Approached by Sarah MacDonald before a recording session with soprano Charlie Pemberton at Newnham College, Janet and her daughter, fellow MazeMusic composer Sarah Cattley both wrote a new song for the programme. Like Janet, Sarah is a Newnham alumna, and she chose to set verses by Newnham poet Fredegond Shove. Janet set words by Khalil Gibran, ‘Said a Blade of Grass’. The video of the new works will feature in the 2020 Alumni weekend.
Janet’s online rehearsals during lockdown have been enthusiastically received by singers in her choirs. Of course these rehearsals bring inevitable frustrations for singers and conductors. The joys and benefits of actual choral singing over virtual choirs were the starting point for Janet’s new ‘pop song’ Singing in a Choir. Granta Chorale member Emma Hall had suggested Janet compose a new piece and Emma then produced the video, while Janet’s nephew Robin Wheeler mixed and produced
Janet’s anthem was nominated to take part in the Twitter World Cup of Evensong Anthems and made it through the first vote into the final 64 of of competition. Head to head with Purcell’s Jehova, Quam Multi Sunt Hostes Mei it managed 37.5% of the vote but went out to the well-known piece.
Janet’s Imagine it! (originally written for NYCGB and O Duo) was part of a Saffron Walden Choral Society programme booked for Saffron Hall in July. It should have shared the programme with Orff’s Carmina Burana and Jonathan Dove’s Arion and the Dolphin, all of which is now on hold.
Janet is very pleased to have a commission from Sarah Tenant Flowers to write a piece for the wonderful Papagena. She is exploring texts for this.