Preces and Responses

These are live recordings of two movements of Preces and Responses by Gareth Wilson. They were performed at St Pancras Parish Church on Sunday 17 May 2015 by The Choir of St Pancras Parish Church directed by Christopher Batchelor.

Gareth Wilson studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and Edinburgh University (BMus) before undertaking postgraduate performance diplomas at the Royal Academy of Music in London (receiving the DipRAM for an outstanding final recital) where he became a Fellow, and subsequently lecturer, in Academic Studies from 2000 to 2004. At the same time, he joined the Music Department at King’s College London where he teaches Techniques of Composition and Orchestration and is director of the Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Wilson also lectures for the Royal College of Organists and, in addition to freelance work as a choral conductor, is Director of Music at Christ Church, Chelsea, where he has been responsible for the composition, commissioning and directing of over 100 new works for the Anglican liturgy as well as playing a leading role in the installation of the church’s new Flentrop organ.

Between 2007 and 2011 he undertook postgraduate degrees in Theology and Philosophy from London University’s Heythrop College before embarking upon doctoral research in the Theology department of King’s College London, where he is researching the contribution of music to the growth of atheism in 19th century Europe, combining this with his interest in early 20th century Jewish-Christian relations. In 2011 he was nominated for a King’s College London Teaching Excellence Award by the students of the Music Department.

Church music today embraces a wide variety of styles, reflecting the different traditions of Christian worship around the world and even in this country. Within this variety there should always be a place for music which explores the contemporary serious idioms, and the Festivals at St Pancras have become the vanguard, including and even commissioning works which engage the mind. The mind of worshippers who desire something beyond the fashionable songs which, although they have their place, are of their essence ephemeral.

Alan Gibbs, composer