John Sanders working with the Choristers of Gloucester Cathedral
The Sanders Society
The main aims of The Sanders Society are:
- Promotion of the music of Dr. John Sanders
- Supporting choral music for the liturgy
- Encouraging young composers to maintain the cathedral choral tradition
"As Organist and Master of the Choristers at Gloucester Cathedral and Conductor of
the Three Choirs Festival for over a quarter of a century, John Sanders enriched
the world of music far beyond the normal confines of the provincial organ loft.
Organist, conductor, composer, teacher, adjudicator and, not least, an assiduous
administrator, this multi-faceted musician influenced and nurtured the lives of
many generations of aspiring musicians."
Kenneth Shenton (The Independent - 31 December 2003)
John Sanders: composer
His retirement from the Cathedral allowed him time to compose, something he had wished
to do earlier but for which he had previously found little time. He spent many hours
in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside walking his dogs, and gaining inspiration
for his compositions. He wrote four cantatas for chorus, soloists and orchestra,
three song cycles, the Requiem for unaccompanied choir, a Festival Te Deum, three settings
of the Evening Canticles, numerous motets and anthems, including his sublime setting
of the internationally-performed Reproaches, as well as some organ music. Much of
his music was intended for performance within a liturgical context, and he had a
particular flair for writing for the voice.
John championed the cause of contemporary music by commissioning new works for performance
at the Three Choirs Festival and was also keen to ensure further performances too.
This underpins the Society’s aim to promote new compositions for the liturgy.
Having spent all of his working life in the service of church music, John was committed
to the musical education of boys and girls alike, but particularly to the continuation
of the traditional cathedral choir.
It is with this unique record of service in mind that it has been decided to form
a Sanders Society — an organisation devoted to supporting and promoting all that
John stood for and to which he gave unstinting service.
You can become a member of The Sanders Society using the application form on this website.