Durham Cathedral celebrates music with winning composition from Assistant Chief Choir member – Durham Magazine
As the Christmas season for the Durham Cathedral Choir kicks off, Nicholas, 12, a grade 8 at Durham School, part of the Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation, discovered earlier this month that he was the junior winner for its composition, ‘Sing for the Lord a new song ‘.
The competition is in its 40th edition and has proven to be popular over the years with many choir singers keen to try their hand at composing their own composition. Nicholas, originally from Cumbria, enjoys composing and is keen to follow his passion and study it in the future. The competition was therefore the perfect opportunity for him to show his talent. Nicolas says, “I worked on the play all summer vacation and was very excited to hear that I had won.”
As the seventh boy in his family to attend a choral school, his musical passion began at an early age. He is particularly fond of baroque music, but his current favorite composer is Shostakovich. He prepares 7th grade oboe and piano and aspires to play the Baroque horned cornet. Nicholas dedicated his winning piece to the Durham Cathedral Choir and choir master Daniel Cook.
Mr. Kieran McLaughlin, Director of the Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation, said: “Nicolas winning the Willcocks composition competition is a brilliant achievement. Our cathedral choir singers are some of our most dedicated, hardworking and passionate students, so it’s great to see Nicholas recognized for his compositional skills ”.
With music being an integral part of Durham Cathedral’s history for nearly 1,000 years, the 2021 Cathedral Christmas Appeal aims to help more young people in the region realize their potential by being part of the choir and by performing. experiencing a life changing education within Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation.
Matthew Mills, head of relations and development at the cathedral, says: “There are many young people in the area who have a passion for music, just like Nicholas, but unfortunately financial barriers often prevent them from achieving their musical ambitions.
The fundraising campaign got off to a good start and one of the cathedral’s generous donors, a longtime friend of the choir foundation, offered to match the first £ 1,500 raised through this appeal, £ 1 for £ 1 .
Matthew continues: “With this campaign, we want to completely eliminate tuition fees for those students who need help the most. Proceeds from our appeal will provide means-tested scholarships, as well as funding for the outreach work of the choir, sharing the joy of music with communities in the region.
With the holiday season well underway, many people will be visiting the cathedral this month to hear the choir singing as part of their Advent and Christmas celebrations. People can see Nicholas and the other choir singers perform at upcoming services and events.
To find out more about Christmas services, choral performances or to donate to the campaign and help support the future of music at Durham Cathedral, visit www.durhamcathedral.co.uk.
To listen to Nicolas’ winning composition, ‘Sing for the Lord a new song ‘, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkhwZEjnbeQ&t=6s