Renowned composer of musicals, choral music and music for television Howard Goodall created a new piece of music A Song of Hope, which was an integral element of the programme for the HMD 2010 National Commemoration.

Howard Goodall has composed some of the best known television themes including ‘Blackadder’, ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ and ‘QI’. His work also includes a large body of choral work including ‘In Memoriam Anne Frank’ and a number of musical theatre productions. In 2007 he was appointed by the UK Government as England’s first ever National Ambassador for Singing, leading a 4-year programme (Sing Up) to improve the provision of group singing for all primary-age children. In May 2009 he was named ‘Composer of the Year’ at the Classical Brit Awards for his ‘Eternal Light: A Requiem’.

Commenting on the performance of A Song of Hope at the HMD 2010 national commemoration Howard said:

Being a composer is about much more than creating attractive pictures in sound, or somehow adding to the canvas of our musical heritage. I believe that it is possible, indeed imperative, to harness the extraordinary power of music to heal and comfort, to allow a place for reflection and understanding, to reconcile and to nurture, and especially to articulate our collective or personal loss.

For someone like me, who grew up in a community at a time in history mercifully protected from oppression, the unbearable suffering of others provokes a kind of stunned bewilderment, and I have witnessed many times how music is a way of giving voice to that emotional confusion. Unique amongst the arts, music has its own internal clock, transcending the ticking seconds, minutes, hours and days of conventional time. It is able – miraculously – to put us in any place at any time, suspending normality. The sound of a young person singing is the sound of inextinguishable hope.

You can join A Song of Hope by performing it in your own school or music group. Faber Music has full score and orchestral parts available for hire, and vocal scores available for sale or hire.  Please contact the Faber Music Hire Library for more information. or 01279 828907/8.