Proza Musica is a Dutch company which specialises in music for church choirs, and Paul Ritchie has signed an agreement to provide new music, much of which will be published in English and Dutch versions. Four titles are currently available: ‘Come, let us join our cheerful songs’ and ‘Not unto us O Lord’ are new anthems scored for S.A.Men / Organ, ‘We gather together’ for S.A.Men / Organ and ‘Teach me thy way, O Lord’ for S.A.T.B / Organ are arrangements of hymns which are popular in Holland, and are both available in English and Dutch versions. For direct access to Proza Musica and Paul Ritchie’s home page click on this link.
The organ Partitas over Psalms 124 and 136, and the organ Variaties over Psalms 101 and 146 have been published in two volumes by Spiritoso Muziekuitgeverij. Psalmen Deel 1 contains the Partitas over Psalms 124 and 136, and Psalm 124 has been transposed down to F major to make it compatible with the Dutch psalm book. Psalmen Deel 2 contains the Variaties over Psalms 101 and 146. Both volumes are available direct from the publisher if you live in mainland Europe, or from the composer if you live in the UK.
A new set of organ variations by Paul Ritchie based on the Genevan psalm tune for Psalm 146 is the subject of the most recent YouTube recording by Leo Terlouw. It can be viewed by clicking on this link.
‘Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go’, a new anthem by Paul Ritchie has been released for sale by GIA. This setting of words by Charles Wesley is scored for SATB choir and Organ, and with the option to include the congregation. For more information please click on this link.
‘Variaties over Psalm 101′ is a new set of variations by Paul Ritchie based on a Genevan psalm tune and was written for the distinguished Dutch organist Leo Terlouw and his wife Henny. A YouTube recording by Leo Terlouw can be viewed by clicking on this link – Psalm 101.
Paul Ritchie has donated a collection of original psalm chants composed during his twenty four years as Organist & Choirmaster at St George’s Church, Cullercoats, to The National Archive of Anglican Chants administered by Peter W. J. Kirk. The archive website is currently under construction and can be accessed by clicking on this link.
Leo Terlouw has uploaded his performance of Paul Ritchie’s organ Partita on ‘Bristol’ to the YouTube website. Leo uses a Hauptwerk sample set of the famous Müller / Marcussen organ in the Bavokerk in Haarlem, and the video can be found by clicking on this link.
GIA have accepted ‘Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go’ for publication. This new setting of Charles Wesley’s words is scored for SATB choir and Organ, and is in the form of a hymn-anthem based on an original composition by Paul Ritchie. Each verse is preceded by an organ introduction, and the final verse includes a descant.
‘Ach Gott, erhör’ mein Seufzen’ will feature in an organ recital to be given on Saturday October 15th at 7pm by Paul Ritchie on the Church & Company organ which he helped to build and install in the Martin Luther Kirche, Copland Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne in 1974. The programme will include music by W.F.Bach, J.S.Bach, Krebs, Schneider, Robert & Clara Schumann, Mendelssohn, Harris, Whitlock, and Koomans, and will include Roger Wibberley’s setting of ‘Alle menschen müssen sterben’ which can also be found on the Orgelbüchlein Project website.
‘Lord of all power, I give you my will’ was given its first performance by the Great Choir of Derby Cathedral and Derventio Brass on Sunday 12th June under the direction of Hugh Morris. The anthem is based on a hymn tune specially composed by Paul Ritchie to fit the 10 11 11 11 metre. This tune is now available as a free download in two versions with the kind permission of Mrs J. Tyrrell who holds the copyright for the words. ‘Lord of all power, I give you my will’ can be downloaded by clicking on Derby Hymn:1, and ‘Lord of creation, to you be all praise’ by clicking on Derby Hymn:2.
A new recording by Peter Mende of Paul Ritchie’s choral prelude on ‘Ach Gott, erhör’ mein Seufzen und Wehklagen’ can be heard by clicking on this link. Recordings of the Partitas on Psalms 124 and 136, and the hymn tune ‘Stuttgart’, can also be found on the same site by clicking on Uploads (24).
