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I managed to get the new piece finished yesterday morning and have now put it away to bed for a little while. There is the possibility that I might add a small solo part to it before it is done, but I consider the work to be as complete as can be for the time being, and now I need to let it simmer before I come back to it and do whatever else might need to be tidied.

My next project will be another arrangement for the Parliament Choir, for our concert in Cardiff in April. We will be performing Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang and I will be playing the solo part in Poulenc’s Organ Concerto. There will also be the second outing for Of All Persons And Estates, which I wrote for the choir in 2010, and the same programme minus the Poulenc will be performed in London round about the same time, the venue to be confirmed.

Poulenc - ever between the cloister and the fairground

Slotted into the Cardiff concert will also be my new arrangement, this time of All Through The Night, or, to be more correct, Ar Hyd y Nos, as we will be singing it in Welsh. This will be yet another language to add to the choir’s bow, having tackled Czech before and even being invited to the Czech Republic to join in a concert there. The earlier we can set to work on this the better, so I have set myself a tight deadline for getting the piano score ready, and will set about the orchestration after that, so that the choir can start rehearsing as soon as possible, more for the words than the notes.

I have had the melody at the very back of my mind for the past few days, so have yet to come up with some strong ideas, but I have a general sense of the overall structure, and have discovered a few moments where some imitation may be decently woven in. Above all, though, while accessible, this should not be slushy, so I need to steer well clear of schmaltz and sentimentality.

I am continuing to contact various choirs around the country with copies of my works, and have begun to receive some replies. The ones I have received bode fairly well for the future, but many of these institutions plan significantly ahead, so this work is an investment for later in the year. In some ways I wish I had got started last September, but I was not ready to make a go of it back then. The same feeling may be applied to a couple of other areas in my life, including, of course, my move into composition, but I was not in the position to be able to do it much earlier.

Much more writing to be done, then, both of emails and of pieces, and a commission sitting ready to go after I have finished the new arrangement. I had better sharpen my pencils and get to work.