About Ruth McCall
I don’t know about you, but it can be a challenge to find vocal music to suit a particular group of singers. You need new, interesting material at the right level of difficulty. The last thing you want is crying sopranos and the tenor quitting in a huff. (The only reason I don’t tease altos and basses is because we need them. And because basses are not normally paying attention anyway.)
I started writing music mid-way through my 14-year stint singing with the Song Company. We were trying to find 6-part arrangements for small ensembles, as opposed to 4-part choral versions, and there weren’t many people doing it - apart from the King’s Singers. I suddenly realized that I should have a go, so I threw all my energies into a version of Ding Dong Merrily on High. The ideas that were flowing kept me up half the night! It was so exciting and there was so much dinging and donging, that the final result was pretty much unsingable. However, it did give me an idea of the process, and I was able to workshop my pieces with the Song Company over the next few years. The feedback and support I received from the group, and in particular from Musical Director Roland Peelman has meant a lot to me. Even if I sometimes did end up being the crying soprano.
All this is by way of explanation that much of my work is for 6-parts (SSATBarB) and is quite challenging, but there are pieces in fewer parts, as well as a page of music for children or young adults. Feel free to commission a new piece as well! Happy hunting!
Ruth with Echology, Newcastle.
Conducting with the Sydney Children’s Choir