In the Orgelbüchlein Bach set out to compose a prelude based on each of the 164 chorales then in common use. Each page of the manuscript was inscribed with the title of a chorale but only 46 were completed. The Orgelbüchlein Project aims to fill the gaps by providing preludes based on the remaining chorales; some have been commissioned, and others have been submitted. Paul Ritchie’s setting of ‘Ach Gott, erhör’ mein Seufzen’ has been added to the collection and may be downloaded for free by clicking on this link, scrolling down to number 105, and clicking on the name Paul Ritchie in brown type.
Paul Ritchie has completed a commission from Hugh Morris, Director of Music at Derby Cathedral, to compose an anthem to be sung at a Civic Service on June 12th in celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday.
The Cathedral authorities expressed a desire that the anthem could also be made more widely available across the Diocese, and that it should therefore be of an appropriate stature for a Civic Service, but available in a simpler form for Parish Church use.
The new anthem is a setting of words by Jack C. Winslow (1882-1974), ‘Lord of all power, I give you my will’, and is scored for SATB choir, organ, and a brass quintet comprising two trumpets, French horn, and two trombones, but can also be sung by as a hymn with organ or keyboard accompaniment.
Three times a year GIA issue a Choral Subscription pack containing sample copies of 30 new pieces along with CD recordings, and they make an excellent way to discover a world of new repertoire. The Spring 2016 pack includes a copy of Paul Ritchie’s anthem ‘As the deer’, and a recording is also featured on the CD. Details of the GIA subscription service can be found by clicking on this link.
The Choir of St. Mark’s Church, Bilton in Warwickshire, sang a revised version of Paul Ritchie’s anthem ‘Revive in us, O Lord’ at a service of Choral Evensong to celebrate the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist on Sunday 24th April under the direction of David Noble.
Scored for SATB choir and Organ, the anthem has a text which is applicable to the celebration of any saint’s day, and the music can be adapted to name almost any saint. Enquiries are welcome through the website Contact page.
Leo Terlouw (Papendrecht, NL) has recorded Paul Ritchie’s new Partita on ‘Winchester New’ using a Hauptwerk sample set of the famous Müller / Marcussen organ in the Bavokerk, Haarlem, and uploaded it to YouTube. The recording can be seen by clicking on this link. ‘Winchester New’ is suitable for Advent (On Jordan’s bank the baptist’s cry), and Palm Sunday (Ride on, ride on in majesty). Enquiries are welcome through the Contact page on this website.
RSCM North & East Yorkshire are hosting a Workshop for Singers on Saturday 16th April in St Peter’s Church, Redcar, TS10 3JL, from 2pm until 5pm. The workshop will provide an opportunity to sing through some of Paul Ritchie’s music under the direction of the composer. Choirs and individual singers are equally welcome, and the contact for further information is Michael Ash. firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Ritchie has composed a new setting of the Order One Common Worship texts, and the ‘Mass of St Barnabas’ will receive its first performance during the Ripon & Leeds Area Choir Festival on St Barnabas Day 2016. Copies cost £3 plus p&p, and can be ordered direct from the composer by using the Contact page on this website.
Members of the Bristol and District Organists’ Association met at the church of All Saints Clifton on the evening of Wednesday 25th November to play the recently restored J.W.Walker organ, and to share their ideas about new and unfamiliar repertoire. Among the players was Sue Gregory who gave the first public performance of a Partita on ‘Bristol’ specially composed for her by Paul Ritchie. The Partita is a set of six variations in baroque style based on the hymn tune ‘Bristol’ which is usually sung during Advent to the hymn ‘Hark the glad sound, the Saviour comes’.
On Sunday 25th October the Parish Church of St Cuthbert, Norham, Northumberland celebrated its 850th anniversary with a service of Holy Communion during which the choir, directed by Patricia Bonia and accompanied by Julian Bonia, gave the first performance of ‘A Place Prepared’. The anthem, with words selected from scripture by Carole Caddick and music by Paul Ritchie, was specially commissioned for this service and reflects on the life of a church which has seen more than its fair share of conflict over the centuries.
Copies of ‘Come, adore this wondrous presence’ are now available from RSCM Direct by clicking on this link. The anthem will be sung during the June 2016 RSCM Ripon & Leeds Choir Festival for St Barnabas Day along with a new setting by Paul Ritchie of the Common Worship Order One eucharistic texts. Copies of the Mass of St Barnabas will be made available to order direct from the composer in due course.
