The Herbert Howells Society

Herbert Howells Trust

Herbert Howells – one of the great 20th Century English choral composers – was for a time Acting Organist of St John's College, Cambridge during the Second World War and was closely associated with the College for many decades.

His experience at the College  provided inspiration for a great deal of the church music he wrote after his time here: he saw a need and desire for new music in the Anglican liturgy of a high quality which would be sought after and performed. Indeed, he later recalled that he was challenged during this time by Eric Milner-White – the Dean of King's – to write a set of canticles (the result, Collegium Regale, is today one his most famous works). Another of his settings of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis was written for St John's, the Collegium Sancti Johannis Cantabrigiense.

In 1999, Christopher Robinson recorded Howells' music with the Choir as the first of his seminal recordings with Naxos Records. In 2010, the Choir recorded 'St John's Magnificat: Choral Works by Herbert Howells' on the Chandos label; more information on the disc is available here.

Click here to visit the Herbert Howells Society website.

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Latest webcast

Recorded on
10 March 2018

A Meditation on the Passion of Christ (also known as the Lent Meditation Service) is a service of music and readings reflecting on the Passion of Christ, with music by Bruckner, Byrd, Grier, Lotti, Handel, Weelkes, Stainer and Bach.

Featured event

Faire is the Heaven
19 March 2018

As we prepare for our tour to Hong Kong and Singapore, we present a selection from our tour concert programme that includes some of the finest music in the choral repertoire.

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Hong Kong and Singapore

The Choir travels to the Far East for two concerts in Hong Kong and Singapore, with a programme entitled 'Faire is the Heaven'. There will be a pre-tour performance in the College Chapel

Choral singing comes no better

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer