Leading British composer in rehearsal with the Chamber Choir

Students from the University of Kent had the opportunity to work with one of the country’s leading composers last week; composer Paul Patterson was in attendance at the University Chamber Choir concert in Canterbury Cathedral Crypt last Friday, to hear the Choir perform his sacred motet Salvum Fac Populum Tuum Domine, and earlier in the afternoon came to the rehearsal to work on his piece with the Choir.

AH4A0390Born in 1947, Paul Patterson was a pupil of Elisabeth Lutyens and Richard Rodney Bennett. He is currently Manson Professor of Composition at the Royal Acadmey of Music. Major compositions include his Mass of the Sea (1983), Stabat Mater (1986), Te Deum (1988), Magnificat (1993), Hell’s Angels (1998) and the Millennium Mass (2000).

Time Piece (1972), was written for the King’s Singers, and has been performed extensively ever since as a staple part of their repertoire. His Cracowian Counterpoints (1977) was toured worldwide by the London Sinfonietta, and the phenomenally-successful Little Red Riding Hood and Three Little Pigs continue to be performed. In 1997, in celebration of his 50th birthday, he was the featured composer on BBC Radio 3’s long-running series ‘Composer of the Week.’ He has also been Artistic Director of the Exeter Festival (1991-97), and Composer-in-Residence of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (1997-2010).

AH4A0466It was a wonderful opportunity for the students to work with someone of Paul’s  calibre. A major figure on the British music landscape, the chance to work with him was a great privilege. Paul leads a hectic life following his music being performed all over the world (he was recently in Holland attending a concert combining his Magnificat with works by Eric Whitacre, and is shortly off to Denmark), and we are tremendously grateful that he found the time to come to the concert, and to be a part of the rehearsal earlier in the day.

Here is the Choir in the Crypt in the afternoon, working with Paul, together with Yours Truly and fourth-year student Matt Bamford rehearsing.

Images © Matt Wilson / University of Kent

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