Robert has been composing since childhood, and has accepted commissions from ensembles, orchestras and choirs - amateur, semi-professional and professional. His pieces, now totalling over 150, have enjoyed over 300 performances across the UK and as far afield as Denmark, Germany, Colombia, USA and Australia. Published via Sheet Music Plus.
Robert Howard’s latest choral composition will be heard for the first time on Sunday 6 June.
Members of Prescot Parish Church Choir will sing God of All Creation, a new anthem composed for the 2021 Royal School of Church Music Sunday Anthem Competition, using words by the Reverend Canon Gordon Giles.
This joyous, major key anthem, with modal inflections, features a series of memorable choral motifs in the main outer sections. A contrasting middle section uses imitation between parts and builds in volume and excitement, before an adapted return of the initial material. The work is framed by an introduction and extended fanfare coda in the accompaniment.
The premiere takes place during the Eucharist at 10am on Sunday 6 June, which is RSCM Music Sunday. All are welcome to attend this service of worship at Prescot Parish Church (Church Street, Prescot, L34 3LA), but it is essential to book ahead via Eventbrite.
Later in the month the choir will sing Robert’s 2016 motet Ave verum corpus (10am, Sunday 27 June). Again, worshippers are invited to book ahead via Eventbrite. Booking opens at 11am the Sunday before each service.
Last month the parish used Robert’s 2017 choral work Alleluia in their video ‘How do you pray?’ as part of Thy Kingdom Come, a ‘global prayer initiative’ from Ascension to Pentecost. The singers were by cathedral-based choir Liverpool 64, who made the recording in 2020. Watch and listen below:
The Prescot Festival will go ahead from Friday 18 to Sunday 27 June this year, with a mix of online and offline events. Highlights include the Prescot Heritage Trail, online contributions from Shakespeare North and Liverpool Cathedral, and the two Sung Eucharists on Sundays 20 and 27 June. Artistic director Robert will personally introduce the festival and draw proceedings to an end via specially recorded video messages on the opening and closing days.
Robert, who founded the Prescot Festival in 2005, spoke to Jessie Aru-Phillips of BBC Radio Merseyside about this year’s programme. Listen to the interview below, and browse the full festival schedule at prescotfestival.co.uk:
And finally, a reminder that the catalogue of Robert’s scores for perusing, purchasing and downloading continues to grow on Sheet Music Plus.
The year 2020 marked three decades since Robert Howard began his composing career. As a pupil at Prescot School, in 1990, he wrote his first piece, Waltz in D, for piano.
Since that time, his compositions have racked up more than 300 live performances worldwide.
Despite the challenge of the pandemic and multiple lockdowns, it has been a successful year for Robert. Over 130 of his pieces are now available for printing and download via Sheet Music Plus, and more flexibly scored pieces have been published digitally by CoMA – Contemporary Music Making for All.
Nor has Covid-19 prevented public performances and even premieres. Rotations (2009) was performed by Stephen Mannings in March this year, and David Kernick sang the first performance of God So Loved the World in November, with the composer at the piano. Several performances of Rob’s Christmas carols are planned for December at Prescot Parish Church.
He has continued to compose, with Tantara, for solo trombone, among this year’s output; and he has revised and arranged several of his earlier compositions, many of which you can now hear or see in the Compositions section of this website.
And, in a final piece of good news, the Board of British Mensa recently announced they were to award Robert a Certificate of Appreciation for Services to Classical Music.
A new piece of sacred music by Robert Howard has its premiere at Prescot Parish Church this Sunday, 1 November.
God So Loved the World, a new setting of words from John Stainer’s cantata The Crucifixion, was composed earlier in the year, with a view to a premiere on Good Friday. With church worship and live music suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, the performance was postponed indefinitely.
Now, for the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls, tenor David Kernick will sing the piece, with the composer at the piano, at the close of Sunday 1 November’s Eucharist at Prescot Parish Church.
The service starts at 10am, and all are welcome. You are asked to book ahead and observe social distancing and other measures while inside. All details are online at prescotparish.org.uk.