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On this site, you can explore the best ways of commissioning new choral music and see details of our score appraisal service for composers. You can also discover the latest projects that Castley Music is working on, including On Windover Hill; an Arts Council England National Lottery-supported project to write the first major choral work inspired by the ancient and mysterious figure carved into the South Downs, known as the Long Man of Wilmington.

Currently at Castley Music...

Hello November, and hello to the cold, crisp mornings that make my 'composing walks' just a little more challenging to get out of bed for! Due to being behind with various deadlines, I'm going to keep this short, and maybe add to it when I have a spare moment - unlikely in the next week or so!

Work continues apace to finish the vocal scores before they can go off to print, ready for the much anticipated rehearsals of 'On Windover Hill' to begin in January. I'm hoping to get some rehearsal footage on YouTube before too long so people can begin to get a taste of what the performance in March will sound like. Have you got your tickets yet?! Over 20% of tickets were sold in the first week they were on sale, so don't hang about! Interest is also building in the modern premiere of Avril Coleridge-Taylor's Wyndore, that will also be performed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Concert Orchestra on March 7th.

In the meantime, I'm gearing up for Christmas with my numerous choirs, and I'm looking forward to hearing at least two performances of my Christmas Chimes (below) in the next month. I've also submitted one or two pieces to next year's London Festival of Contemporary Church Music. So we'll see what happens there!

I had the fortune to sing at St Stephen's Walbrook (London) at the beginning of this month. What a place, and what an acoustic! It's so wonderful to still be making new discoveries. It's what being a musician is all about.

Have a great month, everyone.

 

 

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Featured Work

Christmas Chimes

(incorporating 12 hidden carols)

For unaccompanied SATB choir 

Duration: 2'47

Difficulty: medium

I have taken inspiration from a 1902 poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox to create the ultimate in Christmas medleys! After an introduction of syncopated 'Ding-a-dong's' (and who doesn't love a good Ding-a-Dong at Christmas?), the poem works through the first two verses, with each part having its own moment in the limelight. The final verse however winds its way through TWELVE well-known carols before finishing with a final flourish of 'Ding Dong'! The words of the poem are printed below, but the twelve hidden carols will remain hidden until you find them...

When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow, 
We hear sweet voices ringing from lands of long ago, 
    And etched on vacant places 
    Are half forgotten faces 
Of friends we used to cherish, and loves we used to know-- 
When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow.

When gloomy grey Decembers are roused to Christmas mirth, 
The dullest life remembers there once was joy on earth, 
    And draws from youth's recesses 
    Some memory it possesses, 
And, gazing through the lens of time, exaggerates its worth, 
When gloomy grey December is roused to Christmas mirth.

When Christmas bells are filing the air with silver chimes, 
And silences are melting to soft, melodious rhymes, 
    Let festive decorations

   Be hung by generations.
And people of all nations join hands and sing as one,
When Christmas bells are filing the air with silver chimes.

Music and additional words copyright 2018 Castley Music

Click score for a free download

Christmas Chimes.png
Christmas Chimes - Nathan James
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creating choral music