A Charm of Ave Marias

On March 16th the Rock Festival Choir of Northumberland performed their Spring Concert in Alnwick which consisted of several Ave Maria settings from composers throughout the ages and other music inspired by the Virgin Mary, heralded by and culminating with Magnificats by Vivaldi and Pergolesi. Cheryl was commissioned by the choir to compose a new setting of “Ave Maria” for the concert. The programme notes stated: “Cheryl Camm’s Ave Maria was especially commissioned for this concert to be a contrast to the intense and slower pieces before. It is in alternate four and five beats to a bar to give it a jolly lilting feel for the upper parts with the men singing more expansively beneath. With the addition of a tambourine and a solo quartet emerging from the texture, the piece builds to a climax on the words ‘Now and at the hour of our death’, after which the voices get closer together until the final unison ‘Amen’.”

The piece is now available for other choirs to perform – you can see a snippet of the score and listen to the world premiere performance here:

Go to Ave Maria score

Janet Harris, reviewing the concert for the Northumberland Gazette wrote: “… A highlight of their latest concert was the two world premières of works by Peter Brown and  Cheryl Camm. Both works were skilfully crafted, substantial pieces which stood up well among the classical works of the programme and provided an inspiring and exciting contrast. While by no means straightforward, these two new works were performed with great conviction, as one might expect from a choir of this calibre coached by the composers.”

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