Jonathan Willcocks

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Jonathan Willcocks (born 9 January 1953)[1] is an English composer and conductor.

Willcocks was born in Worcester, the son of conductor and composer Sir David Willcocks. He was a chorister at King's College, Cambridge, and an Open Music Scholar at Clifton College. He graduated with an Honours degree in Music from the University of Cambridge in 1974, where he held a choral scholarship at Trinity College. He served as director of music at Portsmouth Grammar School (1975–78) and Bedales School, Petersfield (1978–89).[1]

He is conductor and musical director of Guildford Choral Society and Chichester Singers, and of the professional chamber orchestra Southern Pro Musica. From 1998 to 2008 he was the director of the Junior Academy, Royal Academy of Music in London. In 2016, Willcocks was appointed Festival Conductor of the Leith Hill Musical Festival, the 5th since Ralph Vaughan Williams and succeeding Brian Kay who held the post for 21 years.


Major choral works

  • "Christ Is Born" (for soprano solo, chorus and organ/piano/orchestra). Christmas cantata with optional interpolated biblical readings (45 minutes).
  • "Come Rejoicing" (for chorus and organ/piano with optional brass). Christmas sequence with optional added readings (30 minutes).
  • "Festival of Lessons and Carols" (for soprano solo, chorus and organ). New settings of familiar Christmas carols (40 minutes).
  • "From Darkness to Light: A Requiem of Hope" (for baritone solo, chorus, brass, percussion and organ). The Latin words of the Requiem Mass combined with contemporary poetry by Ryland Baldwin (26 minutes).
  • "Gloria" (for chorus, brass, percussion and organ). Three-movement setting of the Latin Gloria text (18 minutes).
  • "A Great and Glorious Victory" (for tenor solo, chorus, orchestra and organ). Commissioned to mark the bicentenary of the battle of Trafalgar in October 2005, with text drawn from contemporary accounts, hymns, the Book of Common Prayer and the Latin Requiem Mass (33 minutes).
  • "Great Is The Glory" (for tenor solo, chorus and orchestra). Three-movement setting of text from the Psalms (41 minutes).
  • "Lux Perpetua" (for chorus and orchestra). Using texts from a range of sources, the work is concerned with the futility of conflict and the power of unity for mankind (30 minutes).
  • "Magnificat" (for soprano solo, chorus, brass, timpani and orchestra). Five-movement setting of the Latin Magnificat, with two additional 15th century English texts (21 minutes).
  • "My Hope is in Thee" (for choir and strings/organ). Setting of the Latin Ave Verum Corpus, interpolating the words of Pope John XXII (14 minutes).
  • "On This Day, Rejoice" (for chorus, optional soprano solo, organ and optional flute/clarinet). Sequence of English Christmas carols, performed as a continuous musical composition or with suggested readings inserted (about 25 minutes).
  • "Riddle Of The World" (for chorus, semi chorus, tenor solo, baritone solo and orchestra). The theme is the relationship of Man with his Maker, with texts drawn from Shakespeare, Milton, Shirley and the Bible (28 minutes).
  • "Ring ye the bells" (for chorus and orchestra). Text adapted from the 16th century Epithalamion by Edmund Spenser, a celebration of the power of music (12 minutes).
  • "The Risen Christ" (for chorus and organ). Easter sequence of music and readings in the same tradition as Christmas lessons and carols (41 minutes).
  • "Sing Choirs of Heaven" (for chorus and organ/piano). Easter sequence of music with optional readings from biblical and other sources (about 35 minutes).
  • "Sing Praises" (for chorus, brass, percussion and organ). Three-movement setting of texts from the Psalms (18 minutes).
  • "Voices Of Time" (for baritone solo, chorus and orchestra). Six-movement work with "voices" from the Bible, medieval Anglo-Saxon, Spenser, Blake and Byron (23 minutes).
  • "Worcester Mass" (for chorus and organ). Setting of the Missa Brevis for use either within the church service or as a concert performance (25 minutes).
  • "In Praise of Singing" (for soprano and baritone solo, chorus and orchestra). Three movement setting of texts on the subject of singing by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Walt Whitman, and the Psalms. (21 minutes)