GIA have published Paul Ritchie’s anthem based on Ralph Vaughan Williams hymn tune ‘Down Ampney’. The anthem begins and ends with a choral fanfare based on a traditional African prayer invoking the Holy Spirit, and with the verses of ‘Come down, O love divine’ as the central section. Verse 1: unison voices and organ, Verse 2: SATB fauxbourdon with the melody in the bass line, Verse 3: SATB unaccompanied, Verse 4: unison voices with descant and alternative organ harmonies. It is intended that the congregation shall take an active part in singing this anthem, but be aware that the words are not exactly the same as those found in most UK hymn books, so printed word sheets may be required. To view sample pages click on this link or on the title above.
GIA held a series of Reading Sessions during the summer at which several new pieces from their extensive catalogue of choral music were introduced, including Paul Ritchie’s setting of the American hymn ‘Christ for the world we sing’. To see a video of one of the Reading Sessions click on this link, and to hear the assembled singers sight-reading ‘Christ for the world we sing’ scroll along to 6:22
GIA will be hosting ten summer reading sessions featuring new choral music from their extensive catalogue. Participants will each receive a complimentary packet of twenty five pieces, and this year Paul Ritchie’s anthem ‘Christ for the world we sing’ will be included. The sessions will take place in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Washington D.C. Details can be found by clicking on this link http://www.giamusic.com/srs
Paul Ritchie has begun work on a setting of the eucharistic texts from Common Worship Order One. The music will be suitable for congregational singing, and will have parts scored for SATB choir, and the accompaniment will be playable on the organ or other keyboard instruments. This new setting will receive its premier in Ripon Cathedral on St Barnabas Day, June 11th 2016, where it will be sung by RSCM choirs from the Ripon and Leeds area.
During 2015 the Parish Church of St Cuthbert in Norham, Northumberland, celebrates 850 years of worship within it’s ancient walls, and as part of the ongoing celebrations the choir has commissioned Paul Ritchie to compose an anthem to be sung at the Sunday morning service on 25th October. The text has been specially written by Carole Caddick, a member of St Cuthbert’s Choir, and the scoring will be for SATB and organ.
Shaun Turnbull, Assistant Director of Music at Blackburn Cathedral, will play the Prelude Fugue and Passacaglia as the concluding voluntary at the 4pm Choral Evensong on Sunday 28th June. This early work, completed in 2007, began life many years before as three short sketches. These were subsequently revised and combined to create a longer work. The fifteenth variation of the Passacaglia presents the fugue subject in canon – an unexpected but satisfying conclusion to the work. Enquiries are welcome through the contact page.
RSCM Northumbria invites choir members to sing Choral Evensong with the Cathedral Choir in St Nicholas Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne, on Sunday 14th June. Rehearsals start at 3:00pm and the service is at 6:00pm. The music will include Paul Ritchie’s anthem ‘As the deer’, the prize winning anthem in the 2012 St Giles Durham anthem competition.
Two interesting performances of ‘The Strife is O’er’ took place in California during April. The chamber choir Ensemble XXI directed by Jeffrey H Rickard included the anthem in a service of Choral Evensong for Eastertide which took place in the chapel of Redlands University, and the combined choirs of St Thomas More Oceanside and St Patrick Catholic Community Carlsbad also included the anthem in their Spring Sing. The choirs were directed by Douglas Lynn and Kathleen O’Brien.
The RSCM Durham Area Committee is holding an event in Whitburn Parish Church near Sunderland on Thursday 18th June at 7:30pm during which a number of Items from Paul Ritchie’s GIA catalogue will be sung by the participants. The assembled choir will be conducted by Andrew Robinson, and the evening will conclude with a fish supper. Further details can be found by clicking here.
Paul Ritchie will give an organ recital in St Paul’s Church, Whitley Bay, on Saturday 16th May at 7:30pm. The programme will include a selection of short hymn preludes from his growing collection entitled ‘All Saints’. Each prelude is based on a hymn tune named for a specific saint, and a performance of three of the preludes can be heard by clicking here.
Sixty Second Songs for Voice & Piano Book 1 is now available from Recital Music. This is the first of three graded books which will contain songs suitable for children. Book 1 is aimed at very young children and contains eight songs, including two by Paul Ritchie – ‘The Swing’ with words by Robert Louis Stevenson, and ‘The Little Crocodile’ with words by Lewis Carroll.
