Robert has been composing since childhood, and regularly accepts commissions from ensembles, orchestras and choirs - amateur, semi-professional and professional. His pieces, now totalling over 100, have enjoyed over 250 performances across the UK and as far afield as Denmark, Germany, Colombia, USA and Australia.
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.
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.
Robert Howard’s latest choral composition will have its premiere in Prescot in October 2019.
‘Glory, Love, and Praise, and Honour’ is a setting for SATB choir and organ (or piano) of a text by Charles Wesley, and its theme makes it an ideal anthem for Harvest Festival, although it suits many occasions in the Church year. It is an exuberant, celebratory hymn, march-like, with three verses and a coda.
The choir of Prescot Parish Church will sing it during Sung Eucharist at 10am on Sunday 6 October (St Mary’s, Church Street, L34 1LA), with Tim Hall on the organ and David Kernick conducting. Robert has dedicated it to the Reverend Kimberley Mannings, the Curate of Prescot, who celebrates her 30th birthday in December.
October also sees one of Rob’s sacred vocal works sung by an Oxbridge choir for the first time. The chapel choirs of Cambridge and Oxford universities play a vital role in the history of church music and the English choral tradition, making this performance a particular honour. Selwyn College Chapel Choir, under music director Sarah MacDonald, will sing ‘Jubilate Deo’ (SATB choir and organ/piano) at Choral Evensong on Tuesday 15 October (6.30pm, Selwyn College Chapel, Grange Road, CB3 9DQ). The work, after Psalm 100, was composed for the occasion of Rob’s own wedding to Laura in 2017.
In other news, the hymn ‘Bread of the World’ had its second performance on 27 September at Prescot Parish Church, during a concert celebrating Tim Hall’s 40th anniversary as Parish Organist. Listen below (with thanks to Alan Humphreys for the audio recording). David Kernick, to whose late mother, Jacquie (d. 26 March 2019), the piece is dedicated, conducted the choir of St Mary’s.
Among other vocal and instrumental items on the programme were three of Rob’s own miniatures, with the composer at the piano, as well as his 2018 setting of ‘For Mary, Mother of Our Lord,’ sung by soprano Elizabeth Lyon, again with Rob accompanying on piano.
Update (23 October 2019): The new anthem ‘Glory, Love, and Praise, and Honour’ (see above) will have its second performance on All Saints’ Sunday, during the 10am Eucharist at St Mary’s Prescot, again with David Kernick conducting Prescot Parish Church Choir, accompanied by Tim Hall on the organ.