Choral works

Anthems for adult choirs

Livery company sung grace - new harmony

Following a suggestion of change at a Mercer Court meeting, a new more up-to-date harmony was composed in July 2023, which left words and tune unchanged. The version here, dated September 2023 omits some intermediate harmony notes in the bass line that (on review) seemed superfluous.

Sung Grace - new harmony

'Christmas hath a darkness!'

'Christmas hath a darkness' is a short carol//Christmas anthem, written for the Mercers' Choir, and planned for performance during the Christmas season of 2023. It uses a short poem of two verses by Christina Rosetti, which pose seeming opposites in the nature of the Christmas story. A second version has an intermezzo, but is otherwise identical.

Christmas hath a darkness

The following version of 'Christmas hath a darkness' has a contrasting middle section, but is otherwise identical.

Christmas hath a darkness (with intermezzo)

'Rejoice, rejoice!'

'Rejoice, rejoice!' is a short carol/Christmas anthem written as a commission for the Mercers Choir. The words of the first and last verces were written by my father HV Hodson (Harry) with a middle verse supplied by me. The commission requested a straightforward style, and this is what I have tried to provide, with upper soprano range limited to F, with the music mainly homophonic, and with straightforward rhythms, mostly step-wise middle voices, and no awkward intervals (well hardly any).

A descant is provided for the last verse, with F still retained as the top note. (A top A could be sung by a single soprano if necessary, or omitted, since the descant line is duplicated by the accompaniment.) The first two verses are optionally accompanied, and it would work as a unison carol. The accompaniment is playable on piano or organ. The carol had had its Official First Performance in Mercers' Chapel, Mercers Nall, and was also sung in its organ version at the Music and Merriment concert at St Mary's church Winkfield on 7/12/19.

The anthem was reviewed by RSCM during Summer 2019.

Rejoice, rejoice!

'A radiant star'

'A radiant star' is a short carol/Christmas anthem written for the Winkfield Concert Choir. It was also performed by the Queldryk Ensemble under the direction of Paul Ayres, in Mercer's Chapel on 14/12/18, at the Court Carol Service conducted by the Chaplain of the Worshipful Company of Mercers officiated by the Mercers' chaplain, the Rt Revd Bp Michael Colclough. The words were written for the carol by the poet Marion Caragounis - many thanks, Marion, for your inspirational text. The style is straightforward - almost completely homophonic. There are three verses of which the first is for choir alone, followed by a contrasting middle section for the second verse. The third verse is unison with descant. There are some minor challenges with clashy notesand time signatures. Revision on 22/9/18 resulted in correction of errors and some minor musical changes. The key has been moved to Eb, which brings the top note of the soprano part to Eb, to make it possible for the JCC to sing (the descant goes to F).

A radiant star

'Glory for Christmas'

'Glory for Christmas' had its first performance by the Queldryk Ensemble under the direction of Paul Ayres, in Mercer's Chapel on 15/12/17, at the Court Carol Service officiated by the Chaplain of the Worshipful Company of Mercers, the Rt Revd Bp Michael Colclough. The words were taken from a prayer said at the beginning of the same annual service in December 2016. Many thanks to Paul Ayres and the Ensemble for a fine performance!! Subsequently, the score was reviewed by the RSCM composition review service, and the version, as posted, represents the results of a number of changes in texture, harmony, and a new central section, following the reviewer's helpful suggestions. It is still recognisibly the same piece!

'Glory for Christmas' is dedicated to the Worshipful Company of Mercers.

Glory for Christmas

'There is no Rose'

'There is no Rose' is a medieval poem that has been set by several composers including Britten. Anthony's setting was orginally just for SATB and organ, but at a 'Music and Merriment' Christmas Concert at which it was performed, the scoring included a wind quintet and percussion as well as the organ. As a result of this, the setting includes a flute obbligato. Two small changes have recently (30/7/19) been made in the Alto part (bars 4 and 17).

There is no Rose


'Easter' is an earlier version of 'There is no Rose', and is a setting of the George Herbert poem of that name. It has been performed on several occasions, including by a professional choir as part of a service in Mercers' Chapel for the Guild of Golden Jubilee Masters in May 2017. A small change was made recently (30/7/19) to the Alto part in bar 17 - viz 'There is no rose'.


