Compositions‎ > ‎Upper voices‎ > ‎

Seven Planets and a Cosmic Rock

a setting of original texts by Derek Roberts for unison choir (optional divisi) with piano accompaniment.  It begins nearest the sun and travels outwards, calling at Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and, finally, Pluto - recently downgraded to a cosmic rock.

Commissioned by the National Youth Choir of Scotland National Boys' Choir and first performed by them in April 2008.  Vocal scores are available from the National Youth Choir of Scotland Shop, Amazon (UK) and Amazon (USA).  Choral scores are available on request from NYCoS.

Subsequently performed in 2009 by children's choirs with the London Symphony Orchestra in the Barbican and Northern Sinfonia in the Sage in an orchestration by Paul Campbell who has also created a flexiband orchestration for smaller ensembles.

This piece is so refreshingly different from other composers' treatment of the subject that I found myself fully absorbed by Cunningham's use of vocal line and harmonic dexterity  ...  a truly fine piece of music  ...  both musically accessible and vocally challenging.
Music Teacher, November 2008.

Here is a complete recording and extracts of the score:

Mercury listen view an extract
Venus listen view an extract
Mars listen view an extract
Jupiter listen view an extract
Saturn's Rings listen view an extract
The Uranoid listen view an extract
Neptune listen view an extract
Pluto, the Cosmic Rock listen view an extract

The performance is by the NYCoS National Boys' Choir conducted by Christopher Bell, accompanied by Stephen Doughty.