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.

Share this

Latest webcast

Recorded on
15 March 2019

 

  • Responses and Preces: Tomkins
  • Psalm 139 vv. 1-18, 23-24
  • Howells (Westminster Service)
  • Howells: Take him, earth, for cherishing
  • Hymn 94

Latest news

The Choir processing in to St John’s College Chapel

The Ash Wednesday service in the Chapel of St John's was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 on 6 March 2019.

The service marks the start of Lent, and featured Byrd's 'Ne irascaris, Domine' as the anthem, with Weelke's Short Service. The Choir also performed Allegri's 'Miserere', without which no service on Ash Wednesday could be complete.

The broadcast is available to listen to online until early April.

Listen to the broadcast >
 

Choral singing comes no better

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer