Colin Mawby – testimonials from performers

Here are some recent testimonials from people who have enjoyed performing Colin Mawby’s music. Some of these performances were as a result of a music commission.

“What a joy it was to perform your jewel-of-a-piece Ave verum corpus. The two thousand members of the American Guild of Organists who attended the Liturgy were very vocal in the praise of your beautiful piece.”

James Savage, St.James Cathedral, Seattle. July 2001

*****

“Thank you so much for sending me the complimentary copy of the The Choral Music of Colin Mawby (pub.Mayhew). I have managed to work through the whole volume and I am both moved and inspired. The pieces are impeccably crafted and each has a special magic in relation to the particular text. You are an extraordinarily gifted man and I only wish your talents were more well-known and exploited to the benefit of others here in Ireland.”

Dr. Geoffrey Spratt, Cork School of Music, Ireland. February 2000

*****

“Especially it has been a great honour to have Colin with us. I have to thank him for the beautiful piece he wrote which has been very much apreciated by the audience.”

Nosetti Massimo, one of the great Italian Organ Virtuosi. October 2003

*****

“I was also very glad to receive copies of your more recent works, by courtesy of Kevin Mayhew. What beautiful music you have given us all in Requiem of Hope and Three Great Festivals, both of which, at first glance, are splendid.”

Gerre Hancock, Organist and Master of Choristers, Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, New York. July 2002

*****

“I would love for you to write another work for us. I really feel that it is one of the great legacies of our centenary celebrations, that we have been able to commission and premier such a beautiful and meaningful work as your Nunc dimittis.

Blanaid Murphy, Director of the Palestrina Choir, Dublin. November 2003

*****

“I am very happy to have become acquainted with your work in recent times, and, as you note, the performance of your Ave verum corpus in Seattle stunned us all with its beauty. Shortly thereafter, I reviewed your Modern Medieval Carol for “The Choral Journal” … My own church choir will be performing this piece at Christmas of this year.

“.. I have a good number of your works in my possession. All of us who seek to present great modern music both in concert and in worship are grateful for the gifts of composers such as you.

“Your Ave verum corpus is really amazing in its impact. While Concora is a professional concert choir, I work also with a wonderful church choir (Congregational) of some forty voices (seven paid, the rest volunteer) who presented this piece last June in worship. It overwhelmed them, and our congregation, with its beauty. You should know that you are reaching many minds and hearts.”

Richard Coffey, Artistic Director, Concora – Connecticut Choral Artists. July 2001

*****

“Thank you very much for your wonderful music. It is always a great pleasure for us to perform your compositions. And so it was at the recording of your Alleluia! Christus resurrexit in our recent production:”Lux Aeterna – Heavenliness in the Music of the 20th Century”. We would like to send you a copy of this CD with the best wishes of our conductor Volker Hempfling and the whole choir. May you enjoy listening to it.”

Iveta and Dr. Michael Schelhaas, Koelner Kantorei, Germany. June 2002

*****

“Splendid, splendid, splendid!!! It really went very well indeed, and the Rector found it ‘tremendously moving, powerful, and well-crafted.’ He asked that we do it again for Christ the King Sunday (Nov.22), which is our Stewardship Sunday also, and the Sunday before American Thanksgiving!

“The Presiding Bishop was most enthusiastic as both music and text reflected his sermon on Christian Unity and the Brotherhood of Man. He asked for a copy fo the score, which I gave him. He also mentioned the music in his remarks at the dinner – where several other distinguished visitors (R.C., Episcopal, Lutheran, Bishops etc.) also commented.”

Bruce McInnes, Choirmaster, Grace Church in New York. October 1998

*****

“I write enclosing a copy of the complete Ulster Youth Choir broadcast from BBC Radio Ulster which includes their performance of your piece Alleluia! Christus Resurrexit. They thoroughly enjoyed performing it as the audiences have enjoyed listening to it.”

Majella Hollywood, Manager, Ulster Youth Choir, Northern Ireland. October 2003

*****

“Just to let you know, we are doing your Rorate caeli on Advent IV here. I know the choir will like it, but I hope it will tickle our congregation’s fancy too. I also hope to do Adoro te sometime. I very much like the way you add Irish flavourings to the chant context, not just effective but a really lovely devotional gloss.”

Patrick Russill, Director of Music, The London Oratory, and Head of Choral Direction and Church Music at the Royal Academy of Music, London. November 2001

*****

“Thank you for sending your beautiful Alleluia. We have ordered it for next fall. Last Sunday we sang your Ave verum … It is such an affecting creation. Please continue to send me things.”

James Savage, St.James Cathedral, Seattle. October 2002

*****

“I am delighted that you enjoyed the occasion of the Choir School Centenary Mass, and the first performance of Laudate Dominum.

“It was wonderful for us to be able to sing your motet, which was so appropriate for the celebration. The choristers enjoyed learning it (mostly on tour in America!) and I thought it hit just the right note for the occasion. Thank you for writing such a great piece. We will certainly use it again, as a motet for joyful occasions.”

Martin Baker, The Master of Music, Westminster Cathedral, London. December 2001

*****

“Just a note to say thank you very much again for composing Locus iste and how much we all enjoyed performing it. I shall use it again as soon as a suitable occasion arises.

“I understand you may also write a Mass for us which I think would be a great idea!”

Paul Gilham, St. Etheldreda’s, Ely Place, London. July 2002

*****

“Thank you for your kindness and thoughtfulness in sending to me a copy of Marian Anthems.

