The main parts (Parts 1 to 4) are set at approximately Grade 3-4 level, and sub parts (1(b), 2(b) etc.) may suit less experienced players. Sub parts are similar to the main parts but incorporate more rests to create greater textural and tonal variety, and these should be used in larger ensembles. An easy part is included that will allow beginners to contribute, if desired.Cover and CD

See here for more information…

‘Cloths of Heaven’ on new NZ Youth Choir CD

image001Deep River


A souvenir disc of the 2011 – 2013 New Zealand Youth Choir. order here

Featuring music from its final season and tour to the USA & Canada conducted by Music Director, David Squire.

Benjamin Britten A Hymn to the Virgin
Robert Schumann Talismane Op.141 No.4
arr. Michael Tippett Two Spirituals from A Child of Our Time
Steal Away & Deep River
arr. Terry Schlenker O Come, Emmanuel
Stephen Lange He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
George Shearin Lullabye of Birdland arr. Andrew Carter
Te Wehi Whanau Wairua Tapu Tau Mai Ra
Total duration: 25:41Programme info here

Eric Whitacre ‘Sleep’ Study Guide


If you are a busy music teacher looking for an inspiring and really interesting work to study with your class this year, here it is.

Sleep by London-based American composer, Eric Whitacre, is stunning and your students will love it!

Click here for more details

Here is a brief intro to the composer. Sleep is featured at 2:45

Click here for more details