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York alumni strike right note at Royal Wedding

Posted on 28 April 2011

Music by two York graduates is to feature in the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster.

Paul Mealor’s latest work, Ubi caritas will be performed at the Royal Wedding by The Choir of Westminster Abbey and The Choir of Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel, St James’s Palace, conducted by James O’Donnell.

The ceremony is going to be, without a doubt, the most emotionally intense and exhilarating hour of my life!

Paul Mealor

Ubi caritas was first performed last October at St Andrew’s University, which is where the Royal couple first met. A further connection is Paul’s birthplace of Anglesey, since that is also where the Royal couple now live.

Duncan Stubbs, who graduated in 1982 and is now principal director of music for RAF Music Services, will be conducting the Central Band of the RAF during the ceremony, as they play the trumpet fanfare he composed on the piano at his home in west London.

Paul Mealor, who graduated in Music from York in 1997 and completed a Doctorate in 2002, said: “I was thrilled to hear that HRH Prince William of Wales had chosen my music for his wedding. How humbling it is for me to know that Prince William and Catherine will celebrate the beginning of their lives together with my music.

“The ceremony is going to be, without a doubt, the most emotionally intense and exhilarating hour of my life!’’

Born in St Asaph, North Wales in 1975 Paul Mealor studied composition privately from an early age with John Pickard, at the University of York with Nicola LeFanu (1994-2002) and in Copenhagen with Hans Abrahamsen (1998-99). Since 2003 he has taught at the University of Aberdeen, where he is currently Reader in Composition, and has held visiting professorships in composition at institutions in Scandinavia and the United States. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and in 2006 signed an exclusive publishing contract with the University of York Music Press Ltd. 

Described in the New York Times as ‘one of the most important composers to have emerged in Welsh choral music since William Mathias… A real and original talent’, Paul Mealor’s music has rapidly entered the repertoire of choirs and singers around the world. His music has been described as having ‘serene beauty, fastidious craftsmanship and architectural assuredness… Music of deep spiritual searching that always asks questions, offers answers and fills the listener with hope…’ His sacred motets, songs and cycles have been performed, broadcast and recorded by artists in the UK, USA and much further afield.

Wing Commander Stubbs will conduct his composition Valiant and Brave as Prince William and Kate Middleton return from signing the wedding register.

"Most of it was written in my music room at home," said Wing Cdr Stubbs. "Once I got the ideas worked out, it took me three to four hours to sketch the piece out. The whole process took three to four weeks."

The piece takes its name from the motto of 22 Squadron, to which William, an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot, belongs.

Notes to editors:

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153

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