Sir James MacMillan, CBE
Sir James MacMillan is the pre-eminent Scottish composer of his generation. He first attracted attention with the acclaimed BBC Proms premiere of The Confession of Isobel Gowdie (1990). His percussion concerto Veni, Veni Emmanuel (1992) has received close to 500 performances worldwide by orchestras including London Symphony Orchestra, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics and Cleveland Orchestra. Other major works include the cantata Seven Last Words from the Cross (1993), Quickening (1998) for soloists, children’s choir, mixed choir and orchestra, the operas Inès de Castro (2001) and The Sacrifice (2005-06), and St John Passion (2007).
He was featured composer at Edinburgh Festival (1993), Southbank Centre (1997), BBC’s Barbican Composer Weekend (2005) and Grafenegg Festival (2012). His interpreters include soloists Evelyn Glennie, Colin Currie, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Vadim Repin, conductors Leonard Slatkin, Sir Andrew Davis, Marin Alsop and Donald Runnicles, and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. His recordings can be found on BMG/RCA Red Seal, BIS, Chandos, Naxos, Hyperion, Coro, Linn and Challenge Classics.
Recent highlights include premieres of MacMillan’s Woman of the Apocalypse, St Luke Passion, Little Mass and Percussion Concerto No.2. Future plans include a Requiem and a Stabat Mater, alongside works for leading international orchestras.
Reprinted by kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes.
Francis Henry Newbery
Francis (Fra) Henry Newbery was an art educationist and painter, best known as the highly successful headmaster of The Glasgow School of Art from 1885 to 1917.
Newbery was born in Membury, Devon and was educated in Bridport, Dorset; he qualified as a teacher, and trained as an art master at Bridport School of Art. From 1875 to 1881 he taught in London, at the same time taking classes at the National Art Training School at South Kensington. In 1885, at the age of 30, he was appointed headmaster of The Glasgow School of Art.
Newbery’s leadership was enlightened and soon established the School as one of the leading institutions in Britain, with an international reputation. His innovations included the establishment of technical art studios in 1893; the appointment of artists as teachers, rather than the certified art masters approved by the Department of Science and Art; the appointment of talented women to the staff; the tireless promotion of the School, its students and work through exhibitions, lectures and publications; the nurturing of individual talent within the student body; and the campaign for a new building for the School, initiated in 1894.
Newbery was involved in the development of the brief for the new Glasgow School of Art building and would have worked closely with Mackintosh during the two phases of building. In 1902 he was appointed selector for the Scottish Section of the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Art, Turin, for which he selected Mackintosh as architect. He was subsequently awarded the title ‘Cavaliere Ufficiale dell’ Ordine della Corona d’Italia’.
Newbery painted throughout his life, producing portraits of family and friends, including his two daughters, Elsie and Mary. From 1909 to 1914 he painted a group portrait of the Governors of the School of Art, Mackintosh and himself. Newbery left the School in 1917.
Reproduced and edited from Mackintosh Architecture.
The Glasgow School of Art Choir
The Glasgow School of Art Choir was formed in January 2012 by Jamie Sansbury, at that time a third year architecture student, to provide somewhere for people at The Glasgow School of Art to come together and perform. The principle aim of the choir was to provide an audition-free ensemble that performs to a standard far above that of an average amateur group: this remains the primary objective of the ensemble to the present day.
At the choir’s first public performance there were 16 members but membership has risen steadily since its formation and we now have 90 members who come from a variety of GSA backgrounds, from all three schools, as well as teaching and support staff, and alumni; in addition to people not affiliated with the institution.
In addition to performances twice a year as part of The Glasgow School of Art Concerts Series, the choir has performed at numerous other GSA events – including Sauchieholiday, Degree Show 2012 and numerous Burns Suppers – as well as the opening and closing events of the ELIA 2014 Conference as part of a joint choir alongside students from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
In April 2014 the choir performed the world premiere of “Making It New” at the official opening of the Reid Building at the GSA. The piece was commissioned by the choir especially for the event, with funding from Creative Scotland and The Glasgow School of Art. The piece was composed by Ken Johnston with lyrics by the then Scots Makar, Liz Lochhead.
The choir has also recorded the backing-vocals for Glasgow-based, singer-songwriter, Raymond Meade’s album, ‘Whydolise?’, performing on the final track, ‘Shine a Light on Me’. The album was released in 2015.
In 2015 the choir was invited to perform at the EAIE Conference ‘Scottish Reception’ at The Old Fruitmarket.