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
19 May 2019

 

  • Responses and Preces: Radcliffe
  • Psalm 99 (Whitlock)
  • Berkeley (Chichester Service)
  • Finnissy: Dum transisset Sabbatum
  • Hymns 394, 117
  • Preacher: The Dean
  • Voluntary: J. S. Bach  Fugue in E minor (BWV 548ii)

Latest news

The Choir's new album - Locus Iste - reached Number 6 in the Official Specialist Classical Chart Top 30. 

The album - celebrating the 150th anniversary of St John's College Chapel - was the chart's highest new entry, sharing the Top 10 list with artists such as Einaudi and Lang Lang. 

We would like to thank all of you who have bought, downloaded or streamed Locus Iste so far and for supporting the Choir's valuable work.

Choral singing comes no better

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer