Undoubtedly a new name will catch a few by surprise as they study the music sung at this year's Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College, Cambridge.
After a familiar rotation of "Adam lay ybounden" settings by Ord, Warlock, and Ledger only one other name has been admitted to this deciduous canon: that name was Christopher Brown, whose setting appeared in 2012.
This year yet another name appears: Gaynor Howard.
Howard's carol "Adam lay ybounden" is to be sung after the first lesson following a work by another woman, Elizabeth Poston.
Gaynor Howard has been involved in music education throughout her working life after studying at the Royal College of Music. She taught first at Abergavenny High School, then Cardiff High School for Girls and latterly was Director of Music at Howell’s School Llandaff. She also collaborated on writing papers on the benefits of teaching music to children.
She was a founder member of the Glendower Singers, a chamber choir, which became well known through broadcasts and television appearances, and throughout her career she has arranged and written much instrumental and vocal music for a wide variety of occasions and forces.
Her setting of "Adam lay ybounden" appears to be written for treble voices only, and bears the dedication "For Howell's School, Llandaff". It bears a copyright date of 2015. The rhythm of the opening phrases will surely remind some of the familiar setting by Peter Warlock. Howard notes that the score calls for the tuba pedal stop in the final bars.
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