Variations upon “St Michael’

Leo Terlouw has uploaded his performance of Variations upon ‘St Michael’ to YouTube. Paul Ritchie composed this set of organ variations in 2017 as a gift for Neil and Barbara Richerby, to celebrate the completion of their two manual and pedal house organ. The hymn tune ‘St Michael’ was composed by William Crotch (1775-1847) and is based on the Genevan psalm tune for Psalm 101. Leo Terlouw’s performance can be viewed by clicking here.

Come down O Love divine

Paul Ritchie’s extended anthem based on Ralph Vaughan Williams’ famous hymn tune ‘Down Ampney’ was featured during the NPU Hymn Festival in February 2019. A YouTube recording of the event, which took place in the music department of North Park University, Chicago, can be viewed by clicking here. The massed choirs were directed by Tom Tropp and the organist was John W.W. Sherer. ‘Come down O love divine’ begins at 2:25 and runs until 7:57.

YouTube recordings

Leo Terlouw has gathered together all of his YouTube recordings of music by Paul Ritchie onto a single page on his own website. This page can be found by clicking here. New recordings will be added from time to time, including a set of variations over the hymn tune ‘St Michael’ which will be posted soon.

New organ music

Spiritoso Muziekuitgeverij has published a new book containing three sets of organ variations by Paul Ritchie based on well-known hymn tunes. In ‘Koraal en Variaties over Forty Days and Forty Nights’ the six variations reflect the words of the hymn. ‘Variaties over Bristol’ are based on the tune associated with ‘Hark! the glad sound, the saviour comes’, and ‘Variaties over Winchester New’ are based on the tune associated with both ‘Ride on, ride on in majesty’ and ‘On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry’. To visit Spiritoso click here.


Two new CDs have been added to the Recordings page. Rien Donkersloot’s recording of ‘Variaties over Psalm 146’ is included on his CD of the Verschueren organ in the Lambertus Kerk, Wouw, in the Netherlands, and Alex Woodrow’s second recording of ‘Partita on Stuttgart’ is included on the CD recorded by the choirs and organists of Solihull School.

‘Forty Days and Forty Nights’

Leo Terlouw has recorded Paul Ritchie’s ‘Chorale and Variations on Forty Days and Forty Nights’ for YouTube using the Görlitz Sonnenorgel sample set. This music will be published by Spiritoso in a volume which also contains the variations on ‘Bristol’ and ‘Winchester New’. Click here to visit YouTube.

‘Abraham, when severely tried’

GIA have published ‘Abraham, when severely tried’, a setting of words by Charles Wesley in the form of a carol scored for unaccompanied SATB choir. The text is particularly suitable for pairing with the second lesson during a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, and is also suitable for services during Lent, or the Easter Vigil. Click here to visit GIA.

‘Partita on Stuttgart’

The distinguished Dutch organist Leo Terlouw has recorded Paul Ritchie’s ‘Partita on Stuttgart’ for YouTube using the Hauptwerk sample set of the Marcussen organ in the Laurenskerk, Rotterdam. Click here to visit YouTube


Klavarskribo is form of music notion which is much used in Holland, especially among organists and pianists. Paul Ritchie’s two volumes of organ variations based on Genevan psalm tunes are now available in Klavarskribo notation. Further details regarding Klavarskribo can be found by clicking on this link, and a separate window showing the two volumes can be opened by clicking on ‘Nieuwe bladmuziek per 24 Juli 2018’ and scrolling down.

Come down O love divine

Paul Ritchie’s setting of ‘Come down O love divine’, a large scale choral anthem based on the famous hymn tune by Ralph Vaughan Williams, is to be included in GIA’s Choral Reading Sessions this summer, details of which can be found by clicking on this link. Further details regarding the music can be found by clicking on this link.

Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go

GIA have included the anthem ‘Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go’ in their Spring 2018 Choral Packet which is distributed to subscribers. The packet includes a copy of the sheet music and a CD recording by their house choir. Full details including sample pages can be found by clicking on this link.

Proza Musica

The Dutch publisher Proza Musica has published seven anthems by Paul Ritchie, all of which are available separately or as a collection in a single volume. The collection contains: Almighty God, in whom we live (SATB), Come, bless the Lord (SATB), Come, let us join our cheerful songs (SA Men/Organ), Teach me thy way, O Lord (SATB/Organ), The Lord’s my shepherd (SATB/Organ), Not unto us, O Lord (SA Men/Organ), and We gather together (SATB/Organ). The items which have organ accompaniment are also available with separate choir parts. Sample pages can be viewed by clicking on this link.

New music for choirs

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.

Prelude Fugue & Passacaglia

The eminent Dutch organist Leo Terlouw has uploaded his  performance of Paul Ritchie’s ‘Prelude Fugue & Passacaglia’ for organ to YouTube. Click here to view the video. YouTube recordings of more organ music by Paul Ritchie can be found by clicking here.

Organ music based on Genevan psalm melodies

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.

Variaties over Psalm 146

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

‘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.

New music for organ

‘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.

Psalm Chants

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.

Partita on ‘Bristol’

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.

Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go

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.

Orgelbüchlein Project

‘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.

Derby Cathedral

‘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.


The Orgelbüchlein Project

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).

The Orgelbüchlein Project

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.

Commission for Derby Cathedral

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.

GIA Choral Subscription series

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.

Revive in us, O Lord

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.

Partita on ‘Winchester New’

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.

Meet the Composer

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.

Mass of St Barnabas

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.

Partita on Psalm 124

The distinguished Dutch organist and teacher Leo Terlouw has uploaded his performance of Paul Ritchie’s Partita on Psalm 124 to YouTube using a Hauptwerk sample set of the Bätz organ in Utrecht Dom. The recording can be accessed by clicking on this link.

Partita on ‘Bristol’

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’.

A Place Prepared

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.

Come, adore this wondrous presence

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.

Partita on Psalm 136

Leo Terlouw, an organist and teacher based in Papendrecht in the Netherlands, has uploaded a recording of Paul Ritchie’s organ Partita on Psalm 136 to YouTube. The recording was made on a Gebr. Van Vulpen house organ built in Utrecht in 1974, and can be accessed by clicking on this link.

Come down, O love divine

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 Summer Reading Sessions

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 Summer Reading Sessions

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

New setting for the Eucharist

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.

Prelude Fugue and Passacaglia

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.

‘As the deer’

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.

The Strife is O’er

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.

Sea, Song, and Fish and Chips

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.

‘All Saints’

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

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.

Chorale and Variations on ‘Forty Days and Forty Nights’

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’.