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    • Cecilia McDowall commissioned for this year's King's College, Cambridge carol service

Cecilia McDowall commissioned for this year's King's College, Cambridge carol service

Released on November 12, 2021

King’s College, Cambridge

Oxford University Press is pleased to announce that Cecilia McDowall has been commissioned to compose a new carol for the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge Christmas Eve service. 

In her 70th birthday year, Cecilia McDowall has chosen to set the traditional text There is no rose which will receive its premiere during ‘A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols’ on Christmas Eve. This will be broadcast live around the world by the BBC.

There is no rose is written for unaccompanied SATB (divisi) and conveys a feeling of intimacy and quiet joy, which is intended to bring a moment of stillness during the service. It is the 38th carol to be commissioned by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge for ‘A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols’, with Director of Music, Daniel Hyde, continuing the tradition established by Sir Stephen Cleobury.

On composing There is no rose, Cecilia McDowall told Choir and Organ magazine:

‘It is an extraordinary honour to have been asked to write this year’s King’s College carol. I find it thrilling to think of all the illustrious composers stretching back to 1983, the year in which Stephen Cleobury introduced the concept of these festive commissions. This year feels extra special after such a chorally barren landscape.’

Daniel Hyde, Director of Music at King’s College, Cambridge, said:

‘I am delighted that we are, once again, able to commission a Christmas carol after the hiatus last year during the pandemic. I have known Cecilia and her music for many years and it is a particular treat that this year she has written a wonderful carol for us during her 70th birthday celebrations.’

For more information about Cecilia McDowall, visit her composer page or contact Griselda Sherlaw-Johnson at repertoire.promotion.uk@oup.com