The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) has published a volume of short organ pieces for use during church services, and to reflect the reading of the Gospel in particular. They have been composed by Martin How who, for many years, was a senior member of staff of the RSCM. Martin How is well-known for his choral compositions, many of which are published by the RSCM.
Gospel Colours contains fourteen short pieces, each titled to reflect different moods and occasions ranging from “Comfort/Pity in Sorrow” to “Majesty”. Apart from “Light shines through”, all pieces are short and can be played following the reading of the Gospel. Alternatively, they can be used before, during, or after a church service. One or two such as “Wedding in Cana” and “Good Shepherd” contain fleeting references to appropriate well-known tunes.
For many years, Martin How worked for the RSCM, an ecumenical charity which supports the work of church musicians, including training courses and publications. He initiated and developed the RSCM Chorister Training Scheme, the forerunner of the present RSCM Voice for Life training programme for church singers of all ages. In 1993, Martin How was awarded the MBE for services to church music, and since his retirement from the RSCM, has continued to work as a composer, and organist; he is Organist Laureate at Croydon Minster in Surrey.
“These short pieces are my own personal responses to Gospel Readings,” says Martin How. “Some of these have emerged from playing at church services, while others have been created at my own digital organ at home, having just come from church as a member of the congregation. I hope other organists will enjoy playing these on their own home (or church) instruments to reflect personal feelings and moods.”
The RSCM has published a wide range of church music by Martin How, including the hugely popular Day by day; a further volume of Gospel Colours and an Advent Cantata are due for publication later this year.
GOSPEL COLOURS VOLUME I
Price: £5.95 (£4.46 to RSCM affiliates)
RSCM Catalogue number: MH0540
Available from RSCM Music Direct
Tel: 0845 021 7726