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Composer wins $2000 prize

Composer wins $2000 prize

Palmerston North based composer, Graham Parsons, has been awarded first prize in the Auckland Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Music Foundation’s Composition Competition.

Mr Parsons studied composition with Douglas Lilburn, David Farquhar and Karlheinz Stockhausen and recently retired as Senior Lecturer in Music Education at Massey University in Palmerston North.

The Foundation supports music in the cathedral and is responsible for awarding scholarships to singers and organists along with education opportunities for young choristers. The competition was organised to mark the Foundation’s 21st anniversary this year and twenty-six entries were received from thirteen countries, representing a wide variety of musical styles.

The judging panel, which included recent Queen’s Birthday Honours recipient Gillian Whitehead DCNZM, were unanimous in their decision to award first prize to Mr Parsons for his composition entitled Saint Cecilia.

Scored for choir and organ, it features text written by the composer which evokes the image of Saint Cecilia breathing life into an empty shell and creating wondrous harmonies.

The work will be performed at a special Evensong Service on Tuesday 24 June 2008 at 6.00pm in Holy Trinity Cathedral with the composer in attendance.


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