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Music Reigns on Salisbury Cathedral

by ajack last modified 08 Dec, 2021 04:51 PM

Salisbury Cathedral has swept through melodies and marathons in their music department this year. From daily services to the Organ for Vaccinations marathon, which cheered people up in the early days of the pandemic (and put Salisbury Cathedral on the front page of the New York Times!)

The organ album, Salisbury Meditations, also followed. The album originally sold digitally is now available as a CD in the Cathedral shop: all proceeds go to NHS Charities Together.  

Salisbury Cathedral’s concerts have been attracting audiences in their hundreds, and most recently they sang for the three From Darkness to Light services… 

However, just to round up the year, David Halls took the top prize in the Grand Organ Composers’ Competition (19 and over category) run by York Minster, in partnership with the Cathedral Music Trust and Banks Music Publications.  

The two categories, ages 19 and over and 18 and under, attracted over 60 entries from amateur and professional musicians, and were judged by a panel of experts including “New York based American composer Nico Muhly, composer and former York Minster Organist and Master of Music Philip Moore, British composer Roxanna Panufnik, Canadian-born organist, conductor and composer Sarah MacDonald and York Minster’s Assistant Director of Music Ben Morris”. 

David’s composition, Toccata on ‘Wachet Auf’, received its World Premiere at the Minster’s recent Advent service; he additionally won a financial prize and his composition is to be printed by Banks Music Publications. Stephen Barber claimed second prize with his Toccata for 'Creator alme siderum’ and for Liam Condon, third prize, with Veni ad Salvandum nos.

Ben Morris, York Minster’s Assistant Director of Music, said: 

“We were delighted with the response to the competition which attracted a high calibre of entries.  The competition was designed to celebrate the Grand Organ’s return at the heart of worship in the cathedral, continuing a heritage which goes back centuries. It’s been fantastic to be able to invite people to be part of this landmark project, adding to this rich musical history while celebrating the instrument’s future.” 



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