Premiere of Missa Brevis by Penelope Thwaites

Internationally regarded pianist and composer Penelope Thwaites has written a new mass setting, which our choir at St John’s, Canberra, premiered at a concert in honour of the centenary of her late father, the poet Michael Thwaites, on Friday May 29 2015.

The Thwaites family have had a long connection with St John’s, and as a result we have enjoyed singing music by Penelope on several occasions.

Missa Brevis performance

St John’s choir with Penelope Thwaites (piano) conducted by Sheila Thompson

On this occasion, we augmented St John’s choir with some very talented additional singers from other Canberra choirs. After several weeks of practice, the performance of this new Missa Brevis, with Penelope accompanying on a grand piano, went off exceptionally well and drew much applause from a packed church!

It is a terrific piece, wonderfully melodic, and deserves to be heard again in the future – it would work in both in a concert or liturgical setting. I’m looking forward to hearing the recording made by ArtSound FM!

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