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Forbes L’Estrange: Preces and Responses

Mixed Voices (SATB+)

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Forbes L’Estrange: Preces and Responses

Mixed Voices (SATB+)

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Choral leaflet

£2.95

Publisher: RSCM Press
ISBN: C1150
Published: 06/11/2019

Composer’s note

In this fast-changing and often unsettling world, I imagine I’m not alone in finding great comfort in the words of the traditional Choral Evensong which have been spoken or sung in churches, chapels and cathedrals for centuries. As the mother of two choristers, I have had the joy of attending evensong at St John’s College, Cambridge, several times a week and of hearing many different composers’ settings of each part of the service. From the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis to the Preces and Responses, every moment of Choral Evensong offers us all that much-needed opportunity for stillness and reflection.

 

I was delighted to receive a commission from the organist and choirmaster of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Southern Pines, North Carolina, USA, Dr Homer Ashton Ferguson III, for a set of Preces and Responses to mark his 10th anniversary. Compared with our rich heritage of settings by male composers, there are relatively few settings by female composers of this part of evensong, which has proved a challenge for those forward-thinking choral directors who have pledged to include at least one piece by a woman in each service.

 

My setting is, I hope, not too challenging for a typical parish church choir. I began my choral life as a member of such a choir and, although I went on to become a professional singer, I very much believe in writing the kind of music which can be sung by amateur singers and enjoyed by congregations. It is also the kind of setting which, for a professional collegiate or cathedral choir who might be learning music for up to six services a week, can be slotted in without too much preparation.

 

Preces from Preces and Responses by Joanna Forbes L'Estrange

Joanna Forbes L'Estrange

Joanna Forbes L’Estrange (b.1971) is an English soprano, composer and choral leader who receives engagements throughout the world. A Master of Arts graduate in Music of Oxford University, she began her career as soprano and Musical Director of the five-time Grammy® Award-winning a cappella group The Swingles and her compositional output reflects her love of choral music, close harmony and jazz. She writes songs (including her own lyrics), sacred anthems, Christmas carols, television production music and arrangements, regularly collaborating with her husband Alexander L’Estrange on their award-winning series of large-scale community choral works. 

A passionate advocate for gender equality, Joanna has become the go-to composer for songs about women. Commissions include We will remember them for the Military Wives Choirs’, A woman (wearing bloomers) on a wheel which has been made into a film by the NYCGB, Suffragette March, Give us grace and A place for us maids, celebrating 40 years of female undergraduates at Trinity College, Cambridge. Her single Twenty-first-century Woman raises money for girls’ education globally. Visit her website: www.joannaforbeslestrange.com/composing


Joanna Forbes L’Estrange