Harps of Gold, Patrick Larley & Reading Phoenix Choir

patrick larley
“PATRICK LARLEY, composer, conductor, harpsichordist and organist. Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, UK. Patrick’s music is highly imaginative and inventive in its rich harmonic texture, strong melody and dissonance. With an illustrious history steeped in sacred music, Patrick innovatively blends different strands of influence together, firmly grounded in harmony, counterpoint and form, into the most beautiful musical creations, compositions and structures, with great inner depth and remarkable perception. Patrick has a fresh tonal musical style, with a rich, highly creative blend of soft dissonances, soaring melodies and lilting syncopation. His choral works are performed widely in the UK and USA.”

British composer & Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, UK, Patrick Larley has composed a new choral piece for the Reading Phoenix Choir to celebrate its 50th Anniversary.


Patrick Larley has set Miriam Jacob’s poem “Harps of Gold” to music, one of the 193 entries from 28 countries to the Walter Hussey Composition Competition,


which promises to be one of the leading choral composition competitions of our time. “The theme of the inaugural competition is ‘Gold’ to coincide with the choir’s upcoming 50th season. Reading Phoenix Choir will perform the world premiere of the winning entry at their 50th year Annual Concert on 9th March 2019 at Reading Concert Hall. The competition is named in honour of Walter Hussey, Dean of Chichester Cathedral from 1955 to 1977, who commissioned many choral works throughout his lifetime. It was at Chichester that choir member Howard Jenner, and his brother and competition judge Anthony Jenner, were choristers under the guidance of Hussey. Inspired by the commitment of Walter Hussey to support the work of composers, musicians and artists, financially as well as intellectually, the idea for a composition competition evolved.”



The sound of music
Fills the air,
As gentle winds
Strum softly
On the strings
Of harps of gold.
Words golden in tone
Can be heard
Sounding clear
As the music swells
And crashes around,
Sweeping on and on,
In a wealth of song,
Reverberating awesomely
Through the hall
In a crescendo of happiness.
It is eternal sunshine
In the soul.
Come, buoyant heart,
Let us storm
The gates of heaven.

Words: Miriam Jacob

Music: Patrick Larley

Patrick Larley likes the poem’s imagery, and the sense of crescendo throughout, starting with the ‘gentle strumming on the strings by the wind’ rising to the mighty climax at the ‘storming of the gates of Heaven’

Courtesy: Reading Phoenix Choir; Patrick Larley

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