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Sample pagesfor mixed choir (SATB div) a cappella
Text: Latin (Marian antiphon)
Duration: c3'00''
Difficulty: 3/5

"The overall effect... is one of radiant beauty. It is a prize-winning motet that would grace the music list of any ecclesiastical choir." – Jeremy Jackman (Choir & Organ, September 2022)

Composer’s note
Ave Regina cælorum was commissioned in 2016 for Hereford Chamber Choir and two wonderful friends, Simon and Kate Harper. It was winner of the ‘Passiontide at Merton Composition Competition’ in 2017, and is a reflective setting of the Marian Antiphon. The solo chant melody is underpinned by a seamless choral texture, with words and syllables eliding into each other. The middle section (‘Gaude Virgo’) provides more movement leading to the climactic point of the piece at ‘gloriosa’. Overall, a feeling of space and reflection prevails.

Ave Regina cælorum,
Ave Domina Angelorum:
Salve radix, salve porta,
Ex qua mundo lux est orta:

Gaude Virgo gloriosa,
Super omnes speciosa.
Vale, o valde decora,
Et pro nobis Christum exora.

Hail, O Queen of Heaven,
Hail, O Lady of Angels:
Hail thou root, hail thou gate,
From whom the light of the world has arisen:

Rejoice, O glorious Virgin,
Beautiful above all others,
Farewell, most beautiful maiden,
And pray for us to Christ.

Kerensa Briggs
Kerensa Briggs is an award-winning composer based in London. Her music has been performed internationally at venues including St Paul’s Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel, and has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and BBC Radio Scotland by ensembles such as The Tallis Scholars and the BBC Singers. It also features on a number of CDs including ‘Advent Carols from King’s College London’ and ‘All things are quite silent’ by the Choir of Pembroke College, Cambridge. Kerensa was winner of the National Centre for Early Music Young Composers Award 2014 and the ‘Passiontide at Merton’ Composition Competition 2017. She was also a finalist in the ‘New Music for St Paul’s Composition Competition’ in 2019. Her love of sacred music emanates from her choral background, singing in the Gloucester Cathedral Youth Choir and later for choirs including Trinity College Cambridge and King’s College London, where she held a Choral Scholarship and undertook an MMus in Composition.

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