Remembering old music
The Manx Heritage Foundation has published two new organ works based on Manx traditional music.
The works, which can be found online at www.manxmusic.com, have been composed by Gareth Moore, organist and music teacher at King William’s College and graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
Gareth has been playing Manx music since he was very young, often for special Manx-themed services.
He chose to arrange two very different tunes for two very different reasons.
For the first new work, Gareth started playing a traditional tune he knew by ear and before he knew it he had started to arrange Hop tu Naa. The piece became Something for All Saintstide and is a short, celebratory work suitable for festive occasions of all kinds.
The second piece is much more contemplative in mood and is called Remembering Mary.
Gareth said: ‘The Hymn tune Mary is one I found on www.manxmusic.com and I chose it mainly for its family connection.
‘The composer, William C Southward, was my grandmother’s uncle on the Moore/Southward side of the family. Since starting this composition, I’ve been researching this man and realise there is quite a musical feast there and may explain something about the music passed down to me.
‘Granny used to talk of times spent looking after Aunt Mary in Sulby. Indeed she lived with them for a number of years and was responsible for caring for Aunt Mary (who was in poor health) whilst Southward went to the House of Keys in his capacity as MLC and to do all the Captain of the Parish duties.
‘William and his brother owned the Sulby Woollen Mills and were very involved with Sulby Methodist Chapel.
‘So, the reason for choosing the hymn tune Mary, which he set to Hark, Hark my Soul, Angelic Songs Are Swelling, is that it was a hymn much loved by my grandmother and because of the musical links to William Southward.’
Gareth has featured on recordings with Kristene Sutcliffe and for the MHF Manx church organs project and is in demand as a performer and conductor.
His choirs include Sheeanyn Millish and The Ballagarey Singers and he is organist for Ballagarey Methodist Chapel in St Marks.
Alongside his commitment as organist at Ballagarey, Gareth plays the organ for a variety of different services in many churches including Peel Cathedral.
He is involved as an accompanist for many of the island’s singers, choirs and musicians, most recently accompanying and performing in the Manx Music Festival.
Alongside Manx music making, Gareth is the Island Ambassador for the Royal Northern College of Music where he studied between 2003 and 2007.
The two pieces are available as pdfs for free download from the Learn pages of www.manxmusic.com/learn.html
It is hoped that the works will be played in churches around the island and beyond for many years to come!
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Weather for Isle of Man
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
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