Paul Ayres was born in London, studied music at Oxford University, and now works freelance as a composer & arranger, choral conductor & musical director, and organist & accompanist.
His works have been awarded prizes in composition competitions in Canada, Croatia, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. Paul is a prolific arranger, and has also “re-composed” classical works by Handel, Fauré and Purcell (Messyah, 4A Wreck and Purcell’s Funeral Sentence). Commissions for 2016 include: The Singers (Association of Music in International Schools, Luxembourg), O laud the Lord (Savannah River Winds, Georgia), an arrangement of It’s Raining Men (Les Sirènes, Glasgow), The quality of mercy (Badger State Girl Choir, Wisconsin), Prelude on Du laesst den Tag (Carus Music Publishers, Germany), Storm and Tide (St Peter-ad-Vincula, Roydon) and an arrangement of None of the Above (London Humanist Choir).
As an organist, Paul has particularly enjoyed creating classical transcriptions, arrangements and adaptations of popular titles (Whiter Shade of Pale, Mission Impossible, Over the Rainbow, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Variations on a theme of Paganini, Beatles tunes and Happy Hardcore tracks), many of which will feature on a new CD to be released by Priory Records in autumn 2016.
Paul is the regular conductor of City Chorus and the choirs at London College of Music (University of West London), accompanist of Concordia Voices, and associate accompanist of Crouch End Festival Chorus. He has led many music education workshops for children, and played piano for improvised comedy shows and musical theatre. Please visit www.paulayres.co.uk to find out more.
1: (Easy) No divisi in voice parts, accompaniment doubles or supports vocal parts, diatonic, symmetrical phrases, textures mostly homophonic, simple rhythms, stepwise voice leading (conjunct), moderate ranges, no extended techniques, and limited sustained singing.
2: (Medium Easy) Limited divisi, voices somewhat independent from accompaniment, some chromatics, phrases may be longer or more fragmented, mostly homophonic, moderate rhythmic complexity, some difficult intervals (disjunct motion), moderate ranges, extended techniques are simple, limited sustained singing.
3. (Medium) Limited divisi, unaccompanied, or with independent accompaniment (voice parts not doubled), many chromatics, phrases of varying lengths, more contrapuntal textures, moderately complex rhythms, some difficult intervals (disjunct motion), moderately difficult/challenging ranges, extended techniques are potentially challenging, and some sustained singing.
4. (Medium Difficult) Abundant divisi, unaccompanied, or accompanying instruments are fully independent from voice parts, many chromatics and/or key changes, long and/or broken phrases, potentially little homophony, complex rhythms, many difficult intervals (disjunct motion), difficult/challenging ranges, potentially difficult extended techniques, and a demand for sustained singing.
5. (Difficult) Adundant divis, unaccompanied, or accompanying instruments are fully independent from voice parts, many chromatics and/or key changes, long and/or broken phrases, potentially little homophony, complex rhythms, extreme ranges, use of challenging or unusual extended vocal techniques, abundant sustained singing.