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Meet Our Composers

Fenham Ensemble is extremely privileged to have been able to collaborate with three local composers for our next concert - The Sun Never Says; Music for Cello and Voice - on Saturday 23rd March 2024 at St James' and St Basil's Church in Fenham with RNS cellist, Gabriel Waite.

Eleanor Cully Boehringer, Kerrin Tatman and Len Young are all composers currently living and working in the North East of England. Eleanor and Kerrin both sing with the choir and we have been able to work closely with all three in preparing their pieces for the concert.

Let's meet them. First up is Eleanor...

Eleanor Cully Boehringer

photo: Victoria Wai

When Eleanor joined Fenham Ensemble in September 2022, we not only gained a great soprano but also a composer "in residence" too. Eleanor is an artist and composer from Norwich currently based in Newcastle who draws on poetic text, fragments of song, imitation and imagined sound. Regular FE audiences will already have heard some of Eleanor's choral compositions. We had the privilege of premiering her piece 'Swan' written for voice and cello for our 'Serenity' concert last March, again with Gabriel Waite on cello. At our Christmas concert in 2023 we performed Eleanor's 'Perennial Ephemeral', a re-working of the British folk carol 'The Holly and the Ivy' which won the 2023 Kantos Carol Competition. Eleanor has written for other choirs, notably Musarc, Chorus of the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Kantos Chamber Choir as well as compositions for ensembles such as Standard Issue, An Assembly and Apartment House. She is also a solo performer in her own right.

In our next concert on 23rd March 2024 entitled 'The Sun Never Says', we will be performing a new version of Eleanor's mesmeric work 'Snowdrop' scored for double choir (SSAATTBB) cello and vibraphone, featuring Gabriel Waite on cello. As Eleanor explains:

"Snowdrop started as just a short sentence sent to me by artist Sarah Boulton, who is based near the west coast of Scotland. I set Sarah's words for double choir, originally with vibraphone and violin. Musarc choir and Standard Issue ensemble performed a version of the piece in London last Spring but this year I’ve returned to the original for Fenham Ensemble, and adapted it for vibraphone and cello, which will be the first time the original version has been performed.

"In my work, I often zoom into a small detail and expand it and reflect it outward into a score, a concert, a room. I consider the space and environment I'm working with as part of my composition process which allows for unexpected conceptual or musical additions to become part of the composition, both as it develops over time and in rehearsal or live performance. For this particular performance of 'Snowdrop' I have adapted my original score to make the most of the resonant acoustic of St James' and St Basil's church, immersing the listener in an echoing dialogue of sound and text."

'The Sun Never Says: Music for Cello and Voice' is on Saturday 23rd March 2024 at St James' and St Basil's church, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ starting at 7.30pm.


Prelude from Cello Suite No.1 in G Major - J S Bach

O Magnum Mysterium (Serenity) - Ola Gjeilo

Snowdrop - Eleanor Cully Boehringer

Pie Jesu from Requiem in D minor - Gabriel Fauré

Romance - Gabriel Fauré

Agnus Dei II from Missa Brevis - Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

Goin' Home - Paul Langford after Antonín Dvorák

The Oak - Becky McGlade

Tarantella - Len Young

Stabat Mater - Kerrin Tatman

Spiegel im Spiegel - Arvo Pärt

Heart! We Will Forget Him - Bradley Ellingboe

The Sun Never Says - Dan Forrest


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