A Gaelic Blessing is a simple and catchy piece by Craig McLeish. This piece will be particularly useful for school, junior and community choirs, and a tuneful introduction to singing simple contrapuntal lines.
The second soprano part repeats the tune at bar 33 and should dominate here; the first sopranos and altos should support appropriately. Ease and beauty of tone should be of paramount importance throughout.
An inspiring selection of new works from a range of contemporary composers, the Novello New Choral Series offers pieces for all types of choirs, including sacred and secular works from simple, four-part settings to more expansive, yet accessible, repertoire in an exciting variety of styles.
Craig McLeish began his musical life as a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral under Barry Rose. He began composing at the age of ten and his preces and responses for four trebles are still in the repertoire. After a degree at York University he returned to London to study at the Guildhall and sang again at St Paul’s as a tenor. At the time he also arranged and copied music for West End shows such as Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, and played bass guitar for various groups. This led to a spell in the cult pop band ‘Fat & Frantic’, who shaved the top 100 twice with the whimsical anthem Last night my wife hoovered my head. He also worked as musical assistant for David Heneker (Half a Sixpence) and David Fanshawe (African Sanctus).
In 1992 Craig became director of the Methodist Association of Youth Clubs Orchestra and Singers, performing concerts throughout the UK and becoming involved in a number of recordings and BBC broadcasts. During this time he arranged more than 250 orchestral scores ranging from Queen to Calamity Jane, Stravinsky and Stevie Wonder. Alongside this he began arranging and writing songs for children’s collections (Big Blue Planet, Love Shone Down) and producing recordings and string arrangements for various artists (Sheila Walsh, Kim Hill, Matt Redman). He is also well known as a conductor and arranger for Songs of Praise.
Recently Craig has collaborated with composer Tolga Kashif writing orchestrations for the RPO’s Seo Taiji Symphony, the Classic FM chart-topping CD by saxophonist Tyler Rix, and the Genesis Suite which was premiered at the Barbican. He has been musical director of Young Voices UK for 13 years, bringing large school choirs together to play with a live band and solo artists, and currently conducts the Milton Keynes Community Choir, Hart and Soul Community Choir and the Milton Keynes Youth Choir.
This is a beautiful piece of music, composed by Craig. It is very memorable with a beautiful mix of a melodic soprano beginning followed by the 3 part contrapuntal section.
Milton Keynes Youth Choir were given the honour of performing this piece for its world premiere with the composer at the helm. It is a piece that the choir enjoy singing and will perform within its repertoire in the future. Anonymous
- (Milton Keynes)
I was delighted to received this beautiful arrangement suitable for a range of abilities. Simple but very gorgeous. Looking forward to teaching it to my choir. Anonymous