CHRIS ARTLEY

Composer
SSA Choral

I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes (Psalm 121)           

Scored for:    SSAA, Organ and Trumpet* (* also available for SATB/ TTBB, Organ and Trumpet) 

Level:            Medium

Duration:       4min30

Other info:     Broad melodic arches and an enchanting sensuousness of sound, characterize Chris Artley’s setting of Psalm 121. He sets the choir, organ and trumpet in relationship to each other in an impressively atmospheric manner. It is a moving concert piece that will immediately fascinate the audience.

"It’s (Psalm 121) very attractive indeed Chris – and has a “ring” of crossover with American (Clausen et al) and the UK (Rutter et al) with your OWN stamp on it. Thank you for sending me the file".  Terence Maskell, Director of The Graduate Choir New Zealand.

 

“It (Psalm 121) absolutely knocked me out – it was the most beautiful setting”.

Brian Kay, former member of The King’s Singers.

 

"On behalf of the choir I congratulate you on writing such an uplifting and well-crafted piece (Psalm 121), which we thoroughly enjoyed performing. You not only write beautiful music but you write well for singers. "I will lift up mine eyes" really suited secondary school students. We all loved the trumpet solos and the organ accompaniment was a new experience for most of the students. Other choir directors were very positive in their comments too - I gave one of my copies away. Another commented enthusiastically "I am glad he didn't resolve that Amen". Thanks again. Your music has given a lot of people joy - we loved performing it and it seemed to be very well received by the audience".

Roger Powdrell, Head of Music, St Patrick's College, Wellington.

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Scored for:      SSA & Piano

Level:              Easy to Medium

Duration:        3’10”

Other info:     ‘This SSA piece was commissioned for the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and was sung first at a Commonwealth day Service at Holy Trinity Cathedral. Its words are suitable for any situation, which represents the togetherness of youth in our multi cultural society and a challenge to reach goals through team spirit. It has an attractive repeated rhythmic pattern and a change of key for an SSA a cappella section at letter F. The girls really sang this with enthusiasm and vigour. It can be used for any national day or event celebrating diversity with the challenge to unify the younger generation which is developing in our society’.  Leonie Lawson, Director of the Auckland Girls’ Choir

Little Blue Pigeon

Scored for:      SSAA a cappella

Level:              Medium

Duration:        4mins

Other info:     "Little Blue Pigeon by Chris Artley, is a beautiful setting of Eugene Field’s poem of the same name. This delicate a cappella song for SSAA was very well-suited to my small choir. The atmospheric opening of the gentle, lilting lullaby through to moments of consternation where Artley’s wonderful word-painting truly comes to the fore, captivates both singers and audience alike. A delightful work that my girls and I were thrilled to have discovered".  Vicki McLeod, Director of Craighead Chorale.

May God Bless You         

Scored for:   SSA and Piano  (also available for SATB and TTBB and piano)

Level:            Medium

Duration:       3min30

Other info:    “Wherever you go, may you always have God’s love”. Chris Artley combines Reverend Reuben Hardie’s encouraging words with a wonderfully catchy and haunting melody that is delicately accompanied by the piano. This is a captivating highlight for choirs looking for new spiritual repertoire.

 

“May God Bless You by Chris Artley is a beautifully crafted piece. My chamber choir (SSA) absolutely loved it from the moment we started rehearsals. We have used it on several occasions and have always had a tremendously favourable response from the audience. It may be used either as part of a church service, or for concert performance. In either case, it provides a lovely moment of reflection”.  Paul Burrell, Assistant Headteacher/Director of Music - Presdales School, Ware, Hertfordshire, UK.

 

"May God Bless You is a highly accessible work that is equally successful for a solo trio or a large SSA choir. The words are set with honest simplicity and it was an immediate success at our concert."

Gina Sanders, International Soprano based in Auckland, New Zealand.

The Mock Turtle’s Song          

Scored for:   SSA and Piano (also available for SAB and piano)

Level:            Easy

Duration:       2min30

Other info:    The Mock Turtle’s Song won first prize in the 2013 Composition Competition of the “European Choral Association” in the frame of the festival “Youth Choirs in Movement”. This composition is based on a text from “Alice in Wonderland“, which appeals to junior and youth choirs directly. The poem has a clear structure (verse – chorus), and the vocal parts are kept straightforward. The striking piece contains some jazzy chords and humorously unexpected twists.

The New Zealand Bush        

Scored for:    SSA and Piano

Level:            Medium

Duration:       4min45

Other info:    An evocative piece for SSA choir and piano with words by New Zealand poet David Hardy and features lush harmonies, which conjure up the beauty of New Zealand’s native bush, flora and fauna.