“I congratulate you on such a splendid achievement. I very much look forward to studying this collection of works with the thought that we might someday be able to perform one or more of them here at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue.”

Gerre Hancock, Organist and Master of Choristers, Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, New York. November 2002

*****

“Thank you very much for composing such an effective and beautiful setting of the gospel acclamation verse for the Cardinal’s funeral last week. Many people have commented on it, and I was delighted with it. I hope that you enjoyed our performance of it and that it came over as you would have wished.

“Once again, my thanks for your wonderful music. I was delighted that we were able to include a specially composed piece by you in this service; it seemed totally fitting to do so.”

James O’Donnell, MA, FRCO, The Master of Music, Westminster Cathedral, London. July 1999

*****

“I wanted to write to thank you so much for that marvellous Alleluia and verse (for Cardinal Basil Hume’s Requiem). It was all that I wanted – and more. It was good to see so many strands of the Cardinal’s life being brought together at that Mass. I am very grateful.”

Revd Mgr George Stack, Administrator, Westminster Cathedral, London. July 1999

*****

“Thank you for the permission to use Sleep Holy Child on our CD. We really enjoy this song and have used it in many of our Christmas concerts. We hope that you can approve of our interpretation of Sleep Holy Child, and that you enjoy the rest of our CD as well.”

Eva M. Stewart, Leader, Sola Fide Choir, Norway. July 2002

*****

“We introduced the piece to the choir this past Saturday and they were overwhelmed! Every person to a one raved about how beautiful and moving the setting was. One of our members commented at length about the musical portrayal of the text and how fitting it all was. The family was understandably tearful and extremely pleased with both the anthem and the reaction. Bravo.”

John Hutchinson, Director of Music and Arts, First United Methodist Church, Louisiana. August 2002

*****

“What a pleasure it is to be working on such a fine piece as It is Well with My Soul. The family, the choir and myself are all thrilled with the beautiful piece you have created in our honor and in memory of the child they lost.

“I sincerely hope that we will have the opportunity to work with you again in the future. Your compositions are exemplary and are greatly admired by us.”

John Hutchinson, Director of Music and Arts, First United Methodist Church, Louisiana. September 2002

*****

“I attended a performance of the Westminster Cathedral Choir on 28 October 2001 at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“I am still overwhelmed by the GLORY that my son and I heard that evening. … In particular, I was moved to open tears by Colin Mawby’s Ave verum corpus which I had never before heard. It takes its place beside the sublime (and divine) Mozart setting.

“I know the Colin Mawby setting has been recorded by the Choir, but I am unable to find it printed or published. I would like to see that wonderful and sacred score. Can you tell me (where I can get it)?”

Dr. Stuart R. Wise, Utah. March 2002

*****

“I am the Artistic Director of the Phoenix Chamber Choir in Canada. In 1996 I was fortunate enough to travel to Australia as a chorister for the World Choral Symposium. On one of the free Sundays, I went to Mass and heard an absolutely exquisite piece of music for choir and organ which quite literally transported me. Needless to say, it was your beautiful Ave verum corpus. It took me years to finally track down your name and the piece and eventually I was able to include it in my choir’s repertoire – only last year. We took it on our Germany/Luxemburg tour last August and released it on CD just this past December.

“It was an honour to be able to perform your work abroad … and in such marvelous acoustics. Your harmonic language spoke very directly to us as an ensemble and lent itself very well to our choir’s particular sound and weight. In fact, your Ave verum corpus encapsulated so much of our musical experiences that it was chosen to open the CD, along with the bells of Trier Cathedral.”

Romona Luengen, Artistic Director, Phoenix Chamber Choir, Canada. March 2003

*****

“Many thanks indeed for sending me your setting of Death is a Formidable Foe. It is a wonderful idea to have chosen that text to set and I should be delighted if I can find an opportunity to perform it before I leave.

“The motet looks fascinating and interesting with wonderful setting of the words and I shall do my very best to have it sung here. If this is the case, I shall certainly let you know well in advance.”

James O’Donnell, MA, FRCO, The Master of Music, Westminster Cathedral, London. September 1999

*****

“Colin Mawby composed Justus ut Palma for our wedding in 1980. He was happy to use the pun on our name (Palmer). The piece was tailored to fit our plans for the music, the needs of the church and the strengths of the musicians we invited. We had been lucky enough to hear Colin’s commissions at other weddings including a delightful, approachable O sacrum convivium and know that Colin appreciates and values music-makers of all standards and will bring out their best.

“Many of our friends are musicians and they were impressed by the musical and technical qualities displayed by the work; our non-musician friends and relatives found it an attractive, impressive and memorable piece. We still refer to it as one of the high spots of a very special day and hope to perform it at our silver wedding.”

Jonathan and Frances Palmer, London. November 2003

*****

“Rehearsal of the Mag and Nunc today with Peter at the mighty organ of St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue was nothing short of awesome!!! The up-tempo ideas hath given the piece a new fire, the men continue to be very excited about it, and we can’t wait to perform it at St.Patrick’s and at St. James’s. My only hope is that you will be pleased.”

Bruce McInnes, The Mastersingers, New York. June 2003

 

These articles may also be of interest to you:

Choir Development Skills – Forming a choir – the skills you need

About Colin – Colin Mawby’s biography

Rhythm and Aural Training – Sight-reading – Rhythm and Aural Training

Gregorian Chant – Gregorian Chant

The Psychology of Choir Practice – The Psychology of Choir Practice – getting the best from your Choir