We are delighted to announce that composer Giles Swayne has joined the distinguished list of JCS Vice Presidents! A major force in contemporary music both as composer and teacher, Giles was described by The Times in 1998 as “the most accomplished choral composer in Britain” and after a première at the Proms in September 1999, The Independent commented simply: “Swayne is a master”. Read more about Giles here – portrait photo below by Alice Williamson.
We shall be performing the World Première of his work ‘St Sepulchre’s Bell’ – set for SATB choir and tubular bells – at St Paul’s Covent Garden on 21st February. Describing the work, Giles has written: In the church of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate there is a glass case containing a handbell donated to the parish in 1605 on condition that it be rung at midnight by the clerk of St. Sepulchre’s outside the cell of a prisoner condemned to die next day on Newgate gallows. The Execution Bell, as it is known, is engraved with anonymous verses, which were read aloud to the hapless prisoner while the bell was tolled, offering him “wholesome advice” as he lay shivering in his cell, to accompany the twelve double strokes of midnight. I have admired these verses for years – awed by the fact that when they were engraved, Shakespeare’s Hamlet had only just appeared.
For more details of our concert click here.