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Recent New Works | Archives

What's new?

Poster for Auckland Choral's performance of "Erebus" (2016)

2015 : A busy year for composing
The year saw a significant number of new works including several commissioned by schools for this year's "The Big Sing' choral competition.

"Riding the Rails" (6 hands, one piano)
"Carousel" (alto sax, tenor sax, piano)
"Sunrise at Mangawhai" (SSAATTBB unaccompanied - for Choralation choir from Westlake Girls and Boys High Schools)
"Mihi" (SSAA piano - for Cantare choir at Westlake Girls High School)
"Lullaby for Matariki" (SA, piano duet - for Nota Bella choir at Westlake Girls High School)
"A Sacred Heart Hymn" (2-part male voices, piano - commissioned by Sacred Heart College, Auckland)
"Whaia te iti kahurangi" (TTBB, piano - commissioned by One Tree Hill College, Auckland)
"The Tree of Love" (SSA, flute and piano - commissioned for the chapel choir by Woodford House, Havelock North)
"The Man from the Land of Fandango" (for Diocesan School for Girls)
"Paper Cut" (for piano and concert band - for the Premier Concert Band at Auckland Grammar School)
"Sound Over All Waters" (SATB, organ - written as a gift to my good friend, choral director at Georgia College, Dr Jennifer Flory)
"Blessing for a New-Born Child" (SATB, cello - written for the baptism of Alexandra Rose Szabó Johnston)
"Concerto for Piano Duet" (III: Boogie for Liz) (piano duet (4 hands, one piano), and orchestra - written for Taharoto Orchestra (Westlake Girls and Boys High Schools))
"Aotearoa Fanfare" (for Auckland Symphony Orchestra)
"The Faraday Cage" (violin, cello and piano -for the NZ Trio)
"Yellow Songs" (5 songs for tenor and piano)
"A Santa Claus Suite" (SA choir and orchestra - for North Shore Children's Choir and North Shore Junior Orchestra)

 

2014 Composing News
New works were produced for the following groups:
Georgia College (Milledgeville GA, USA): "When the Cold Awakens" (premiered 5 December)
     for solo mezzo, SSA and SATB choirs, and chamber ensemble.
Community of St Luke's Choir: "A Mass for the Community of St Luke" (premiered on 19 October) for
     SATB choir and organ
Nota Bene Choir (Wellington): "Canción de Invierno" (premiered on 14 September, conducted by
     Christine Argyle) for SSAATB choir.
Viva Voce: "The Bridge of Love": for choir and piano duet (premiered on 23 March)
Cantare (Westlake Girls High School): "Karanga of the Winds" for 2 SSA choirs and piano

 

President Hamilton
At the choir's 2014 annual general meeting, Auckland Choral elected me as President of the choir. This largely titular position, has generally held by a past member of long-standing, or someone with long association with the choir.

Sing Aotearoa 2013

The national choral event returned in 2013, again taking place in Rotorua. This major gathering of choirs and choral people occurs every three or four years. The featured composer in 2013 was David Hamilton! A new work, "A Traveller's Prayer: Ka u ki Matanuku", was written for the event and  featured in the 'forest sing' experience.

Two new CDs of Hamilton choral works are now available.

At the end of 2012, two new compilations of choral music were put together. The new compilation of treble-voice music includes a work written for highly regarded Seattle choir Mirinesse Women's Choir. And the new mixed-voice compilation includes some of the composer's most widely performed choral works. The CDs are (with lists of works on each CD):

The Treble-Voice Choral Music of David Hamilton Volume 4
Prayer of a Woman
We Shall Walk Through the Valley
A Child Lay in a Little Crib
Shepherd’s Song at Christmas
The Son of the Virgin
My Master Hath a Garden
Walk You in the Light
A Song of Ruth
Such a Parcel of Rogues (song by Robert Rurns)
Road’s End
Count Me the Stars
A Peace Prayer
De Angel Roll De Stone Away
Full Moon Rhyme
There Will Come Soft Rains
Ave Maris Stella
A Blessing for Saint Kentigern
 

Music for Mixed-Voice Choirs Volume 2
Ecce beatam lucem
Angele Dei
Caliban’s Song
Three Spirituals
Whosoever will
In the garden
Walk you in the light
The Pale and Silver Moon’s Blue Silk and Blossom
Rakiura
The Moon is Silently Singing
Veni Sancte Spiritus
Karanga
Dance Song to the Creator

Neither of these is a commercial release, so copies are only available directly from the composer.

