Choral TextsCOMMISSIONS & PUBLICATIONS UPDATE

“This extraordinary work…made a huge impact on the large audience…who described it as ‘deeply moving’, ‘powerful’ and ‘inspiring.’” (Review of choral symphony Unfinished Remembering, gerontius.net Newsletter, November 2014)

Euan’s visibility as a librettist is increasing rapidly among choirs and conductors in the US, UK and Norway. “Anyone paying attention to the choral world right now knows that we have a new poet on the rise in Euan Tait.” Kurt Knecht, May 2016.

Premieres 2017

UPDATE! London premiere for November 2017!! Details to follow.

With Kim Andre Arensen:

February 12th:
“Song of the Soul” premièred in Soustons, France by Quatuor Vocal Méliades and Ensemble Hope.

April 22nd:
TTBB version of the bestselling “Flight Song” (extensively recorded on YouTube), premiered by 450 men at VAN/Man Male choral summit at Chan Centre for Performing Arts.

May 18th:
“My Flame the Song” commissioned by Edwards Masterworks Singers, Austin, Texas, and premiered in Oslo Cathedral.

July 11th:
“Falling into mercy” commissioned by Oregon Bach Festival and premiered by Strangeland Family Youth Choral Academy, and Dr. Anton Armstrong

July 22:
“Searching Love” commissioned by Texas Choral Directors Association, and premiered by Directors Chorus, and conductor Dr. Lori Hetzel.

FUTURE:
Naxos recording forthcoming in winter 2017-18 from Dr. Joel Rinsema!

Euan has produced a wide range of choral works with the Norwegian composer Kim André Arnesen, including two major works: The Christmas Alleluias, a five movement piece, was performed by The Valley Chamber Chorale, Stillwater, Minnesota  and conductor Carol Carver in December 2015, and The Wound in the Water, a choral symphony, which will be performed in Trondheim by one of the leading choirs in the world today, Conspirare, conducted by Craig Johnston, with the British star soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, at the opening concert of the 2016 Olavsfestdagene.  Of their shorter works, Flight Song, dedicated to the St. Olaf Choir and conductor Anton Armstrong, has now sold thousands of copies, and is performed regularly across the US, including at Carnegie Hall, NYC. Other pieces include Child of Song, written in memory of Stephen Paulus and first performed at a memorial concert for him.  Flight Song is published by earthsongs, and their other works by the Santa Barbara Press, CA.

In the US, he wrote the text for Spokes, music by Timothy Tharaldson, which was performed by Youth Chorale of Central Minnesota in 2016. Euan is now developing other projects with other US choral composers. Kurt Knecht of MusicSpoke wrote (May 25th 2016): “Anyone paying attention to the choral world right now knows that we have a new poet on the rise in Euan Tait. He’s been collaborating with several composers including a big premiere of settings of his work by Kim Arnesen. It’s for good reason. To my mind, Euan’s extremely lyric gift comes from a poet that you can tell was raised on a steady diet of…Wordsworth. In contrast to Wordsworth, however, I don’t find a vague sort of pantheism at the bottom of Tait’s poems. Instead, they betray a profound and rich spiritual life that make them exceptionally poignant. This very grounding is what keeps his poems from floating into sentimentality despite their lyric nature.” http://musicspoke.com/blog/score-week-iii-spokes-timothy-tharaldson/

In the UK, Euan’s first choral symphony libretto, Unfinished Remembering, with acclaimed music by Paul Spicer, was first performed on 13th September 2014, with the Birmingham Bach Choir, the Orchestra of the Swan, and soloists  Johane Ansell (soprano)  and baritone William Dazeley. The vocal score is currently being prepared for a second printing for further performances, and Euan appeared twice on  BBC Midlands Today,  including at a rehearsal of his and Spicer’s new National song,  A Shared Singing.  Among comments on the libretto were John Quinn ‘s “Unfinished Remembering is a moving and compelling work. Euan Tait has written a libretto which offers a thought-provoking reflection not only on why Remembrance is important but also on the challenges that remembering our war dead should pose.”  Euan has also written the text of a new Christmas carol, All Saints Carol, with Paul for All Saints Northampton, which was first performed there on 20th December 2015.

Euan’s aim as a librettist is to write words that are a powerful catalyst for music, with strong choral architecture, and which speak in the widest possible way for the spiritual longings of a very diverse society.  I delight in writing for choral composers, and feel there is a growing passion for shared singing among the public, and would love to be there to offer new words for composers to enjoy shaping into their own music.   Please use the contact form for commissions.

QUIET DAYS and OTHER RETREATS:

2017:
CHANGE OF DATE!!
Euan will be delivering a Advent Quiet Day for the south Wales Ordinariate groups (9th December, Belmont Abbey). It is entitled ‘Free and immortal” – Quiet Day for Advent . We approach the Christ child and gaze upon our humanity in its power, fragility and beauty. In the beautiful rural setting of Belmont Abbey, we have time with God through our Ordinariate Quiet Day this year. Advent opens us afresh to the Holy Spirit, to the core of our vocation and our humanity.  Christ draws us to the core beauty of our humanity, so so that we may listen deeply to His Holy Spirit; we are led to a quiet place in ourselves where we may listen anew to who we are in Christ.  Advent, as with its sister season Lent, is discovery, and rediscovery in this sense.   This Quiet Day explores the theme of rediscovering the beauty of our core self, and our vocations through times of silence, through Scripture, the poetry of Thomas Traherne as set by Finzi in Dies Natalis.  Euan’s short talks are intended as the spark for our own reflections. Euan delivered a Quiet Day for St. Nicholas, Fleckney, Leicestershire in April 2016, and continues to lead others, while exploring new types of retreat (details to follow). He has led all Quiet Days at Ammerdown in the past, and has led successive Quiet Days for Cursillo groups.

