British composer Malcolm Archer to premiere work at Morristown’s Failla Choir Fest, Feb. 10

Malcolm Archer
Malcolm Archer

From St. Peter’s Episcopal Church:

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown is proud to host the 2018 Emily and Lauren Failla Choir Festival featuring renowned British conductor and composer Malcolm Archer.

The hour-long festival concert, Vast Ocean of Light, will be held at 6 pm on Saturday Feb. 10, 2018, at St. Peter’s Church and will include a wide variety of pieces on the theme of light.

The St. Peter’s choirs will be joined by members of other area choirs in the performance. The concert is free and open to the public.

Joshua Stafford, the 2016 winner of the Longwood Garden’s Organ Competition and Director of Music at the church, will be the festival organist.

Malcolm Archer is currently Director of Chapel Music at Winchester College in the heart of England, where he trains and conducts the Quiristers and Chapel Choir and teaches organ in the College.

He has enjoyed a distinguished career in cathedral music, which has taken him to posts at Norwich, Bristol, and Wells Cathedrals, as well as Director of Music at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

As a composer, Malcolm receives regular commissions from both sides of the Atlantic, and he has many published works.

Recently he has composed works for the Southern Cathedrals Festival, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Festival of the Sons of the Clergy, an anthem for the enthronement service of the Bishop of Winchester, and a special anthem commissioned to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta in 2015.

Friends of the Failla family have specially commissioned a new composition for the festival on the ancient text O Nata Lux (O Light Born of Light) which will be premiered at the concert.

Works for the concert include choral music ranging from early English composers Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, to contemporary works by Archer, Morten Lauridsen and Jonathan Dove.

The concert will also include the final chorus of Mendelssohn’s oratorio, Elijah, and works by Charles Wood and William Harris.

The festival is funded by the Emily and Lauren Failla Memorial Foundation, established to honor the memories of the Failla sisters, both of whom sang at St. Peter’s, first as choristers in the Girls’ Choir and as teenagers, also as members of the Adult Choir.

Both of them especially enjoyed working with Malcolm Archer when he was a resident at St. Peter’s on previous occasions.

For more information on the festival, contact Anne Yardley.

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