Music Retreats

PRAYING WITH MUSIC: 2019 dates!

All music retreats are designed to enable participants, performer and listener alike, to explore the spiritual and emotional hearts of great choral works.  They are not singing or performing weekends – rather, they involve a series of talks on the works, as well as listening to the individual movements in order, and time of space for reflection on each talk – they are essentially prayer pilgrimages involving great music.   The aim is joy, relaxation, and learning.

2019:

Douai Abbey: Triduum Retreat (18th -21st April)

St. Katherine’s church, Savernake: Quiet Day for the Pewsey Benefice, 11th May.

Ammerdown Centre: “The Laughter of Mercy”: 5 day retreat on Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro (26th-31st May).

Douai Abbey: “The Laughter of Mercy” on Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro (26th – 28th June)

Launde Abbey: Advent Retreat on Handel’s Messiah Part 1 (6th-8th December)

Latest News

Euan Tait news you will find of interest. See below the very latest.

Choral Texts

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 Europe. “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.

“An eloquent libretto by Euan Tait…” (Commonwealth Chorale, on ‘The Wound in the Water’, 2018).

Euan’s aim is to write texts that are a powerful catalyst for music, with strong choral architecture.  

Please use the contact form for commissions.

2019 premieres & performances:

Carson Cooman: major new work for autumn 2019.

Anselm McDonnell: “Tearing as it is Woven” performed by the Dublin Chamber Choir as part of the CMC choral sketches series.

Philip Gowland: new work on the anniversary of the Kindertransport, Gloucester Festival, St. Mary de Crypt, Gloucester, 15th June.

Philip Lancaster: premiere of “Canticle I: Miriam” in St. Paul’s Bristol, 9th of June, followed by a performance as part of the Gloucester Festival at St,. Mary de Crypt, 14th June.

Mine and Janet Oates‘ cantata Birdcries will be performed together with McGonigal and my Rhythm Herd at St. George the Martyr, Borough, London on 4th May; mine and Arnesen’s The Wound in the Water receives new performances in Spain, Belgium, and across the US in 2019.  Forthcoming work includes an opera with Dominic McGonigal, Burnt Image, work with Michael Cryne, and new works with Kim Andre Arnesen.

2018:

Carson Cooman: “Christmas of the Witnesses”   (The 109th Annual Christmas Carol Services, 9th and 11th December 2018, The Memorial Church, Harvard University Cambridge, MA, USA https://memorialchurch.harvard.edu/event/109th-annual-christmas-carol-service The 12/9 service is usually live broadcast on the local radio station  (WHRB.org).

Michael Bussewitz-Quarm: “Sing we oh song” for Pittsburgh.

Janet Oates: “Birdcries of S. Cecilia” (40 minute cantata for six soloists – fp. at the Philomel St. Cecilia’s Day Concert, Swiss Church, London, 24th November)

Dominic McGonigal: String Quartet no. 2 “Mathilde” (text for quartet with soprano, fp. Pro Musica Quartet with Chärlötte Brökër, Lumen, Tavistock Place, September 26th ).  ALSO “Rhythm Herd” for six soloists – fp. at the Philomel St. Cecilia’s Day Concert, Swiss Church, London, 24th November)

Janet Wheeler: “The Cries of Music” for choir (text for competition set piece – sung separately under six different conductors – for the inaugural London International Choral Conducing Competition, Duke’s Hall, Royal Academy of Music, 21st October)

Kim Andre Arnesen: “A Justice Call” (Sanctuary Chorus, Bellvue Presbyterian Church, WA, June 10th)

Chris Hutchings: “We Are One Voice” (Beaconsfield Festival of Choirs, 10th March)

2018 saw the release of three of Euan’s texts on the new and now bestselling Naxos CD of Kim Andre Arnesen’s work! (Catalogue No: 8.573788). The texts are ‘Flight Song’, ‘Child of Song’ and ‘Then gift I’ll leave you’.  The BBC Singers performed mine and McGonigal’s “Night Song” at Maida Vale Studios on 18th September.

2017:
Kim Andre Arensen:  ‘Song of the Soul’  (fp. Soustons, France by Quatuor Vocal Méliades and Ensemble Hope. (February 12th)

Kim Andre Arnesen: ‘Flight Song’ (TTBB version, fp by 450 men at VAN/Man Male choral summit at Chan Centre for Performing Arts in April).