 

"When I introduced ’The New Zealand Bush’ to my choir and we hummed and sang through for the first time the girls were so pleased and happy to enter into it. The piece seemed to speak to them not only through the text but through the delicious scene painting in music. They really appreciated the immediacy of the experience and the connection to their own world. They also really approved of the overall theme and especially appreciated a reminder to experience the world other than through social media".

Carmel Carroll, Director of Voice at St Mary’s College, Auckland

 

"Chris’s music composed for this beautifully descriptive text is equally sensitive to the words and demands interpretive performance with good phrasing and nuances, breath control and dynamics. It is an excellent art song and a wonderful repertoire piece for a good choir".

Leonie Lawson, Director of the Auckland Girls’ Choir

Sanctus      

Scored for:    SSAA and Piano (also available for SATB and piano; TTBB and piano)

Level:            Medium

Duration:       3min50

Other info:    This is a jubilant and very attractive setting of the timeless Latin text, featuring jazzy harmonies, catchy melodic lines and a range of textures.

 

"The girls really enjoyed the challenges that Sanctus provided. They particularly enjoyed exploring the harmonic worlds of your writing and the contrasts within the piece". Rachel Sutherland, Director of Senior Choir at Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland

Songs of Joy       

Scored for:    SSA and Piano (also available for SATB and piano; TTBB and piano)

Level:            Medium

Duration:       3mins

Other info:    This is a joyful song with appealing melodic lines accompanied by a Latin style accompaniment on piano. The original SATB was written for the Auckland Welsh Choir and their director Diana Rhodes. This SSA version was arranged for the Peke Totara Choir in February 2017. Diana Rhodes has commented, 'We are all loving the piece and it will make an excellent pairing with Leisure. So pleased!!' 

The Angel’s Song

 

Scored for:     SA and organ/piano (also available for SATB and organ/piano)

Level:             Easy to Medium

Duration:        2’30”

Other info:    Written for King’s College Chapel Choir of Auckland, The Angel’s Carol is a most attractive Christmas Carol, which is very singable and equally enjoyable for the listener. Accompanied by the subtly supportive organ/piano part the radiantly joyous song of praise resounds in all the voices.  Text is by Francis Ridley Havergal (1836-79).

The Ashwell Carol

Scored for:      SAA & Organ/Piano*  (Also available for SATB & Organ/Piano)

                        * Full orchestral accompaniment available too – please contact  Chris for further details.

Level:              Medium to advanced

Duration:        3’45”

Other info:     The Ashwell Carol was First Prize Winner of Amadeus Choir of Toronto’s 2011 Seasonal Song-Writing competition, Adult Amateur SATB Accompanied category. With a gently swaying organ accompaniment and the soprano voice entering in a tender fashion, Chris Artley transports the listener to Christ’s birth in Bethlehem. The angelic female voices ultimately ring out the joyous news that animates the male voices to sing a shared, “In excelsis Gloria Deo”. The cheerful atmosphere of this choral piece transports the singers and audience alike to the manger in Bethlehem and helps all to participate in the Christmas joy of the adoring shepherds and singing angels. Text is by Reverend John Catterick, former vicar of St Mary’s Church, Ashwell in Hertfordshire, UK.

 

“From humble beginnings (an attractive unaccompanied piece written in 2010) The Ashwell Carol has burgeoned into a full-blown Christmas carol of significant proportions with a superb orchestration and a reworking of the choral parts (2013). This metamorphosis of Artley’s carol echoes the origins and development of the river Cam: it has its genesis as it wells up from the spring in the village of Ashwell (hence the carol’s name) in Hertfordshire (UK) until it grows into a strong river, especially as it reaches Cambridge – arguably the home of contemporary British carol writing and arrangement (for example David Willcocks, John Rutter and others). Chris Artley was drawn to this text (written by the Rev. Catterick of St Mary’s, Ashwell) because of its traditional nature and the Latin burden at the end of verses. The choral piece is eminently singable and equally enjoyable for the listener. As always, Artley (originally from the UK but now resident in New Zealand) distinguishes himself with an accessible and original piece”.

Terence Maskell, Director of The Graduate Choir, New Zealand

 

‘Just to say that your Ashwell Carol made the final selection for the 2014 Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society Spirit of Christmas Concerts - colleagues were well impressed - many congratulations! Do please continue to send us stuff as there was much interest on the panel...you already have a group of fans in RLPS (as well as its chorusmaster!)’  Professor Dr. Ian Tracey, Chorusmaster Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society

Ave Maria

 

Scored for:     SSAA and piano (also available for SATBB)

Level:             Medium

Duration:        4min

Other info:    Chris Artley's setting of Ave Maria features beautiful slow melodic lines supported by his trademark harmonies, including the occasional jazz chord or two! It's quite a demanding sing but well worth the effort! Very accessible a cappella choral setting of this traditional text. 

O Magnum Mysterium by Chris Artley - all parts sung by American tenor, Matt Curtis.
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