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The OCTAVA CONSORT project is a vocal ensemble in the making. 


The original plan back in early 2021 was:

Due to be launched with the inaugural concert in July 

2021, auditioning professional singers from February 2021,

with the aim of putting on two performances a year.​


Singers with excellent sight-reading ability are sought,

who can perform to the highest standards on just two 

rehearsals, and who share with me a love for Renaissance

and Reformation polyphony. I am confident that our

well-tuned singing of such repertoire will bring healing

and many other benefits, beyond mere entertainment, to

our listeners.

The full octet will only perform in approximately half of

each concert, with smaller groupings, solos and instrumental 

pieces filling out the programs.

The repertoire will initially be mainly 16th and 17 century,

with some 20th/21st century tonal music exploring

choral sonorities.


A pool of 12 singers will be enlisted, with the aim of using a

double SATB configuration at each performance,

one to a part.

Fees will be fixed according to ISM and MU guidelines.

Sponsorship to be sought from The Arts Council,

The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and local businesses.

For further info, and to arrange an audition, contact

(mobile ​ 07950 583459)


After the first year of performances, and based on the

emerging and proven gifts of members of the ensemble,

I am keen to develop the ensemble in the following directions:

  • ownership of performances by the whole group

  • unconducted performances

  • increasing the frequency of performances

  • working with a viol consort and other period instrument ensembles

  • performing in hospitals as part of a music therapy program

  • work in schools with a quartet to foster a love of singing

  • broadening of the repertoire

  • seeking venues further afield in the UK and abroad​

The first three years of concerts are currently being

mapped out, but will hopefully be at these venues:

St.John’s Hyde Park

Missa Octo Vocem ('Missa Octava'): Kyrie - Hassler

Eight Psalm settings from Matthew Parker’s Psalter – Tallis

Libera nos 1 - Sheppard 

Faire is the Heaven - Harris

Missa Octo Vocem: Gloria


Missa Octo Vocem: Sanctus

Loquebantur variis linguis – Tallis

Fantasia in C - Sweelink 

Reges Tharsis – Sheppard

Bring us O Lord – Harris

Missa Octo Vocem: Agnus Dei



St.Mary’s Ealing

Missa Ego flos campi: Kyrie – J G de Padilla

Ecce vicit leo - Philips

Verbum caro factum est– Sheppard

If ye love me – Tallis

O Lord in thee is all my trust – Tallis

At the round earth’s imagin’d corners – Parry 

Missa Ego flos campi: Gloria


Missa Ego flos campi: Sanctus

Libera nos 2 - Sheppard 

Ave verum – Byrd

Verily I say unto you - Tallis

Nunc Dimittis - Esenwald

Missa Ego flos campi: Agnus Dei


HOSPITAL RECITAL 1  (five voices)

at The Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead 


‘MAGNIFICAT’ at Waltham Abbey

with a recital organist

Magnificat Quinti Toni - H Praetorius

Gaudete omnes - H Praetorius

Paean - Howells

Latin Magnificat for Double Choir – Stanford


Sarabande for the morning of Easter - Howells

Let all the world - Leighton

Rhapsody no.4 - Howells

St.Paul’s Magnificat - Howells




St.Augustine’s Kilburn

with a period instrument ensemble

Motet: Jesu meine Freude - Bach

Cantata BWV150 Nach dir Herr verlanget mich - Bach


Orchestral suite no.2 in B minor – Bach

Cantata BWV131 Aus der Tiefen  - Bach


St.John’s Downshire Hill, Hampstead

including viols and an English ('broken') consort

O God the King of Glory - Gibbons

Two Psalm settings from Sacred Hymns 1615 - Robert Tailour

Consort songs:

            Ah silly soul - Byrd

            Ye sacred muses – Byrd

Tröstet mein Volk – Schütz

Das ist je gewisslich wahr – Schütz

'O bone Jesu' (7v concerted motet) - Schütz


Two Psalm settings from Psalmes of David 1599 - Richard Alison

Pavane and Galliard – Jenkins

Consort songs:

             O Lord how vain - Byrd

             What unacquainted cheerful voice – Byrd

Fantasia a 5 (In Nomine) - Gibbons

See, see the Word is incarnate – Gibbons

HOSPITAL RECITAL 2  (five voices)

at St.Bartholmew's Hospital, Smithfield

St.Mary Redcliffe, Bristol

Missa Octo Vocem ('Missa Octava'): Kyrie - Hans Leo Hassler

Eight Psalm settings from Matthew Parker’ Psalter – Tallis

Libera nos 1 - Sheppard 

Faire is the Heaven - Harris

Missa Octo Vocem: Gloria


Missa Octo Vocem: Sanctus

Loquebantur variis linguis – Tallis

Livre d’Orgue – Pierre Du Mage (organist: Chris Thomas)

Reges Tharsis – Sheppard

Bring us O Lord – Harris

Missa Octo Vocem: Agnus Dei

Interval drinks will be sold at all concerts,

and entry will be by tickets sold on the door

and by internet.


In its fourth year (or ealier if funding will allow), I would like to record a selection from the Tailour and Alison Psalm settings (see under 'More/Articles' and 'The Robert Tailour Project' in this website) for a variety of the specified ensembles, including voice/ lyra viol and broken consort, as well as 5 part vocal ensemble. This will be tied to the publication of a modern performing edition of Tailour's Sacred Hymns 1615, which I transcribed for my MMus thesis.




Projects with St.Alphege Solihull Senior Choir, Mens Choir, Youth Choir and Ladies Choir have seen performances originally planned for Octava Consort: Hassler Missa Octava (coming up again on Easter Day), H Praetorius Magnificat Quinti Toni, Allegri Miserere, Bach Der Geist hilft, Shephard Reges Tharsis, Howells Gloucester Evening Canticles, Vaughan Williams G minor Mass. I have not lost sight of my goal to build an ensemble of pro/am singers capable of ambitious repertoire. The average age just might be younger!


With successive plans thwarted, most recently twice by the pandemic, a re-think is in order. My job move to the West Midlands will provide the possibility of an inaugural concert in the Birmingham area, and next year's Keynsham Festival in July will also be a possible platform.




Inaugural concert postponed due to coronavirus; new date being fixed to coincide with the Keynsham Music Festival:  02.07.2021


Finally we have an inaugural event: an 'Early Music Concert' on Saturday July 3rd this year - celebrating the last years of Keynsham Abbey (between Bath and Bristol, dissolved in 1538). The concert will take place at the church of St.John the Baptist, Keynsham - also celebrating its 750th year of Christian witness in the area - and also where I hold the post of Musical Director.  Funding is being sought initially from a local source in Bristol: the Paragon Music Trust.

Auditioning will resume in May.

30.01 2020

The local CofE school is taking part in te 900th anniversary celebrations of the town of Waltham Abbey, so cannot commit to my project.


The location of the inaugural concert may be changing to Waltham Abbey , Essex  (the Abbey Church, depicted below, and a local CofE junior school).


A new bid is in preparation for just one concert. This will effectively be the 'launch' event for the ensemble, and a revised program is being devised. Discussions with St.Augustine's Kilburn (church and junior school - see fourth venue below) and Chelys viol consort for such an event in May/June 2020, are in progress. The project will include a workshop in St.Augustine's junior school with viols and the school choir, and an early evening concert​  with motets, madrigals, verse anthems and consort music for five viols - broadly based on Elizabethan music.

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Two views of St.Mary Redcliffe, Bristol: "the fairest, goodliest, and most famous parish church in England" (Queen Elizabeth I)
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O Maria salvatoris 8v - John Browne, from the Eton Choirbook

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