New Music

One thing we take very seriously at Pilgrim is purchasing and singing new sacred music.

Every year (especially at times when the large music retailers have their sales!) our Choir Director expends considerable effort on identifying and selecting the best and most suitable of recently composed works.

By purchasing new music we are also supporting the composers who write it, helping to sustain the age-old craft of sacred music composition.

And while our expenditure on new music is generously supported by Pilgrim Uniting Church, we are also very fortunate to receive occasional donations for this purpose. In recognition of these donors, we have made this short video, featuring our Choir Director Peter Kelsall, and our Honorary Librarian, Sean Tanner.

In the video, Peter makes the point that we are currently experiencing a veritable renaissance in the composition of serious music for the church, with composers such as Philip Stopford, Kim André Arnesen and Jonathan Dove making names for themselves writing music that is new, and yet at the same time both beautiful and accessible to modern audiences.

Over the coming weeks, in our Advent and Christmas services, we shall be singing works by Latvian composer Eriks Ešenvalds (b. 1977), Swiss composer Carl Rütti (b. 1949), Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978), and the British composers Bob Chilcott (b. 1955) and John Tavener (1944-2013). Look out for more detail in future posts!

The video also makes a brief mention of the late Ray Holland, who donated his fantastic library of books on church music composers, history and interpretation to Pilgrim. Ray was organist at St John’s Halifax St for many years, and we take this opportunity to pay tribute to his enormous contribution to church music in Adelaide. Ray passed away on 27 October 2021, aged 88.

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