Showing posts with label David Burchell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Burchell. Show all posts

Thursday, March 8, 2012

More Oppurtunities to Sing!

David Burchell
If singing at choir once a week isn't enough for you, David Burchell now runs three other vocal groups which you might be interested in:

The Choir of St Joseph's Cathedral (Roman Catholic) 
Rehearses 7-8:15 pm on Thursdays, and for most of the year sings twice a month at the Sunday 10am Mass (2nd and 4th Sundays); four services during Holy Week. Non-Roman Catholics are welcome; Altos, Tenors and Basses especially so! All ages 7 to 70+. A small group of Junior Choristers rehearse Thursdays 6:30-7:30pm; we're looking for new recruits!

All Saints' Church Parish Choir (Anglican) 
Rehearses 6:15 - 7:30pm on selected Wednesdays, and sings roughly twice a month, at the 10:30 Mass (3rd Sunday) and at occasional weekday evening services for feast days. All voices welcome (of any religious conviction!). All ages 7 to 70+. The Choristers (children) also lead the singing at the Family Mass on the first Sunday of the month; new recruits wanted!

Saturday Morning Music: Adults' singing class 
Saturdays 10:05 - 10:55am at George St School during school terms. This small group is a mixture of teenagers and adults, and we focus both on the basics of singing through unison group singing, and try our hand at some two- and three-part music too, and endeavour to have fun in the process. We would welcome more singers - complete novices welcome!

Please talk to David Burchell if you are interested in singing in any of these choirs, or contact him via

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Burchell's Te Deum Laudamus

City of Dunedin Choir's next concert on 20 November will include a second airing of David Burchell's composition Te Deum Laudamus. A lovely work - we're all enjoying rehearsing this one, and looking forward to the performance. Here, from the master himself, is what David has to say about this composition:

Te Deum Laudamus ('We praise thee, O God') is one of the oldest hymns of the church, dating back to the fourth century.  The hymn 'follows the outline of the Apostles' Creed, mixing a poetic vision of the heavenly liturgy with its declaration of faith. Naming God immediately, the hymn proceeds to name all those who praise and venerate God, from the hierarchy of heavenly creatures to those Christian faithful already in heaven to the Church spread throughout the world. The hymn then returns to its creedal formula, naming Christ and recalling his birth, suffering, and glorification. At this point the hymn turns to the subjects declaiming the praise, both the Church in general and the singer in particular, asking for mercy on past sins, protection from future sin, and the hoped-for reunification with the elect.' (Wikipedia)

The hymn became a regular feature of the monastic service of Matins, and remains in regular use in the Roman Catholic Church in the Office of Readings found in the Liturgy of the Hours, and in thanksgiving to God for a special blessing on occasions such as the ordination of a Bishop.  It was incorporated by Thomas Cramner in the Anglican service of Mattins, and though this service is only infrequently used today the Te Deum is also appropriate to be sung at any festal occasion.

The hymn has been set to music by many composers, most frequently in Latin, but an extensive repertoirs of English language settings also exists, composed for the Anglican liturgy, and using the translation from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.  The text is long, and somewhat unwieldy in places, providing composers with a challenge in creating a tightly-structured and musically cohesive work.

My setting of the hymn had a long gestation.  I started it in 1990 whilst I was Assistant Organist at New College, Oxford, and it owes something to Benjamin Britten's E major Festival Te Deum, with which I had recently become acquainted.  I had already composed settings of the two canticles for Evensong – the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, and also a Jubilate Deo, with which the Te Deum is usually paired at Mattins.  So I was keen to complete the set.

But inspiration dried up part-way through, and it wasn't until 2008 that I returned to the manuscript and had another go.  I don't think you can hear the join – but I don't think I would have written the broad tune of the closing section ('We therefore pray thee...') in 1990.  The piece was first performed at Mattins in 2008 by the Choir of St Paul's Cathedral, Dunedin.

For the City Choir's performance I have taken advantage of the presence of strings and timps for the other works in the programme, and have used them to enhance the original organ-only accompaniment.

Saturday, January 1, 2000

David Burchell

Biography for David Burchell, Choir Director and Conductor

David Burchell
David Burchell has been Musical Director of City Choir Dunedin since the beginning of 2000 and is now the longest-serving Musical Director in the choir’s history. He is Organist and Choir Director at St Joseph’s Cathedral, and Senior Organist and Parish Choir Director at All Saints’ Church. He is the Dunedin City Organist, the University of Otago’s Graduation Organist and organ tutor for the Performing Arts Music Programme. He is also a regular conductor of the Dunedin Youth Orchestra, and occasionally works with St Kilda Brass.

Brought up in Newcastle upon Tyne, he is a graduate of Oxford University and there enjoyed a lengthy association with the renowned Choir of New College Oxford, first as Organ Scholar and later as Assistant Organist. This included a term in charge of the choir, television and radio broadcasts, and participation in the recording of many CDs as organ accompanist and soloist. He has also worked as a university lecturer and was director of the Newcastle University Orchestra. From 1999 to early 2011 he was organist and Choir Director at St Paul's Cathedral, Dunedin.

As Musical Director of City Choir Dunedin he directs performances of major works for choir with a variety of accompanimental groups. Recent performances have included Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Duruflé’s Requiem and Norma’s Big Birthday Bash. Previous performances have included Britten’s Saint Nicolas and Rejoice in the Lamb, Alexander L’Estrange’s Zimbe! Come Sing the Songs of Africa and Song Cycle, Coleridge Taylor’s Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast, Christopher Marshall’s For What Can Be More Beautiful?, Rutter’s Mass of the Children, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, requiems by Mozart and Fauré, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Magnificat, St John Passion and Christmas Oratorio, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, David Hamilton’s Missa Pacifica and several performances of Handel’s Messiah.

He has appeared as organ soloist with the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra in Poulenc’s Organ Concerto, the Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony, and in the première of Anthony Ritchie's Organ Overture. He has also appeared with the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, directing from the harpsichord, in Bach's fifth Brandenburg Concerto and as harpsichordist in C.P.E. Bach's Concerto for Harpsichord and Fortepiano.