We performed this wonderful work on the 16th May 2009. It was composed by a student at the school where our director, Jean Holt taught until July 2009.
It was first performed by the school chamber choir in 2007, and by popular demand was performed again by Cantabilé.
Toby Nelms graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2013 with First Class Honours, becoming the first person in the RCM's history to graduate with a joint principal degree specialising in composition and jazz piano.
In September 2014 he was delighted to be appointed Director of Jazz at Queen Mary University, London. This role saw him leading the Big Band and other jazz ensembles with some exciting performances in 2015/16.
We hoped to include parts of his requiem and other compositions of his in our Easter concert of 2020, but unfortunately this had to be cancelled like everything else!
My inspiration for writing the Requiem has come from many composers but, in particular, Karl Jenkins. It has taken 18 months to complete and is based on the traditional Latin text combined with English passages from the Bible.
After composing the different sections, I then arranged it for the choir who started rehearsing in September 2006. The orchestration was fully completed in February 2007.
I would like to thank the School Chamber Choir and invited musicians for their generous commitment. I would especially like to thank Jean Holt for the tremendous support and encouragement she has given me, without which this Requiem could not have been performed.
Jean Holt, the Requiem Concert's music director, said:
"For me, this has been a unique event and it has been a real privilege to be involved in such a concert. From first rehearsals, Toby's music has both inspired and amazed all of us and I can only say he has a truly remarkable gift.
I would like to thank the choirs and band for their unstinting efforts and commitment; also the orchestra for their fantastic contribution. I am also very grateful to St Luke's Church for, once again, allowing us to perform here and supporting us in so many different ways.”
‘Requiem’ by Toby Nelms