Alex Patterson (Director of Music) writes:
Canon Geoffrey Hunton has, without a doubt, been one of the Music Department’s greatest supporters over the past 15 years. With his various roles during that time, he has seen it undergo radical change and development into the flourishing department it is today. Not only has he experienced the delights of three Directors of Music, numerous Organists, and scores of Choristers, but he has been integral in its success.
There have been many musical milestones which owe so much to Canon Geoffrey’s support and encouragement as Cathedral Dean, including the £25,000 grant awarded from the Friends of Cathedral Music in 2012 and the landmark performances of the Bach St John’s Passion in 2013 and the Monteverdi Vespers in 2017 which saw the Youth Choir sing alongside the Cathedral Choir with professional musicians.
His support in encouraging the development of our Youth Choir has been very crucial over the past three years and its bittersweet that the rewards of this are beginning to yield with young singers progressing into the Cathedral Choir having been trained up, and the appointment of a new Youth Choir Director to drive the work further forward.
On behalf of all the musicians at the Cathedral, I wish to thank Geoff for all he has done for us all in making the Cathedral such a welcoming and supportive environment to make music and for his good humour and unwavering support.
In the Cathedral’s commitment to supporting new music, Amy Summers, a recent graduate of the University of Nottingham and former Choral Scholar, has been appointed Composer-in-Residence.
Having sung with the choir for the last few years I'm very excited to become composer-in-residence at the Cathedral. It's incredibly lovely and rewarding to write for people that you know so well and are used to working with, and I'm so grateful to be supported by the Cathedral and music department in starting out as a young musician and composer.
Amy follows in the footsteps of Alex Patterson, who was Composer-in-Residence between 2009 - 2011, during which time some of his most well-known music was written, and now published by Banks Music Publications: Ave Maria, Two Pieces for Remembrance, and Lead, kindly Light.
I know from my own experience as Composer-in-Residence how fruitful and incredibly rewarding the role can be and I am looking forward to hearing the new music Amy will be writing specifically for use within the Catholic liturgy.
Amy's compositional talent came to light very quickly when the Cathedral commissioned a new setting of the Salve Regina which the Cathedral Choir first performed during the 11.15am Mass on Sunday 23 October 2016. This setting will appear on the Cathedral Choir's upcoming CD 'Mother of God, here I stand' (to be released this Autumn) alongside two settings of the Ave Maria by Alex Patterson and Howard Skempton, both written for the Cathedral Choir.