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!

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.

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

NZ Youth Choir rehearsing ‘Cloths of Heaven’

Here is some footage of the NZ Youth choir, Directed by David Squire, rehearsing He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven in Hawke’s Bay on Wednesday April 18th 2012. It was a pleasure to spend time working with the NZYC on this piece. I can’t think of a better way for this piece to begin life than in the capable hands of this amazing youth choir!

Best Choral Director Trophy, 2010

I was honoured to recieve the trophy for Best Choral Director at The Big Sing this year. This year’s Voix de Femmes have been something special, a wonderful group of girls! They do all the hard work and I get the trophy! Particularly special conducting my piece Mr Moon with this group. They coped amazing well with the close harmonies and unusual melodic shapes.