The Choir of the Blessed Sacrament Community in Burlington, North Carolina, will sing ‘Come, adore this wondrous presence’ during the liturgy for Holy Thursday on the 2nd April. The anthem will be sung as the Choir, directed by Jeff Rice, arrives at the Altar of Repose.
On Friday 17th April at 12:30pm Paul Ritchie will give the opening recital in the 2015 series in Morpeth Methodist Church, and in a programme entitled ‘From Lent to Eastertide’ he will include his Chorale and Variations on ‘Forty Days and Forty Nights’. This was the first set of variations he wrote, and after the opening chorale harmonisation there are six variations illustrating ideas expressed in the six verses of the hymn. A recording of this piece can be found on the CD ‘Lewis at Cullercoats’.
Recital Music, a publishing house based in Somerset, held a competition during 2014 inviting composers to submit songs suitable for children of different ages, with the proviso that each song should last no more than sixty seconds. Paul Ritchie submitted two songs, ‘The Swing’ and ‘The Little Crocodile’, and both were accepted for publication. Sixty Second Songs Book 1 is due for publication soon, and should be available to purchase within the next two weeks.
All of the choral music by Paul Ritchie which GIA publish in America is now available in the form of pdf downloads. Follow the links from the Choral section of the Music page to print sample pages, listen to audio samples, or to purchase mp3 recordings and sheet music.
Shaun Turnbull, Assistant Director of Music, will play the organ Partita on ‘Stuttgart’ before the 6:30pm evening service in Blackburn Cathedral on Sunday 1st February. This service takes the form of ‘A sequence of readings and music from Epiphany to Candlemas’.
The choir of St Giles’ Church Durham will sing ‘As the Deer’ during the Ash Wednesday service on February 18th. This setting of verses from Psalm 42 was the winning entry in the St Giles’ Durham 900th Anniversary competition in 2012 and is scored for SATB and organ. The anthem was published by GIA in 2014 and can be found by following the links in the Choral section of this site.
This setting of ‘Author of life divine’ by the hymn writer Charles Wesley was written in 2003 for Michael Haynes and Hexham Abbey Choir, and is scored for unaccompanied solo treble and SATB choir with divisi. A revised and updated version is now available in the Choral section of this site.
GIA will be making all of Paul Ritchie’s music available as pdf downloads over the coming weeks. Four items are currently available: ‘Come, let us join our cheerful songs’, ‘Enter this door’, ‘How far is it to Bethlehem?’ and ‘The Tree of Life’. Follow the links from the product pages to see preview pages and to hear audio samples.
Paul Ritchie has signed a contract with GIA for the publication of his anthem ‘Come down’ O love divine. This large scale work was originally written at the request of Andrew Robinson for the RSCM Ripon and Leeds Area Festival held in Ripon Cathedral on 7th June 2014. It begins and ends with a choral fanfare based on a traditional African prayer, and these movements frame the hymn sung to Vaughan Williams’ wonderful tune ‘Down Ampney’. The work includes linking passages for organ, a fauxbourdon setting for verse two, and a descant over an alternative harmonisation for verse four.
Shaun Turnbull will play the organ Partita on ‘Stuttgart’ as the concluding voluntary following Choral Evensong in Blackburn Cathedral on Sunday 11th January at 4pm. ‘Stuttgart’ is the tune most readily associated with the Epiphany hymns ‘Bethlehem, of noblest cities’ and ‘Earth has many a noble city’, and in some churches it is also sung to the Advent hymn ‘Come thou long expected Jesus’.
The first public performance of the ʻPartita on Psalm 136ʼ will be given by Shaun Turnbull, Assistant Director of Music, during the 1pm lunchtime organ recital in Blackburn Cathedral on Wednesday 7th January 2015.
In 2014 Andrew Robinson commissioned a fauxbourdon setting of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis which will be given its first performance during Choral Evensong by the choir of St Giles Church Durham on Sunday 18th January 2015.
The choir of St Gilesʼ Church Durham sang ʻA Christmas Lullabyʼ during their Carol Service on Sunday 21st December conducted by Andrew Robinson by whom it was commissioned in 2013.
ʻThe Tree of Lifeʼ was sung at the conclusion of the Advent Carol Service on Sunday 30th November by the boys and men of Bradford Cathedral Choir under their Director of Music, Alexander Woodrow, and again on Tuesday the following week at Choral Evensong.