News from the Lockdown

Robert’s compositions continue to find a way of being heard, even in these unusual times.

The Liverpool Cathedral-based community choir Liverpool64 sang the moving 2017 anthem Alleluia in early April. Singers rehearsed together online and recorded their individual performances at home, before director Stephen Mannings edited the final piece – a great technological accomplishment as well as a musical one.

The recording was used again by Prescot Parish Church for their Easter Day service, published to both Facebook and their website, prescotparish.org.uk.

Tenor David Kernick had planned to give the premiere Robert’s God So Loved the World on Good Friday, during the Second Hour at Prescot Parish Church. In it Robert follows in the footsteps of other composers – most famously John Stainer, who used the same biblical text  (John 3.16-17) in his 1887 oratorio The Crucifixion. Circumstances delayed the performance, but David nevertheless was able to introduce Prescot Parish Church Choir to the beautiful new setting as part of a an online tutorial.

Scores from Robert’s vast catalogue of compositions are still being added to Sheet Music Plus. Musicians finding the coronavirus restrictions a struggle may enjoy downloading and learning one of the dozens of instrumental solos, piano pieces, and chamber and choral works now available.

Scores Now Available on Sheet Music Plus (& Other News)

Robert Howard’s music is now available to download via Sheet Music Plus, ‘the world’s largest sheet music selection.’ Fourteen choral and piano solo works are already in the collection, and more are being added regularly.

Visit sheetmusicplus.com to browse compositions, preview scores, listen to audio excerpts and purchase sheet music.

Successful Festive Season

Advent and Christmas saw performances of Robert’s compositions, with Prescot Parish Church Choir singing his 2002 carol ‘A Babe Is Born’ on four occasions. Of these, the Mayor of Prescot’s Charity Christmas Concert, with an audience of almost 500, is most notable; the event, which Robert helped organise in his capacity as artistic director of the Prescot Festival, raised more than £1,400 for local causes.

Robert also enjoyed several conducting engagements over the festive season, with Liverpool Mozart Orchestra, South Liverpool Orchestra, Phoenix Concert Orchestra, Prescot Parish Church Choir and the three orchestras of St Edward’s College. The LMO concert was a particular highlight, with BBC Radio Merseyside star Roger Phillips appearing to narrate Prokofiev’s much-loved children’s work Peter and the Wolf.

Piano Premiere 6 March

Stephen Mannings will give the first performance of Robert’s 2009 piano piece Rotations on Friday 6 March at Prescot Parish Church. The concert, which starts at 7pm, also features the Gilbert Scott Singers – Liverpool Cathedral’s official youth choir – and Danielle Louise Thomas, the mezzo-soprano known as the ‘Voice of Liverpool’ (pictured). Danielle will sing the solo part in a performance of the beautifully meditative 2017 choral work Alleluia. Visit prescotfestival.co.uk for more details of the concert, including ticket information.

Coming soon: News of other upcoming performances by Prescot Parish Church Choir, South Liverpool Orchestra, Liverpool Cathedral outreach choirs and the Prescot Festival Chorus.

Christmas 2019: Festive Performances Ahead

Prescot Parish Church Choir will sing Robert Howard’s compositions on four occasions over Advent and Christmas.

His 2002 carol ‘A Babe Is Born,’ arranged for SATB choir and organ/piano in 2016, will be heard at the Mayor of Prescot’s Charity Christmas Concert on Thursday 12 December. Stephen Mannings will accompany the choir on the piano. A host of other school choirs, as well as guest ensemble Brassworks Quartet, will perform at the event, which runs from 7pm to 8.15pm at Prescot Parish Church. Tickets are £5 on the door (including refreshments), and under-16s are free with a paying adult.

The choir will repeat the performance at the church’s own Festival of Lessons & Carols (6.30pm, Sunday 22 December) and at Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve (11.30pm, Tuesday 24 December). Also on Christmas Eve, at the family-oriented Crib Service (3pm), the trebles of the choir (pictured) will sing Robert’s unison arrangement of the same work.

Rob also has an important conducting engagement in the pipeline this Christmas.

On Sunday 8 December, he conducts the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra in ‘A Seasonal Selection’ (2.30pm, Capstone Theatre, Liverpool, L6 1HP). He is joined by BBC Radio Merseyside presenter Roger Phillips, who narrates Prokofiev’s timeless children’s tale Peter and the Wolf.

The programme – inspired in part by the world-famous Vienna Philharmonic New Year concert – also promises music by Johann Strauss II, Arcangelo Corelli, Gustav Holst and Leroy Anderson, among other much-loved composers. Tickets are on sale at www.ticketsource.co.uk.

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    Biography

    Read about Robert's background, from his days making music as a youngster to his successful career as a teacher, conductor and composer. More

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    CV

    Read a résumé of Robert's education history, qualifications, positions and career highlights. More

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    Interests

    From charities and festivals to magazines and real ales, find out a bit about what else makes Robert tick. More

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    Contact

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