Matthew Coleridge

Come and sing with one of the UK's most exciting new choral composers

Join composer Matthew Coleridge for an unforgettable day of singing in some of the country's most beautiful and inspiring churches.

Spend the day learning his stunning Requiem, before giving an uplifting performance alongside professional soloists.

Coronavirus: workshops in London (March), Bristol (May) and Pershore Abbey (June) have been rescheduled - see the events pages for details. Workshops in Dorchester Abbey (August) and Exeter Cathedral (September) are scheduled to go ahead as planned.

Choral workshops

Requiem in a Day 2020 - 21

Come and sing Matthew Coleridge's Requiem in some of the country's most inspiring cathedrals, abbeys and churches. All events are directed by the composer.

All Saints Clifton © Chris Guy

Bristol - All Saints, Clifton / July 11th 2020

[Rescheduled event from May 9th]

Come and sing Matthew Coleridge's Requiem in the excellent acoustics of one of Britain's most striking modernist churches - the spectacular All Saints, Clifton.

Pershore Abbey © J. Hannan-Briggs

Pershore Abbey / Aug 15th 2020

[Rescheduled event from Jun 20th]

Come and sing Matthew Coleridge's Requiem in the wonderful acoustics of Pershore's Medieval Abbey, with an evening performance conducted by the composer. With cello soloist Maxim Calver (BBC Young Musician finalist 2018) and The Real String Orchestra.

Dorchester Abbey © Peter Chapman

Dorchester Abbey / Aug 20th 2020

Come and sing Matthew Coleridge's Requiem in the picture postcard village of Dorchester-on-Thames, with an evening performance conducted by the composer. Bring a picnic and enjoy the sunshine! With cellist Sarah Gait, soprano Emily Hicks and organist Laurence Caldecote.

Exeter Cathedral © Jack Pease

Exeter Cathedral / Sept 19th 2020

Join 250 singers to perform Matthew Coleridge's Requiem, and experience the rapture of singing in one of England's finest Medieval Cathedrals. With cello soloist Jamal Aliyev, acclaimed soprano Karin Dahlberg, and Exeter Cathedral's organist Timothy Noon.



Kendal

Kendal, Lake District / Oct 17th 2020

[Rescheduled event from Jun 6th]

Cumbria's Levens Choir invites you to come and sing Matthew Coleridge's Requiem in the Lake District town of Kendal. This enjoyable day of music-making with conclude with an informal sing-through. Download a booking form below.

StBarnabas Ealing © Roger Green

London - St Barnabas, Ealing / Oct 24th 2020

[Rescheduled event from Mar 28th]

Come and sing Matthew Coleridge's Requiem in the fine Victorian church of St Barnabas, Ealing. Full details to follow.

Newport Cathedral

Newport Cathedral / Jan 16th 2021

Join Matthew and professional orchestra the St Woolos Sinfonia, for the Welsh premiere of Requiem, in the wonderful Cathderal of St Woolos Newport, South Wales.



St Mary's Warwick © flickr/jpguffogg

Warwick - St Mary's / Feb 6th 2021

Come and sing in one of England's finest parish churches - the Collegiate Church of St Mary in Warwick. With Oliver Hancock (organ)



St Wilfrid's Harrogate

Harrogate - St Wilfrid's / Apr 17th 2021

Come and sing Requiem in one of Yorkshire's most spectacular churches, the vast Gothic Revival church of St Wilfrid. With organist Anthony Gray.



Blackburn Cathedral © David Iliff

Blackburn Cathedral / Jul 10th 2021

One of the best places to sing in the North West, Blackburn Cathedral possesses one of the best pipe organs in the country, and a six-second reverb. Come and join in the fun!



New College, Oxford © David Iliff

New College Oxford / Jul 2021 (date TBC)

Come and sing Requiem in one of the country's most prestigious chapels. More details to follow.



Milton Abbey © flickr/johnelamper

Milton Abbey / Aug 2021 (date TBC)

There are few better places to be in August than this spectacular Abbey set amongst Dorset's rolling hills. More details to follow.



Testimonials

A valuable addition to the 21st century choral repertoire
Sir Neville Marriner

This was no ordinary 'come and sing'! A work of exquisite beauty
Music in Portsmouth review, 2020

You are a true tunesmith - well-crafted and inspiring music!
Dr David Price - Master of the Chorister, Portsmouth Cathedral

Beautiful... I find myself entranced by the openness of this music.
Paul Carr - composer

A glorious piece to sing - a lot of us were in tears by the end of it
Teresa Stubbs - Buckfast Abbey workshop 2019

A singular voice - and that is an exceedingly rare thing!
Michael McGlynn - Anúna

A joy and privilege to sing this most beautiful piece of music under the direction of the composer himself
Heather Harvey - Buckfast Abbey workshop 2019

Thank you for a wonderful day. You were so encouraging and patient. I can't imagine not singing your Requiem again. I absolutely loved the day!
Monica Kent - Louth workshop 2019

We were enthralled by the pure beauty of your Requiem. Parts of it were quite exquisite and we loved the fact that you, the composer, were directing us with such skill and clarity of conducting. Thank you so very much for a phenomenal day
Jeanne Apsland - Buckfast Abbey workshop 2019

Reviews

"A glorious day of singing with Matthew Coleridge at Buckfast Abbey, 2nd March 2019"

REVIEW BY JULIET HANCOCK. "140 singers from across Devon and beyond arrived early on a wet and windy March day at Buckfast Abbey, full of anticipation and curiosity. Many of the participants in the sell out all day workshop were from the local Dartington Community Choir. This was the first workshop organised by DCC at Buckfast Abbey, and we were learning a new and unknown work for most of us: Matthew Coleridge’s Requiem.

