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David Ray was a Professor of Neurotoxicology at the University of Nottingham Medical School and a member of the Choir of St Peter's Church, Nottingham. He died on Remembrance Sunday 2010 after a long and courageous fight with lung cancer. Following his funeral, the idea emerged of commissioning a piece of choral music in his memory. In a unique and fruitful collaboration between the Medical School and St Peter's, and following discussions led by David's widow, the Reverend Joanna Ray, Rob Edlin-White and Peter Siepmann of St Peter's Choir, and Dr Lopa Leach of the university's School of Biomedical Sciences, we are delighted to announce that the British composer Howard Skempton has now been commissioned to write a piece of choral music in memory of David. Howard Skempton is a well-known composer of both choral and instrumental works. His style is accessible, appealing and effective, often characterized by a concentration on the quality of sound and an economy of compositional means, and with a strong emphasis on melody. BBC Music Magazine has said:
The original organ at St Peter's was probably built by Lincoln in 1812 and lived on the gallery under the tower until 1878, when it was moved to the chamber on the north side of the chancel. By 1952 it had deteriorated badly and Fenton Wragg overhauled it, adding much material from the organ of St Columba's Church, Mansfield Road. Further overhauls and additions were made by Henry Willis in 1964 and Hill, Norman & Beard in 1983, but by the end of the 20th century there were further problems as much of the mechanism was wearing out. The additions over the years had not solved the problem of the organ being enclosed in a chamber with only two small arches to let the sound out. In particular, the pipes of the Pedal division were tucked away at the back of the chamber and could not be heard properly. When the electronics in the console failed in November 2007 it seemed unwise to spend any more money on the instrument.
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All Saints' Church - Raleigh Street, NG7 4DP
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The office is situated on the upper floor of the St Peter's Centre, on the south side of St Peter's Church and adjacent to Marks & Spencer.
0115 948 3658 (+44 115 948 3658 outside the UK)
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