Kim Andre Arnesen: ‘My Flame the Song’ (fp Edwards Masterworks Singers, Austin, Texas, and premiered in Oslo Cathedral, May 18th).

Kim Andre Arnesen: ‘Falling into mercy’ (fp. Oregon Bach Festival, by Strangeland Family Youth Choral Academy, cond Dr. Anton Armstrong, July 11th)

Kim Andre Arnesen: ‘Searching Love’ (Texas Choral Directors Association, fp. by Directors Chorus, cond. Dr. Lori Hetzel, July 22).

Dominic McGonigal: ‘Night Song’ (Founding concert of the new professional ensemble, Philomel, Brunel Museum Rotherhithe, London, 2/11/17, and March 2018)

2016:

Kim Andre Arnesen: ‘The Wound in the Water’ a 70 minute cantata for solo soprano, chorus, piano and strings, first performance as the opening concert of Trondheim’s Olavsfestdagene at Nidaros Cathedral, broadcast on national radio. The soloist was Elin Manahan Thomas, with the Grammy-award winning Conspirare choir, cond. Craig Hella Johnson.

Kim Andre Arnesen: ‘His Light in Us’ (fp. St. Olaf Choir and Dr. Anton Armstrong for the 2016 St. Olaf Christmas Festival).

2015:

Kim André Arnesen: The Christmas Alleluias, first performed by The Valley Chamber Chorale, Stillwater, Minnesota, conductor Carol Carver in December.

Paul Spicer: ‘All Saints’ Carol’ (fp. All Saints’ Northampton, UK, 20/12/15)

Timothy Tharaldson: ‘Spokes’ Youth Chorale of Central Minnesota in 2016.  In reaction to this work, 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/ 

Kim Andre Arnesen: ‘Child of Song’ (fp. VocalEssence Ensemble, cond. Philip Brunelle., 14/5/15, 40th anniversary celebration of The American Composers Forum, i.m. Stephen Paulus).

Kim Andre Arnesen: ‘Love’s Onward Journey’ (fp. Manhattan Girls Chorus, cond.Michelle Oesterle with admiration and gratitude, 20/5/15, NYC).

Kim Andre Arnesen:  ‘You asked me to speak’ (fp. Kokopelli Choirs, Canada, cond. Scott Leithead. Feb 2015).

2014:

Paul Spicer: ‘Unfinished Remembering.’ Choral symphony.  Fp 13/9/14 at symphony Hall, Birmingham, UK, withBirmingham Bach Choir, Orchestra of the Swan, soloists Johane Ansell (soprano), William Dazeley (baritone).   John Quinn: “Unfinished Remembering is a moving and compelling work. Euan Tait has written a libretto which offers a thought-provoking reflection...”

Paul Spicer: ‘A Shared Singing.’   Euan appeared twice on BBC Midlands Today,  including at a rehearsal of this new National song.

Kim Andre Arnesen: ‘Flight Song’ (fp. St. Olaf Choir and conductor Anton Armstrong).

Other Retreats

QUIET DAYS and OTHER RETREATS:

2018:
Writing to God retreats.

Diocese of Clifton Spiritual Directors’ Retreat (see FEEDBACK tab for exciting responses)
Prinknash Abbey, Gloucestershire, 14th April 2018.

also Douai Abbey, Berkshire 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 open us up to this life-giving relationship. During this day (Prinknash) or weekend (Douai) 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 and vocational life. It is recommended that participants bring an exercise book or laptop, as they prefer.

Euan delivered a Advent Quiet Day for the south Wales Ordinariate groups (9th December 2017, Belmont Abbey), ‘Free and immortal” . exploring our vocations through Scripture, the poetry of Thomas Traherne as set by Finzi in Dies Natalis.

Euan delivered a Quiet Day for St. Nicholas, Fleckney, Leicestershire in April 2016, and continues to lead others. He has led all Quiet Days at Ammerdown in the past, and has led successive Quiet Days for Cursillo groups.

30th June 2017, Belmont Abbey: Celebrating Mass in school: A training day for Catholic teachers.
The training day aimed to enable Catholic educators to open up Catholic teaching on “Communion with the Lord,” “the Real Presence” and “Word Made Flesh” to students here in our Diocese, picking up on themes developed with REC/HRE/Chaplains in recent INSET days. It was designed to illustrate possible methods 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.
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…”