Category Archives: member news

Honorary Doctorate for Julia Usher

Julia Usher

Julia Usher at University Centre Colchester graduation ceremony, Colchester Town Hall, 7 Oct 2017

We are delighted to announce that CNM’s Project Director Julia Usher has been awarded an Honorary PhD by the University of Essex, in recognition of her services to music in the county and beyond.

Below is the full text of the oration given at the ceremony by Phil Toms (Head of Schools: Digital Media, Music & Performing Arts, University Centre Colchester).

“It is a great honour for me to introduce Julia Usher, a Colchester-based composer

and musician, who is being awarded an honorary doctorate today. Julia has been nominated for her extensive contribution to music, both locally and nationally.

During her time as a student, Julia studied at the University of York and at Cambridge with Richard Orton and Robert Sherlaw Johnson, and later qualified as a practicing Music Therapist at the prestigious Nordoff–Robbins Centre in London. In 1980, Julia set up her own music publishing company ‘Primavera Music UK’ with her colleague Enid Luff, for which they have just celebrated 34 years of publishing.

As a founding member of the ‘Women in Music’ organisation, set up in 1987, Julia displayed her passion for furthering equality and opportunities for women at a time when equality issues were significantly more prominent and women were underrepresented as composers and in music generally.

Julia settled in Colchester in 1999 and it is fair to say that she has had a most significant influence on the musical life of the town.

She has been a Composer in Residence on three occasions, first in 2002 for the Colchester Youth Chamber Orchestra, in 2004 for the George Watts Museum in Compton for its centenary celebrations and in 2012 where she collaborated with a number of departments at the University of Central Lancashire.

Julia has collaborated with scientists and visual artists on many occasions and several of her compositions have included electronic elements, often incorporating natural and other environmental sounds.

In 2015, Julia was commissioned to compose a piece of music to mark the restoration of the Moot Hall Organ, behind me. “The Art and Industry of Pipework” combined the renewed organ with electronic sounds recorded in the Man Diesel UK Factory in Colchester. She has also written a number of Musical Theatre pieces and in 2003, Metier Records released a CD of five of her compositions.

Julia has been tireless in her support of many community and arts projects in Colchester and further afield in East Anglia. During the past 17 years, she has encouraged composers and performers to experiment with adventurous approaches to music, often working through improvisation.

She has worked closely with the College to run composition and improvisation projects with Colchester Institute students and has taken part in a number of local community arts projects including promoting concerts of new music in both Colchester and elsewhere. For many years, Julia has been actively involved in the ‘Colchester New Music’ organisation.

But it doesn’t stop there, as Musical Director of ‘CoMA EAST’ and ‘Firewire’, a local experimental and improvisation ensemble, Julia takes her time to meet fortnightly and lead the group with exciting modern music. Julia brings huge vision, energy and enthusiasm to all her endeavours. The selfless devotion of her time and her encouragement of others throughout the world of music, over a period of many years, make her a very worthy recipient of this award.

 

 

 

 

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Jenni Pinnock appointed mentor for Making Music’s Adopt a Composer scheme

CNM member Jenni Pinnock has been appointed as a composer mentor for Making Music’s Adopt a Composer scheme, which pairs composers with amateur ensembles around the UK. Jenni has previously been a participant in Adopt a Composer, producing a commission for Dorset’s Quangle Wangle choir. Jenni says:

Jenni Pinnock

Jenni Pinnock

Being part of Adopt a Composer in 2013-14 was a wonderful experience, and a turning point for my career. A few years on, it’s a privilege to be able to give something back to a scheme I’m so passionate about.

See Making Music for the full announcement.

Obituary: Roy Teed (1928-2017)

Roy Teed

Roy Teed 1928-2017

Alan Bullard writes:

All regulars at concerts in Colchester will remember the ‘Bravo’ voiced in stentorian tones at the end of every performance. The voice was that of Roy Teed, who has died aged 89.

Roy was born in Surrey and, after national service with the RAF, studied composition with Lennox Berkeley at the Royal Academy of Music. Working in London and latterly in Colchester, Roy pursued a varied career as composer, accompanist, organist, adjudicator and ABRSM examiner. He taught at both the Royal Academy of Music and Colchester Institute School of Music for many years, and at the latter presented the Roy Teed Cup for Composition, which has been awarded yearly for over 30 years to student composers, some of whom are now well-known in the profession.

For many years he was the piano accompanist for the baritone Norman Tattersall (1924-2001) and the duo gave recitals all over the UK and on Radio 3, and worked with many other musicians of the time. In the early 1950s the duo, together with Francis Routh, founded the Redcliffe Concerts of British Music, which were responsible for bringing many young composers into the public eye, and in similar vein Roy was involved in the early days of Colchester New Music in the 1980s, regularly appearing both as composer and performer. More recently he worked with the tenor Gordon Pullin, who made a CD of his songs (with accompanist John Cooper) to celebrate Roy’s 80th birthday.

For many years he was President of the Colchester Symphony Orchestra and always wrote the extremely informative programme notes for their concerts, and the Orchestra plans to celebrate what would have been his 90th birthday next year with a concert in his memory.

As a composer he was prolific, writing numerous songs (often for his duo with Norman Tattersall), many of them setting texts by their mutual acquaintance James Kirkup (1918-2009), and several choral cantatas and shorter choral works. Larger-scale works include an opera (‘The Overcoat’), a Piano Concerto, a Recorder Concerto, and many chamber works for a range of forces. His Piano Trio was first performed at a Colchester New Music concert, and his Theme and Variations by the Colchester Symphony Orchestra.

All who knew Roy will remember him as a characterful, friendly and caring man, who loved company and always had an entertaining fund of stories, regaled in a very carrying and slightly gruff voice! He will be greatly missed.

Roy is survived by his wife Jenny, their three children Paul, Lucy and Trudy, and a granddaughter, Victoria.

Roy Norman Teed, b. Purley 18 May 1928, d. Colchester 17 June 2017

 

Music by Jenni Pinnock, Mark Bellis and Francis Knights selected for LFCCM 2017

Works by CNM members Jenni Pinnock, Mark Bellis and Francis Knights will be performed at the 2017 London Festival of Contemporary Church Music, having been selected from the very competitive call for scores. This is now the fourth successive year in which CNM members’ works have appeared at the LFCCM. Performances for 2017 are:

Circular Musings (organ voluntary) – Jenni Pinnock
Sun 7 May: 10:00 Choral Eucharist, St Pancras Church, London NW1 2BA

St Pancras Toccata (organ voluntary) – Mark Bellis
Sun 14 May: 10:00 Choral Eucharist, St Pancras Church, London NW1 2BA

Almighty and Everlasting God (Introit) – Francis Knights
Sun 14 May: 18:00 Choral Evensong, St Pancras Church, London NW1 2BA

For the full festival brochure listing LFCCM events in London and beyond, see www.lfccm.com.

Jenni Pinnock and the Cracked Voices of North Hertfordshire

graham-palmer-jenni-pinnock-cracked-voices-c-terry-hartga-2017CNM member Jenni Pinnock and writer Graham Palmer have been awarded Arts Council funding to develop a new song cycle inspired by the “lost tales and characters of the borderlands of North Hertfordshire … the project will use music to explore the way ordinary people react in extraordinary circumstances“. A series of educational workshops will feed into the final performance in 2018. Further information can be found at http://cracked-voices.co.uk .