To add to the excitement, and nervous anxiety for some, the composer himself was leading the workshop and we were to perform the Requiem that evening to a paying audience in the Abbey, which was already sold out. Would our individual and combined musical skills and our stamina be sufficient?

Our anxieties quickly subsided as we were settled into the large conference hall by welcoming smiles from the DCC hosts and by Matthew Coleridge himself, who led us with humour, skill and encouragement through the Requiem. He gave us interesting personal insights into how he had composed the work over a long period, and how it had finally come together into a single work. He broke it down into manageable chunks, kept a relaxed but motivating pace, and even managed to provide some brief sectional practice in our own voice parts by staggering the coffee break. Ably supported by Robin Stubbs's piano accompaniment, we were amazed how much of the Requiem we had covered by lunchtime.

The atmosphere immediately and rapidly rose as we packed into the Abbey Choir Stalls and central Choir. The huge acoustic of the Abbey’s high vaulted ceilings and magnificent new organ, played by Abbey organist David Davies, lifted our hearts and voices. We had already been introduced to our cello soloist, Jeremy Capey. The beautiful tone of Jeremy’s playing and the composer’s musical lines found a lyrical voice that was audible even above 140 choral voices, from the exquisite stillness of the Introit, through the Kyrie, Agnus Dei and into the final Lacrimosa. The sombre march like opening of the Kyrie was captured by Steve Bentley on tenor drum. The cello’s deep, slow and sorrowful flow again gently underpinned the pleading soaring notes of soprano soloist Isabella Wagner in the Pie Jesu. In glorious contrast, the organ and choir volume ebbed and swelled with the broad lush harmonies of the Offertory, including a moving baritone solo entrance by DCC Choir member Matt Hulbert, and the exhilarating organ trumpet stops and clashing percussion of the Rex Tremendae.

Any concerns at the start of the day about our stamina holding out for an evening concert were dispelled by a fortifying two course supper in the Abbey Refectory, together with a good length break with time to relax quietly or to chat to friends old and new. A rapid change into black concert dress and a collective desire to rise to the occasion and to do justice to Matthew’s composition and musical direction all provided the final adrenalin needed as we dashed through wind and rain from the Medieval Guest Hall into the packed, beautifully lit Abbey.

The beauty of the words and music of Vaughan Williams’ Mystical Songs, followed by the powerful Soprano and Cello duet in Coleridge’s ‘And I Saw a New Heaven’, served as a spiritual and atmospheric ‘warm up’ for the audience and choir alike. But in the end, it was the instrumental and choral lyricism and power of the Requiem, enhanced by the awe and majesty of the Abbey, which lifted the whole day and final performance into the uplifting and unforgettable experience it was a privilege to be part of. Thank you, Matthew Coleridge, Dartington Community Choir workshop organisers and helpers, Buckfast Abbey, accompanists, soloists and all singers for making this possible."

Juliet Hancock

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Choral works

Matthew's choral works can be downloaded as free PDFs. Please feel free to perform them - and let us know if you do.

And What of Marriage?

...And What of Marriage?

SATB a cappella / text by Kahlil Gibran

Crux Fidelis

Crux Fidelis

SATB a cappella / text by St Venantius Fortunatis

Corpus Christi Carol

Corpus Christi Carol

SATB or AATTBB a cappella / Middle English text

Huron Carol

Huron Carol

SATB or SSAA a cappella / text by Jesse Edgar Middleton

Songs of Farewell

Songs of Farewell

SATB a cappella

Balulalow

Balulalow

SATB a cappella / text by James, John & Robert Wedderburn

Noel: Christmas Eve 1913

Noel: Christmas Eve 1913

SATB a cappella / text by Robert Bridges

Crucifigat Omnes

Crucifigat Omnes

SATB a cappella / text from Carmina Burana

Crucifigat Omnes

And I Saw a New Heaven

Solo Soprano, Solo Cello, SATB & cappella / text from Revelation

Crucifigat Omnes

Requiem

Solo Soprano, Solo Cello, SATB choir | Organ and/or Strings (optional percussion)

Videos

Requiem | full recording - RSVP Voices, Guy Johnston, Steven Farr

Requiem | Introit - RSVP Voices, Guy Johnston, Steven Farr

Requiem | Kyrie - RSVP Voices, Guy Johnston, Steven Farr

Requiem | Offertory - RSVP Voices, Guy Johnston, Steven Farr

Requiem | Pie Jesu - RSVP Voices, Guy Johnston, Steven Farr

Requiem | Rex Tremendae - RSVP Voices, Guy Johnston, Steven Farr

Requiem | Agnus Dei - RSVP Voices, Guy Johnston, Steven Farr

Requiem | Lacrimosa - RSVP Voices, Guy Johnston, Steven Farr

Corpus Christi Carol (excerpt) - RSVP Voices

Balulalow - Kronos Chamber Choir