After many years in education, Alan Simmons has spent the last 15 as a full time composer and publisher, specialising in choral music for adults and children. His works have been performed in some of the country’s most prestigious venues, including performances at The Proms, broadcast by the BBC.
In 2002 his cantata Farewell, Admirable Queen was performed for HM The Queen in Symphony Hall, Birmingham, by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Youth Choir and Children’s Chorus. It was one of the main concerts for HM during Jubilee Year.
Alan has collaborated several times with internationally renowned opera singer Sir Thomas Allen, who is also very keen to promote choral singing for children. The latest collaboration was in a production of Alan’s stage musical, The King with Cold Feet, when Sir Thomas played The King, surrounded by dozens of children!
Bringing together children and adults in music, especially singing, has been a permanent goal in Alan’s work. His two large-scale choral works, The Beauchamp Gloria and The Great Fire of London, are good examples, because the children play a key role in each piece. They are on equal terms with the adult singers, not a small afterthought.
Alan has devoted a great deal of time and effort to encouraging boys to sing. For far too long singing for boys has lacked ‘street cred’. Starting in 1984 with his football piece, ‘Saturday Afternoon’, he’s done a great deal of work to banish that notion.
Alan now spends most of his time living in South West France where he has recently formed a choir consisting mainly of absolute beginners, drawn from 7 nationalities and now over 50 strong.
His publishing company still thrives in his absence, publishing hundreds of his songs. It can be contacted via the website www.alansimmonsmusic.com.
Val Whitlock & Shirley Court Published by Boosey & Hawkes Ltd
Each book in the Singing Sherlock series contains a wide variety of songs and games specially written for young voices, which will teach music concepts and encourage good vocal skills. There are fact files and case notes for each song, showing how it can be used in the classroom or with choirs. Book 1 and Book 3 are intended for KS1; Book 2 and Book 4 are designed for KS2. However, there is material in every book that can be used with different age groups.
For more information, or to buy Singing Sherlock 2, click here
Audio and copyright information
Audio Information The audio tracks were recorded specially for the Sing Up programme by Farnham Youth Choir and the Academy of Contemporary Music, mixed and mastered by Nic Rowley at Vandborg studios and differ from those on the original CDs in Singing Sherlock, from which this song comes.
Copyright information All copyright music is used by permission. The songwriters and/or copyright holders have been remunerated under due licensing arrangements. Find out more about copyright by visiting UK Music and Copyright & Schools.