The Peter Tranchell Centenary: a new commission for Caius Choir by Caian composer, Cheryl Frances-Hoad

  • 22 November 2022

To commemorate the centenary of the birth of Peter Tranchell, the Gonville & Caius College Director of Music 1960-1989 & Precentor 1962-1989, the Peter Tranchell Foundation are hosting a Musical Soirée and Reception at St Paul’s in Knightsbridge, London on Saturday 26 November at 6.30pm.

The evening programme includes the premiere of a short choral piece the Foundation has commissioned for the event from composer, and former student, Cheryl Frances-Hoad (Music 1998). Also included on the programme are works by Tranchell for choir, organ and piano.

Cheryl, who this month won an Ivors Academy Composer Award in the Large Ensemble category for her composition “Scenes from the Wild”, wrote the piece for Gonville and Caius College Choir, who will perform it alongside Caius Consort, conducted by Precentor Matthew Martin.

For Cheryl, the main goal when approaching the task was to write something “to pay tribute to aspects of Tranchell's musical style as well as (hopefully!) creating a short choral work that could be used in a liturgical context in the future”.

In preparation, she turned to Peter Tranchell’s works for inspiration.

She adds: “His setting of Psalm 133 particularly appealed to me. 'Behold how good and joyful a thing it is...to dwell together in unity' seemed the ideal text to put to music for an evening such as this.”

She took the work from initial inspiration to the completed SATB a capella setting, “Psalm 133: The Peace of God”.

“I have tried to pay homage to Peter's harmonic and rhythmic language whilst retaining my own compositional style,” she adds.

Cheryl first began writing for the choir whilst studying Music at Caius (1998-2002), later winning a British Composing Award for her setting of Psalm 1 for the choir – performed at the 800th anniversary of the University of Cambridge. Cheryl remains connected with Caius and the choir today, last visiting the choir in May to meet members and attend a rehearsal and Evensong service.

Tickets for the Musical Soirée will be available up to midnight on Thursday 24 November and will also be available at the door. All are welcome to attend.

Follow Cheryl's work via her website and social media

Find out more about the Peter Tranchell Foundation and Centenary Musical Soirée and Reception

By Stephanie Waldron

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