We are delighted to share the news that Walter Hussey Composition Competition finalist Alison Willis has recently won the joint Derby Cathedral and Friends of Cathedral Music Composition Competition.

Competitors were required to compose a new setting for choir and organ of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis.  Over 100 composers submitted entries from all over the world.  Alison’s work was chosen by a panel of adjudicators which consisted of Alexander Binns (Director of Music at Derby Cathedral), Edmund Hunt (Lay Clerk at Derby Cathedral and Postdoctoral Research Fellow in composition at Birmingham Conservatoire) and Christopher Gower (former Director of Music at Peterborough Cathedral and Grants Officer and Trustee to the Friends of Cathedral Music).

‘Alison’s setting was one of the most original entries with many interesting ideas.  She combines new textures with beautifully shaped melodies.  It’ll be an exciting piece both to sing and to reflect to’ said Alexander Binns.

Alison’s work is due to be premiered by Derby Cathedral Choir on Sunday 13 June 2021 as part of the Friends of Cathedral Music’s National Gathering in Derby that weekend.  The work will also be published by Encore Publications.

So now we have the Willis Derby Service to go alongside the likes of Howells Collegium Regale and Dyson in D.

Last December, which seems a lifetime ago now, Alison Willis attended the world premiere of her piece Gold and Spices at Reading Phoenix Choir’s annual carol concert at the Reading Minster.  A recording of this new work was completed by Reading Phoenix Choir shortly before lockdown and will be released soon.  Watch this space for further details!