Commissioning new music
From time to time, as funds allow, Monmouth School for Boys has been able to commission new music from well-known composers. Generally, we ask composers who can supply music which is tailored to fit the specific needs of our ensembles as they are at the time, and whose profile will ensure the music has a good chance of being noticed outside the confines of our school world.
In 2007, Philip Sparke was our Composer-in-Residence and he provided us with three works, Tales of the River Wye, Almshouse Street Blues and A Monmouth Overture as part of that project. A Monmouth Overture in particular has acquired a life of its own and any visit to YouTube will confirm it is being played all over the world. As part the School’s 400th Anniversary Celebrations we commissioned Colin Mawby to provide us with a new Eucharist setting for use in our chapel, which can be used chorally or congregationally, or both, generously funded by a private donor. Since then he has also provided us with a beautiful setting of Henry V’s prayer before the battle of Harfleur as a tribute to our fallen schoolboys who gave their lives in conflicts around the world. These are both published by Presto Publications. Also as part of our 400th celebrations, we commissioned the OUP composer Alan Bullard to provide us with new setting of the well-known carol This is the Truth sent from above. These words, with their atmospheric original melody, were discovered not far from Monmouth by Ella Leather and the new setting was first heard at the Service of Lessons and Carols in December 2014. It is published by Oxford University Press.
Our most recent commission is a setting of the beautiful Welsh carol Suo Gân (Huna Blentyn) from the organist of Manchester Cathedral, Christopher Stokes.