Works for children’s choirs

  • "Across the Years" (for two-part children's chorus accompanied by string quintet, piano duet and percussion or piano duet/solo). Seven contrasting movements drawing on traditional songs and melodies, with the theme of music across the generations (30 minutes).
  • "Good for you!" (for two/three-part children's chorus accompanied by piano duet/solo). Six songs for upper-voice choir highlighting healthy living that can also be sung as unison songs (15 minutes).
  • "Images Of Youth" (for two/three-part children's chorus and orchestra or piano duet and percussion). Eight movements (seven choral, one instrumental movement celebrating the innocence and vitality of the child through texts by Shakespeare, Kingsley, Gay, Blake, MacNeice and Douglas (30 minutes).
  • "The Lord's Prayer" (for unison voices, with divisions, and choir or organ). Setting of the traditional text of the Lord's Prayer (3 minutes).
  • "Mayhem! The misfortune of Miss Maisy Murgatroyd" (for two-part children's chorus, mezzo-soprano solo and piano, or strings, percussion and piano). A power struggle between teacher and class, with a tragic ending (about 18 minutes).
  • "Musical Pie" (for two-part children's chorus, with solos, and piano or brass, strings, percussion and piano. Five contrasting light-hearted movements using familiar folk melodies as well as original music and words (about 15 minutes).
  • "The Pied Piper Of Hamelin" (for two-part children's chorus, tenor/soprano solo, narrator and piano with optional brass and percussion. Robert Browning's tale set for concert performance, with possibilities for dramatic representation (20 minutes).
  • "Snow White" (for two-part children's chorus, mezzo-soprano solo, narrator and piano, or string quintet, percussion and piano). Adapted from the classic Grimms' fairy tale (30 minutes).
  • "Te Deum (for two-part children's chorus and piano/organ). Setting in English of the Te Deum (8 minutes).

Shorter choral works – sacred

  • "A Spotless Rose" (for chorus and organ/piano).
  • "Advent Alleluia" (for chorus and organ/piano).
  • "Blessing" (for chorus and organ/piano).
  • "Can You Count The Stars" (for chorus and organ/piano).
  • "Christmas Pudding" (for unaccompanied chorus).
  • "A Christmas carol medley" (for chorus and organ/piano) (4 minutes).
  • "Draw Near" (for chorus and organ/piano).
  • "Gift Of Life" (for chorus and organ/piano).
  • "God Be In My Head" (for chorus and organ/piano).
  • "Hold us now" (for unaccompanied chorus). A motet setting words by the poet Patricia Orr, for church services or concert use.
  • "If You Love Me" (for chorus and piano).
  • "Infant Holy" (for chorus and organ/piano).
  • "In excelsis" (for chorus and organ/piano with optional brass quintet).
  • "In Paradisum" (for two-part soprano chorus and organ/piano).
  • "In the beginning" (for soprano solo, chorus and orchestra). Commissioned to celebrate the millennium in 2000 (30 minutes).
  • "Lacrymosa" (for unaccompanied chorus).
  • "Let your Alleluias Rise!" (for chorus and organ/piano, with optional brass and timpani).
  • "Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace" (for chorus and organ/piano, or for soprano/alto chorus and organ/piano) (4 minutes).
  • "The Lord is my shepherd" (for chorus and orchestra).
  • "O Holy Jesus" (for chorus and organ/piano).
  • "On Christmas Night" (for chorus and organ/piano).
  • "Panis Angelicus" (for chorus and organ/piano).
  • "Regina Caeli" (for chorus and organ/piano with optional brass and timpani).
  • "The Salisbury Motets" (for unaccompanied chorus and organ/piano). Three motets to settings of biblical texts (“A Sure Foundation”, “Rejoice and be glad” and “Into his marvellous light”).
  • "Sing together, the Lord is risen" (for chorus and organ/piano).
  • "Sing We Now" (for chorus and organ/piano).
  • "The Holly And The Ivy" (for chorus and organ/piano with optional brass and percussion).
  • "We wish you a Merry Christmas" (for chorus and organ/piano).

Shorter choral works – secular

  • "Musical Risotto" (for SATB/SSAA chorus, tenor/soprano solo, piano and hand-drums) (6 minutes)
  • "Sinner Man" (for unaccompanied SSAA/SSA chorus) (4 minutes).
  • "Ten Folk Songs" (for unaccompanied SSAA/SSA chorus)
  • "The Water Is Wide (for SATB chorus and piano) (3 minutes).
  • "Three Sea Shanties" (for unaccompanied SATB chorus) (13 minutes).

Instrumental works

  • "Brass Quintet" (for 2 trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba) (12 minutes).
  • "Australia" (concert overture for orchestra) (15 minutes).
  • "Guildford Variations" (for orchestra) (15 minutes).
  • "Jack and the Beanstalk" (for narrator and orchestra) (17 minutes).
  • "Meet the Orchestra" (for narrator and orchestra (3 minutes). Brief introduction to the instruments of the symphony orchestra.
  • "Sweet Music's Power" (for soprano, flute, cello and harp). Settings of Shakespeare texts (18 minutes).
  • "The Theatre Ghost" (for narrator and orchestra) (17 minutes).

Unclassified (unknown length and instrumentation)

  • "OU!" (for chorus).
  • "Seven Willows" (for chorus).
  • "Simpson" (for chorus).


  1. ^ a b Maggie Humphreys, Robert Evans (1997), Dictionary of Composers for the Church in Great Britain and Ireland, A&C Black, p. 361, ISBN 0720123305CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)

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