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Janet Jennings, composer

Like so many of you, I have spent much of my life singing and working with choirs in schools, churches, and in the community. Much as I love singing, my favourite musical activity now is writing music. It is deeply pleasurable working with musical ideas and I particularly enjoy setting text to music. Many of my recent projects have featured texts by New Zealand writers whose works I have long admired (such as Witi Ihimaera, Brian Turner, Mike Subritzky, Ursula Bethell). I try to provide music that enables all performers to use their skills to create the world of the text for themselves and for their listeners. The music exists to communicate the words.

There are links here to a variety of choral scores that you may find useful. If you want a major choral work featuring NZ poetry for times of remembrance (particularly around ANZAC day) I can recommend ANZACS – A Generation Lost in Legend. The scores are available through SOUNZ and there is a great audio-visual recording of The Graduate Choir NZ to help your troops learn the music:



Some of my music for school and church choirs is available through Firehead Editions (an international publishing group). If you want a charming mass setting for days when the organist is away I can recommend the Echo Mass. Good pieces for SSA choirs include Ring Out Wild Bells (which appears quite often on Praise Be) and Three Miniatures for Treble Voices.


All the best with your singing!

Janet Jennings