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Andrew Carter

Choir Master and Composer

Andrew Carter was born at Wigston Magna, Leicestershire, in 1939. He studied music at Leeds University before settling in York, where he joined the York Minster Choir as a bass. In 1965 he founded the Chapter House Choir at York Minster Cathedral, a mixed voice ensemble, which continued under his direction for seventeen years and achieved national renown. He wrote much of his early published arrangements for this choir.

Andrew was Director of Music at the Bar Convent Grammar School, where he achieved his first successes as a choir trainer. (The Bar Convent School closed in 1985 becoming All Saints Roman Catholic School, just down the road, but the original building is still in use as conference rooms etc.)

Andrew spent a year in New Zealand in 1984, conducting and adjudicating, and when he returned he returned to England he focused on composition. Since that time he has had a long association with the Oxford University Press and largely through this medium he has established an international reputation as a writer of choral music, both miniatures and larger scale works for chorus and orchestra. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the Antipodes as a choral director.

His Music

Andrew Carter takes much of his inspiration from religious themes, using text from psalms, common prayers and canticles. He draws on his experience as choir master, and his work training choristers at school, to write music especially suited to amateur choirs and smaller groups of musicians. A large collection of anthems and Christmas carols, and a substantial number of large-scale choral works have earned him a reputation as one of Britain's most respected contemporary choral composers.

He has written several works which include children's choirs or smaller groups of children singing in unison. In particular his very popular 'Benedicite' uses a children's choir and for this work he has written three additional movements which are especially suitable for the children's choir: These are published separately under the title 'Bless the Lord'. The words for 'Benedicite' are from the Book of Common Prayer.

In 2009 Banks Music Publications published twelve of his carols for mixed voice, which was particularly appropriate as it coincided with a double anniversary, his ruby wedding and his seventieth birthday. Several of his Christmas carols have been included in the famous broadcast from King’s College Chapel, Cambridge.

He has written three major works for works for organ, Organ Concerto (2005), Toccata on Veni Emmanuel and Passacaglia (2007).

An honour of which Andrew is particularly proud is the invitation to write the Missa Sancti Pauli for the 1997 tercentenary celebrations of Wren's St Paul's Cathedral.

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