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News from Janet Wheeler
Welcome to our Spring 2016 Newsletter

‘Tis the season of Shakespeare’s 400th Anniversary and there’s plenty of Music to Hear!  And for Janet there’s also a great deal of music to write, with commissions large and small on the go.

Music to Hear (Sonnet 8)

Live Radio 3 broadcast from Wigmore Hall
I Fagiolini at the Wigmore Hall Monday 11 April 1 pm will sing Music to Hear as part of the Radio 3 Lunchtime series.

Recent London performances 
First up in this anniversary year was University of London Chamber Choir (Colin Durrant) on March 11th at St George’s Bloomsbury. 

A week later Chandos Chamber Choir (James Davey) featured Music to Hear in a Shakespearean Celebration at St Mary-le-Bow, complete with readings from the Bard given by Dame Harriet Walter. 

Coming up: 
The Chamber Choir of National Youth Choir Great Britain (Ben Parry), who premièred the piece last summer, will be taking it on tour with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra in an all-Shakespeare programme The Play’s the Thing at the Cheltenham, Petworth and Stratford on Avon Music Festivals.

Sherborne Summer School of Music Capella Chamber Choir will also be singing Sonnet 8 in August and there will be further summer performances by the Writtle Singers and Granta Chorale among others.

Sonnet 27 (Pilgrimage to Thee)

Janet’s new setting of Sonnet 27 (Pilgrimage to Thee) will be available soon. Contact us for a sample score.

New anthem commissioned by St Michael’s Church, Bishop’s Stortford

All Heaven Before Mine Eyes, commissioned to celebrate the rebuilding of the church organ at St Michael’s Bishop’s Stortford, will be sung in the Festival Service of Choral Evensong on Sunday 29th May as part of an Organ Festival. Janet has compiled the text for this eight minute anthem from words by John Milton and John Dryden, framed and interspersed with the text of the gradual Locus Iste – so well-known from Bruckner’s setting.

Alleluia, I Heard a Voice

This piece also features a text known from another celebrated setting – in this case the one by Thomas Weelkes. Janet’s setting with its pensive beginning and end, and its joyful,  jazz-inflected central section, is to be performed by Illumination Choir (Alexander Campkin) at St Vedast, Foster Lane EC2 on Friday 22nd April.

Colchester New Music - recorders and harpsichord

Of Beaks and Quills, written in response to Colchester New Music’s Call for Works, will be premièred by Francis Knights and the Dulcis Venti recorder quartet led by Stephen Watkins on June 4th at the Headgate Theatre Colchester.

Preces and Responses Radio 3 broadcast

On December 9th Gloucester Cathedral Choir (Adrian Partington) sang Janet’s Preces and Responses as part of a live broadcast of Choral Evensong on Radio 3.  

These Responses have also now been sung at Winchester Cathedral and St Albans Abbey (Ashtead Singers/Andrew Storey) as well as St Mary's, Saffron Walden.

Dowland Variations

John Dowland’s song Come Away, Sweet Love Doth Now Invite has inspired many composers and is the basis of Janet’s string piece, Dowland Variations. Originally written as a string quartet for a wedding, Janet then extended and rearranged it. On July 3rd it receives its first performance in this new guise, given by the strings of Harlow Symphony Orchestra at St John’s Church, Epping. 

Thaxted Festival

Janet’s new work for choir and orchestra, The Ceaseless Round of Circling Planets has been commissioned by Saffron Walden Choral Society for performance in the final concert of this year’s Thaxted Festival. It will be premièred by Saffron Walden Choral Society with Chameleon Arts Orchestra on Sunday 17th July in a programme also featuring Mozart’s Requiem and Symphony 40.  2016 is the centenary of Holst’s first Whitsuntide concert at Thaxted which grew into the Festival. Janet’s new piece pays homage both to Holst’s planetary interests and in its use of a renaissance tune by Gibbons to Holst and his great friend Vaughan Williams.

Choros Commissions Advent Carol

On December 6th Choros directed by Janet Lincé gave the première of The Christmas Life, Janet’s setting of Wendy Cope’s poem for SATB and piano, commissioned for the choir 

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