'Before the paling of the stars'

'Before the paling of the stars' sets Christina Rosetti's poem for SATB choir and organ. Started in mid 2015, this Christmas anthem was reviewed by RSCM, who made some useful comments. It was performed by the adult choirs at the 'Music and Merriment' concert at St Mary's, Winkfield, in December 2016.

Before the paling of the stars

'Easter Anthem'

'Easter Anthem' is a multichant setting of St Paul's words used in the 'Easter Anthem' canticle in the BCP.

Easter Anthem from BCP

Christmas Songs for children's choir

These songs were written for the Junior Concert Choir of St Mary's Winkfield, and all but the first have been performed at the 'Music and Merriment' Christmas concerts. I am deeply grateful to the poet Marion Caragounis, whose poetry is set in these songs, not only for the words that are so suitable for children's Christmas songs, but also for her support and encouragement.

'The Kings they came'

'The Kings they came' is a short carol in three verses written for the Winkfield Junior Concert Choir to be sung at the Music and Merriment concert at St Mary's Winkfield on 7/12/19. It is a setting of the delightful poem by the American poet Sarah Teasdale (1883-1933), with small adaptations. It is a simple carol, in three parts that are intended to be accessible by a childrens' choir such as we have at Winkfield. At the 2019 Music and Merriment concert, two parts are sung.

The version here follows review by RSCM.

The Kings they came

'Love came down at Christmas'

'Love came down at Christmas' was written for the 2018 'Music and Merriment' Christmas concerts, at which it was first performed on 1 December 2018. It is a setting of Christina Rosetti's poem if the same name, but, unusually, is set as a round, with the key word 'love' providing additional glue in the structure. As with all the children's songs, the accompaniment is quite simple, but tries to provide a few contrasts in the texture and also in the harmony, which, in a round, tends otherwise to be repetitive. The version here is the revised version following RSCM appraisal.

The RSCM-based revision mostly relates to the piano accompaniment of the first two verses, which are now essentially 'horizontal'. The second verse has been re-written to vary the end note of the lines (with a similar but smaller change to the first verse), and this should make the round more interesting.

The original version is not available on this site.

Love came down at Christmas

'The Gift'

'The Gift' a setting of the first verse of Marion Caragounis' lovely little poem, and was specially written for the Junior Concert Choir, who performed it at the St Mary's Christma Concert in 2015, and it was later performed by the small Junior Choir for the church, who were all members of the concert's choir, with some adult support. It has a lively and unusual rhythm.

The gift

'Christmas Day'

'Christmas Day' is a setting of the Marion Caragounis' beautiful poem of the same name, and was written for St Mary's Junior Concert Choir, who sang it at the 'Music and Merriment' concert at St Mary's, Winkfield, in December 2016. The performance there was enhanced by Alice playing the glockenspiel for the second verse, and the music for that is included

Christmas Day

'The Shepherds' Song'

'The Shepherds' Song' used Marion Caragounis charming poem, which she providedfor the 2017 Music and Merriment Christmas Concert. The St Mary's Junior Concert Choir sang it very nicely there. The first verse used actions, and, in the chorus, four of the smaller children danced in a ring. The song was also sung in the course of the Family Matins crib service a week after the concert

The Shepherds' Song

Works arranged for ensembles and choir

'I saw three ships'

'I saw three ships' is a fun and slightly quirky arrangement with organ, wind quintet and xylophone/glockenspiel

I saw three ships

'We wish you a merry Christmas'

'We wish you a merry Christmas' is a brief and fun variant of the familiar Christmas song, using wind quintet, glockenspiel and side drum

We wish you a merry Christmas


'Christus' is an unfinished oratorio by Mendelssohn, of which the main complete part is shown in this score. This is an arrangement, performed in 2012 at the St Mary's Christmas Concert, with the following resources:

Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in Bb, Bassoon, Timpani, Harp, Violins, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Organ. It comprises a soprano recitative (with harp), a terzetto for solo Tenor and two Baritones, and an SATB chorus.


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