Wet weather and a warm welcome in Wales!

In mid-May an unexpected invitation came to join the adjudication team at the world-famous Eisteddfod in Llangollen in Wales (UK) during the first week of July. This annual event includes a range of performing arts' competitions including major choral competitions culminating in the "Choir of the World". This is the same event that the New Zealand Youth Choir won in 1999. It was a challenge to get flights out of NZ at short notice, being the end of the school term and also high season for travel to Europe and the UK. And of course the Olympics are on from late July in London.

The event ran from 3rd to 8th July, and included solo vocal and instrumental categories, folk music (small and large groups), barbershop choruses, and choral categories. In addition to the main pavilion where most competitive events occur, there were several other 'stages' where concerts took places throughout the day. And various other events took places in venues around the small town of Llangollen. With relatively few exceptions the standard of performance is high, especially from the choirs. I particularly enjoyed being part of the team adjudicating the 'senior children's choir' category (choirs ages 12-18 years) and was impressed by the quality of singing at the top end. It was also interesting to hear some diverse and challenging repertoire, with choirs offering pieces of real substance and interest. The contest draws heavily from England and Wales, but groups travelled from as far away as Australia, the USA, and Singapore, with folk groups from diverse cultures including India, Turkey and Algeria. This year's "Choir of the World" was the fine German male-voice choir Delica Ton.

Apart from the final night, the evenings consisted of public concerts in the 4000-seat pavilion. A major event was the performance of Karl Jenkins' new work "The Peacemakers" premiered in New York in early 2012. This substantial piece received a warm reception from the audience.

Unfortunately the weather did not co-operate, and some said it was the wettest eisteddfod in memory! At times the rain threatened to drown out the softer singing in the pavilion, and one choir hardly needed to use the rain sticks that featured in their piece. The eisteddfod brings together a wide range of cultures and performers, and amongst the adjudication team there were representatives from Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Canada, Ireland, England and Wales. And of course New Zealand - possibly for the first time on the adjudication panel.

Llangollen provided a warm welcome and the town embraces the eisteddfod whole-heartedly, from the opening  day's parade to the strong support for all the events both day and night. Colourful flags decorate the streets, and colourful costumes could be seen everywhere. Certainly a model of international co-operation and artistic collaboration. And most of those working behind the scenes doing it all on a volunteer basis. An event to be treasured, and an event to be seen if at all possible.

For another perspective on Llangollen's eisteddfod, here is a link to a blog by one of the other adjudicators, Liz Garnett:
http://www.helpingyouharmonise.com/llangollen

New choral work for Georgia College and State University, USA

On March 17th 2012 the women's choir and orchestra of Georgia College and State University premiered "Serenade" commissioned by the institution. Conducted by Dr Jennifer Flory, the choirs at the university have performed several Hamilton pieces, including "There Will Come Soft Rains". The new work is a setting of a poem by Edward Coote Pinkney. The composer was at Georgia College for the week leading up to the première presenting workshops and lectures.

Now Available: Treble-Voice Choral Music CD Volume 3

Recorded in February 2011, a set of pieces for two-part treble voices and piano is now available on CD. Recorded by a specially formed group, with two tracks sung by Auckland Boys' Choir as a bonus. Contact the composer for details on ordering the CD. The pieces included on the CD are:

C:\Users\OEM\Documents\My Web Sites\DH Treble Voice Vol 3 cover.jpg1. Kia hora te marino
2. Child of my heart
3. Moon Fish
4. Friends
5. When my Mother sings to me
6. Dear Santa
7. Tell me again (the story of Christmas)
8. Ave Maria
9. Two Blessings
    -  Ko Ihu te Ariki.
    - Tiaho I roto
10. A Blessing for this Day
11. Magnificat
12. A Blessing for Saint Kentigern

 

"School's out as composer gets serious"

This headline in the Monday November 18 2001 issue of the NZ Herald, headed an article about the move from  teaching full-time to composing.

The article can still be checked out at the NZ Herald’s website by accessing the following link:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/6/story.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=228873