Our Canopy of Voices performance a great Success at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

We had a great time performing as part of Canopy of Voices at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and I was even interviewed by BBC Radio 3! The piece was the product of Manasamitra, an artistic collective directed by South Indian singer and composer Supriya Nagarajan (see here: James Cave  was the main composer for the piece, working alongside Supriya and Duncan Chapman, with text provided by the poet Shash Trevett.

Our Summer Concert was a real success!

We had a lovely concert at the Unitarian Chapel in St Saviourgate on 30th June, to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of St Nicholas Fields Nature Reserve and Environment Centre.  The Unitarian Chapel filled up and the audience was very appreciative of the varied programmeThea Jacob who came along summed it up well: “It was a wonderful evening and represented St Nicks brilliantly: inspirational, uplifting, purposeful, celebrating the richness and beauty of life and each person’s equal importance and value as a thread in the fabric of our world.”


Big thanks go to all the performers: David Hammond on piano, Sarah Sigsworth on cello, community choir The Stonegate Singers, who sang songs from around the world as well as the premiere of David Hammond’s choral arrangement of ‘Haiku for St Nicks’ written by local poet Brinley Price, Brinley himself read a couple of his other poems inspired by St Nicks, and Cliff Wilton read out extracts of the Tang Hall Tip 1939-1947 poem. Equally warm thanks go to Lewis Outingfor taking beautiful photos, all the event helpers, and especially to those who came along and helped us raise £600 on the night!

Recording session for Refugium

We had lots of fun on Wednesday last week recording my compositions ‘Through the Gate’ and ‘Forming, Rising, Running’ for the recorded version of Refugium. Our recording will form part of a sound installation version of Refugium that will run in the British Library’s grand entrance hall on December 8th.

It will also be used for the CD of Refugium, which should appear in December 2017.





Refugium – amazing day performing my new piece Refugium at Creswell Crags

We had a brilliant day yesterday performing Refugium at Creswell Crags. The choir arrived on a coach from York at 2pm. We rehearsed 3-4pm, and then they had a tour of one of the main caves at Creswell with a guide. The performance was 6pm – 7pm outdoors in the limestone Gorge. Perfect weather, and around 150 people turned up to see us sing.

Rehearsing in the Gorge

The piece used an 8 speaker outdoor ambisonic sound system set up in the Gorge, with the choir singing 3 new pieces as part of the 1 hour long sound fabric. I composed the 3 pieces using text drawn from conversations with people at Creswell, and J. Magens Mello’s original scientific papers written about the gorge in 1875.

A great audience for the piece!

Amazing! The Stonegate Singers’ first concert was broadcast on BBC Radio York last night!

The Stonegate Singers plus friend rehearsing as part of York in Harmony with BBC Radio York

Fantastic concert last night with my choir the Stonegate Singers, along with some other friends, as part of the York in Harmony project run by John Offord and BBC Radio York. Such a lovely evening and afternoon, and everything went according to plan.

We had a 2 hour rehearsal from 4pm – 6pm, then went live at 6:08 on the Radio! It was an intense afternoon, as we were working to a tight schedule, but great fun!

Apparently we performed to anything from between 30 000 – 150 000 people – so it was basically a stadium gig!

You can listen back on the Iplayer – BBC iplayer link – our concert starts at 2:09:40. There’s also interviews conducted live during the rehearsal at 47:30 and 1:45:30.


First Stonegate Singers performance to be broadcast live on BBC Radio York!


I’ll be conducting The Stonegate Singers, along with around 50 other singers, in the York in Harmony big finale concert on Friday 7th April at the National Centre for Early Music.

It’s the culmination of a BBC project, running 5 workshops in libraries across York through March designed to encourage people to join choirs and sing!

I’ll be running a 2 hour workshop from 4pm to 6pm at the NCEM, and then we’ll be going live on the radio just after 6pm!

Very exciting!

Jon Hughes