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Yale Schola Cantorum

It's always a double-take for a British visitor to Yale University, seeing a convincing reproduction of Oxbridge college buildings, with some actual copies. My picture aims to show Yale's version of the Boston Stump, the one in Lincolnshire. Even more surprising to learn that many of these buildings date from the early 20th century, with the stone artificially weathered to look 'old'.

I visited Yale to hear David Hill conduct Schola Cantorum in my oratorio version of the Book of Job - In The Land of Uz. They will record it in early May, a wonderful milestone for this piece which was originally written for the BBC Singers, and premiered by them in the 2017 Proms.

Music written especially for the BBC Singers often presents technical difficulties - that's why we composers really need this unique ensemble. But David Hill's young Schola choir, all of whom are registered Yale students, did a remarkable job, well worth hearing on the premiere recording when it appears in due course. How wonderful also that, in the concert in spectacular Woolsey Hall, 'Uz' was preceded by a group of John Tavener's simple (for the listener) choral motets. They are perfect. Very little new religious music gets anywhere near his level of invention.





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