The website for Dr Martin Shaw OBE FRCM (1875 –1958)

" ...cursed be the congregations, choirmasters and organists who do not listen to Martin!"

Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1955



Chelmsford Cathedral, 23rd June 7.00pm

A concert of 20th Century Classics will feature work by Martin Shaw, (who was Diocesan Advisor for Music to the diocese between 1935 and 1940), Hubert Parry and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Book tickets here.

Shaw's songs and choral works to be performed are:

God’s Grandeur: commissioned by Benjamin Britten for the 1st Aldburgh Festival

With a voice of singing: the classic Shaw anthem, written in 1922 and dedicated to Adeline Vaughan Williams

Weep you no more sad fountains: written in 1904, it is one of Shaw's earliest songs, written for female or boys voices, it was dedicated to his life-long friend, the designer and modernist Edward Gordon Craig

O Christ who holds the open gate: an anthem written in 1934, one of Shaw's many collaborations with the then Poet Laureate, John Masefield. It is dedicated to Sydney Nicholson and the Royal School of Church Music, of which he was Founder

Hills of the North rejoice!: a popular Advent carol, it is sung to the tune Little Cornard, named after the Suffolk village where Shaw spent his honeymoon

Sing we merrily unto God our strength: a motet for double choir. Described as a choral fanfare for festival use, the words come from Psalm 81. Written in 1932, it is dedicated to Ernest Bullock, at the time organist at Westminster Abbey


British Library Symposium

The Martin Shaw Society in association with Albion Music Ltd is preparing a symposium on Martin Shaw and his works to be held on Monday September 17th 2018, 1- 5.30pm in the Knowledge Centre of the British Library. It will be chaired by Professor Dr John Harper, former Director General of the RSCM. The panel of contributing academics are: Professor Stephen Banfield, Professor Jeremy Dibble, Dr Jonathan Clinch, Dr Paul Rodmell, Professor George Odam, and Michael Meredith of Eton College Archives. The free event will begin with a lunchtime recital of Shaw's songs by Philip Smith (baritone) and Iain Farrington (piano).

The launch of The Greater Light, a Martin Shaw Compendium will also take place. Edited by Stephen Connock and Isobel Montgomery Campbell with an introduction by Dr John Harper, the compendium includes, among other things, a full catalogue of works (over 500 titles), a selection of 100 letters to and from Martin Shaw, (including correspondence with TS Eliot, Benjamin Britten and Ralph Vaughan Williams), Shaw's autobiographical reminiscences Up to Now (1929) and Princples of English Church Music Composition.


Newly re-Orchestrated

The following three works have been re-orchestrated, and are now available on request:

Sursum Corda, available from Music Sales, was composed in 1933 with words written specially by Laurence Binyon. (15 mins)

Easter, a play for singers: is also available through Music Sales. Inspired by the medieval mystery plays, the play was written in 1929 with words by John Masefield. Set outside Christ's tomb in the early hours of Easter morning it has solo parts for twelve singers ,together with a double choir of angels. (30 mins)

The Changing Year is now available from Stainer and Bell. A secular cantata, written for the Festival of Britain in 1951, it was first performed at Colchester. As with Shaw's oratorio The Redeemer, the words are chosen from the canon of English verse by Shaw's wife, Joan Cobbold. (45 mins).


Recording made in 1975 by the Broadheath Singers with the Winsor Sinfonia, conducted by Robert Tucker. Full recording available on request.