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Sample Pagesfor mixed voices (SATB with divisi) a cappella
Text: Latin
Duration: c3'30"
Difficulty: 4/5

Composer’s note
O sacrum convivium was written in 2007 – it is one of my earliest choral compositions. Olivier Messiaen’s setting had a profound impact on me as a young chorister. As John Cooper, the then Choirmaster of St Mary-le-Tower Church, read through and discussed the translation of this Latin text, I was starting to connect Messiaen’s intoxicating, yet somehow purifying, musical choices with the colour and smell of communion wine (I had not been confirmed at this stage). Having become interested in jazz piano, I decided to compose my own setting of this transcendent text, blending holy minimalism, rich jazz-infused harmonies and impressionism.

O sacrum convivium,
in quo Christus sumitur:
recolitur memoria passionis eius:
mens impletur gratia:
et futuræ gloriæ nobis pignus datur,

O sacred banquet,
in which Christ is received:
the memory of His Passion is recalled:
the mind is filled with grace:
and a pledge of future glory is given to us,

Ben Ponniah
Ben Ponniah is a British composer. His music has been performed at cathedrals and chapels around the world, as well as being broadcast on radio, including by the BBC Singers on BBC Radio 3. It also features on a number of CDs including Celestial Dawn (Signum Classics) by The Pembroke College Girls’ Choir and Marvellous Light (Regent Records) by The Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge. Ben was awarded the Derek Ogston Postgraduate Music Scholarship by the University of Aberdeen in support of his PhD in Composition. His love of sacred music stems from his choral background, which started at St Mary-le-Tower Church in Ipswich. His first degrees were in Economics, after which he explored jazz piano, which rekindled his love for composition.

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