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 tailored to fit the specific needs of our ensembles as they are at that 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, all published by de Haske.  A Monmouth Overture in particular has acquired a life of its own and any visit to YouTube will bring up performances from all over the world.  As part the School’s 400th Anniversary Celebrations in 2014 we commissioned Colin Mawby, former Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral, to provide us with a new Eucharist setting for use in our chapel, 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 on the battlefield.  These are both published by Presto Publications.  Also as part of our 400th celebrations, we commissioned 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 2013 and is published by Oxford University Press.  In 2014 Christopher Stokes, organist of Manchester Cathedral, provided us with a new setting of the Welsh lullaby Suo Gân which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 that year by Manchester Cathedral Choir.  In 2023 Director of Music David Lawson’s setting of the old German carol Maria durch ein’ Dornwald ging, written for the Chapel Choir, was published by Encore Publications.


There are plans being developed in 2023 for a major commission of a new musical Nativity for Monmouth Prep school, from a very well-known composer.