Music of Our Time
A celebration of contemporary composers
For over 20 years JAM has enabled, promoted and commissioned new music in the UK. We are proud to say that we have premiered over 180 pieces at Music of Our Time and JAM on the Marsh.
On 20 March JAM will continue this tradition with a concert of new music for choir, brass and organ. Nine contemporary works will receive their world / London premieres, including the world premiere of a JAM Commission from Isabelle Ryder (Illumination) and a revisit of JAM’s 2010 Commission from Tarik O’Regan (The Night’s Untruth).
The concert includes works submitted to JAM in September 2023 as part of its annual Call for Music. Having received over 200 entries, this was our strongest call to date, therefore selecting the successful submissions was no easy task for JAM’s music panel.
We are thrilled to share that eight pieces have been chosen and we look forward to hearing Onyx Brass, Selwyn College Chapel Choir, Simon Hogan (organ) and Michael Bawtree (conductor) perform the compositions at Music of Our Time in the beautiful St Bride’s Church.
The concert will kick off with the London premiere of Flux, written by Toh Yan Ee. The young Singaporean composer iscurrently studying for her Master of Music at the Royal Academy of Music. Her brass quintet is inspired by instability, constant change and movement.
Steve Richer’s First Light is an upbeat choral celebration of the beauty and transformative power of the natural world. With a day job in the NHS and no music qualifications beyond GCSE Music, Steve is a very keen and talented hobby composer with a passion for choral music.
Dawn by George W. Parris will receive its world premiere. This choral piece is inspired by Ella Higginson’s poem of the same name, a beautiful metaphor of dawn clearing away any obscurities and bringing awareness and clarity. George studies composition at the Royal Academy of Music and previously participated in JAM’s Masterclass Series with VOCES8.
Another world premiere performed at Music of Our Time is Donald Wetherick’s Let Everything that Hath Breath Praise the Lord (Psalm 150). The piece for choir and organ is a celebration of music and musical instruments in the worship of God. Donald mainly composes sacred music and works as a music therapist for the NHS. He teaches music therapy at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
For her choral composition The Earth Was Without Form, London-born composer and violinist Marisse Cato drew inspiration from the recurring theme of ‘creation’ in ancient texts from the Old Testament and from the Ancient Near East. Marisse works across a wide range of genres and other disciplines including dance, film and fashion.
Anselm McDonnell’s atmospheric brass quintet Rasp is an exploration of sounds from the instruments, with gentle moments juxtaposing soaring melodies. The Irish/Welsh composer has composed over ninety pieces for orchestra, chamber groups, choirs, soloists, and electronics and has received commissions from London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and many others.
This Shining Night is Christopher Churcher’s first organ piece. It was inspired by the striking night photography of photographer Susan Pilcher, who Christopher met during his time at JAM’s Composers’ Residency in July 2023. In 2022 the exciting young composer received a JAM President’s Commission for his piece composed as part of JAM’s 2022 Masterclass with VOCES8.
Jonathan Woolgar’s My Lover Spoke for choir and organ, is set to a text from Song of Songs. Jonathan draws from a wide range of musical experience to create work that is communicative without compromise. The talented composer was awarded BBC Young Composer in 2010 and received the Royal Musical Association’s Tippett Medal in 2023. His work has been performed around the world.
Music of Our Time is a celebration of new music for choir, brass and organ and opens JAM’s 2024 season. Join us on 20 March at St Bride’s church for an exciting variety of London and world premieres.