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.