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30 June 2020 Comments Off on Willis & Silvestri ‘The Canticle of Mary’ Christmas Commissioning Opportunity for Choirs Views: 326 CE News

Willis & Silvestri ‘The Canticle of Mary’ Christmas Commissioning Opportunity for Choirs

The Canticle of Mary is an exciting opportunity for choirs to come together in commissioning and performing, (live, socially distanced or virtually as circumstances permit) a substantial new Christmas piece in December 2020

Alison Willis says, “I’m so excited about this piece! It will combine six little known medieval carol texts with a wonderful new poem The Canticle of Mary by Tony Silvestri (whose beautiful words have been set by composers including Eric Whitacre and Ola Gjeilo and sung by thousands of choirs around the world), putting Mary’s side of the story.” 

Alison is inviting choirs to commission and perform (December 2020) one of the carols, written for SATB with organ/piano accompaniment. Each carol will also have an introduction for soprano solo with choir and organ/piano accompaniment, setting the text of the stanza from The Canticle of Mary poem that will precede the carol in the full c.40 minute piece.  

The carol texts vary in length and this is reflected in the commission fees, which start at from £500 (+ scores). The scores and audio rehearsal resources will be made available through Composers Edition by the start of September 2020 and scores will contain any requested dedication and information about the commissioning choir.

The full 40 minute piece will be published in Spring 2021 and offered for first performance to all the commissioning choirs in December 2021.

“As a singer and conductor myself as well as a composer, I am painfully aware that nobody knows what the situation will be for us come September and that the challenges choirs are facing in terms of programming, rehearsing and finance are immense. I also know how frustrating the virtual rehearsal process can be! This piece, whilst emphatically not conceived as a “virtual” piece will be written so it is both practical and enjoyable to sing, even if we are still unable to physically sing together. My hope is that its collaborative nature will help to maintain our collective love of singing, our choir communities and connect the choirs involved through the creation of new music.”

Alison Wilis

For a taste of Alison’s other carols listen to I Sing of a Maiden and Those Things Three. For further details and to read the medieval texts visit Alison’s website at or contact Alison directly. 

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