30th June, Belmont Abbey:
Celebrating Mass in school: A training day for Catholic teachers.

Introduction: Enabling our students to understand and love the Mass, to make it theirs, make it authentic to them, is a crucial challenge for Catholic teachers as we seek to develop our students’ spiritual lives. Our first role is to help students understand the celebration of the Mass not as an individualistic experience but as pilgrim members of the Church receiving a source of life through the Church.
Yet, in order to do this, teachers need to enable our students to understand the Mass in a personal sense, as a repeated pilgrimage to the table where Christ breaks bread in mercy – so that we as teachers empower them to experience the Mass also as their personal pilgrimage, as a crucial part of their ongoing journey in faith as Catholic Christians.
The proposed training day is designed as a key way of learning how to open up Catholic teaching on “Communion with the Lord,” “the Real Presence” and “Word Made Flesh” to our students here in our Diocese, and picks up on themes developed with REC/HRE/Chaplains in recent INSET days. It is designed to illustrate to teachers a possible method of helping our students to learn and pray about the key “narrative” of the Mass through 4 elements:
1. Short scripture readings, relevant to each section of the Mass (Kyrie, Gloria etc). 5 mins
2. A short reflection on the meaning of each section and on the piece of music about to be played. 15 mins
3. A playing of the musical setting of the relevant section of the Mass. 15 mins
4. Questions/discussions using key questions. 10 mins.
Teachers will then adapt the above for formation sessions with students. For example, talks could be prepared by students on such themes as “What does the Kyrie mean to me? What music represents the Gloria – and why?” The aim is to give teachers a set of tools to enable students to develop their understanding and ownership of the meaning of the Mass.

Participants said: “Lots of lovely practical ideas for working with children….I found the day extremely beneficial to me personally. Euan has a beautiful and profound sense of the Eucharist and his love of God and of the liturgy oozes out of him; very infectious. He has focussed on a needful area, viz. helping all of us to internalise the ancient liturgy and so become actively engaged, heart and mind. He gave excellent suggestions on how to introduce and ‘scaffold’ these ideas with the children and the musical selections were great. I think his pupils are very blessed and I would like to see him take a lesson…I found the concept relevant to further attract the children in developing thee processes for themselves, especially in planning Mass. Very relaxing atmosphere. Thanks….Euan presented confidently, with great passion…make an interesting INSET for staff…Thank you for a great experience…fabulous course…a very inspirational day…giving lots of ideas and thoughts…”

TALKS: Making the Mass Mine – Download Document: Click here

TIMETABLE
9.30am Arrival, registration, teas and coffees
10am Welcome, Introduction to the day and Opening Prayers
10.10am Experiencing the KYRIE, followed by short break
11am Experiencing the GLORIA, followed by short break
12pm-12.40 Experiencing the CREDO
12.45 Midday Prayer, Abbey church
1pm Lunch break
2.00 pm Experiencing the SANCTUS and BENEDICTUS, followed by short break
2.50pm Understanding the AGNUS DEI.
3.40pm Mass (Abbey church or Oratory)
4pm Closing Prayer and depart

Venue: Room (tbc), Belmont Abbey, 30th June 2017.

Summary: The day for teachers allows professionals to experience and evaluate the suggested method for this complementary approach to ‘Teaching the Mass’ for themselves.
Given that, as a teacher himself, our training leader recognises the pressures of the timetable and the reality of our teaching experience, this approach could also be delivered to students as a series of short lunchtime/after school events, or as a day after exams.
Above all, it enables us, as teachers, to develop a method of enabling our students to learn about the inner meaning of the Mass, experience in a positive way Church’s teachings about the Mass, thus delivering essential formative input.

2018:
Writing to God: creating our own prayers, psalms, journals and poems

(Douai Abbey, 26th – 28th October 2018)
The beauty of relating to God is that we are called to speak freely and with utter honesty to Jesus, to open our hearts fully without fear. Our creative written responses help open us up to this life-giving relationship, and during this weekend we will be exploring how to write prayers, our own versions of psalms, short poems and journal entries: an exciting creative journey that aims to greatly enrich our own work. It is recommended you bring your own writing materials – laptops or notebooks as you prefer.

PRAYING WITH MUSIC:  MUSIC RETREAT DATES FOR 2016!
I have been invited to 3 new venues, as well as returning again to Belmont and Ammerdown.
Mozart Coronation Mass K 317 (Douai Abbey nr Thatcham 19th -21st February 2016)  Beginning of Lent retreat.
Bach St. John Passion (Llangasty Retreat House, Brecon, 18th- 20th March 2016)  Passiontide retreat.
Finzi Dies Natalis and Intimations of Immortality (Ammerdown nr Radstock 12th -14th August 2016)  Summer retreat
Elgar Dream of Gerontius (Minsteracres Retreat Centre, Consett, Co. Durham 28th – 30th October 2016)  Preparing for All Souls and All Saints’
Mozart Requiem (Belmont Abbey, Hereford 4th – 6th November 2016) All Souls and All Saints’ retreat.
All retreats start on Friday evening and end with Sunday lunch.
Recent participant comments – see Feedback tab
All retreats start on Friday evening and end with Sunday lunch.
Recent participant comments – see Feedback tab