Oliver Tarney

Oliver Tarney was born (1984) and educated in Lancaster, moving on to read music at Manchester University. After completing a Master's Degree in composition, and training as a teacher, he is now Head of Composition and Singing at Winchester College in Hampshire. He sings regularly with the college's chapel choir under the direction of Malcolm Archer.

His recent works are published by Oxford University Press, with more due for publication next year. Other recent pieces include a setting of Fair is the Heaven for the St Endellion Easter Music Festival, and A Prayer of St Richard of Chichester for Sansara Chamber Choir (winners of the 2015 London International A Cappella Choir Competition) with whom he is an associate composer, and which has just been recorded on their their acclaimed CD, Cloths of Heaven (Convivium Records). He has seen his 2014 Magnificat recorded by Serafine Chamber Choir & Sinfonia and released on the Convivium Records label to wide critical acclaim. Majora Canamus was also recently written for Andrew Lumsden and the Southern Cathedrals'; Festival 2017, and was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Future commissions include a choral and orchestral St Mark Passion for the St Endellion Easter 2019. Oliver has worked extensively with 'Sing for pleasure', the national choral organisation that promotes choral singing in communities, choirs, and classrooms. He is passionate about inspiring others to find a love of singing.

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In Homeward Flight

A reflection on the plainchant antiphon, Maria Virgo.

The feast of the Assumption can be a difficult one to appreciate; it has had a long and complicated history. As well as contemplating the divine, this reflection on the plainsong antiphon Maria Virgo assumpta est, and its specially-written text by Lucia Quinault, speaks of the humanity at the heart of this story: a mother returning home to be reunited with her child, from whom she has been parted.

The piece rocks between two harmonic planes, through which fragments of the plainsong melody are heard as though caught in the air. It makes its final ascent whilst conveying the wonderful and evocative image of the King of Kings, Jesus, waiting to welcome his mother into the Kingdom of Heaven, ‘amid the silent stars.’

WORLD PREMIERE: 22nd February 2018, #Renaissance- Majesty, Manchester Cathedral.