Bob has been honoured as a Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music. The FRSCM is an award for achievements in church music which have international significance, and in 2017 Bob is one of six recipients, together with Garmon Ashby, Katherine Dienes-Williams, Cecilia McDowall, Patrick Russill, and Jeremy Summerly. The FRSCM will be conferred at a ceremony in the Autumn. The RSCM is a worldwide organisation which offers support and materials for Church musicians, and Bob is thrilled to be recognised by it.
Two CDs featuring Bob’s music are due for release this year. In September Commotio releases its second Chilcott Naxos disc which includes the Nidaros Jazz Mass, Jazz Songs of Innocence, and Ophelia, Caliban, and Miranda, together with The Real of Heart and Thou, my love, art fair. Alex Hawkins and friends provide the unique jazz accompaniments, and Matthew Berry shares the conducting duties with the composer. Also in September the next phase in the collaboration with Washington DC-based choir, Choralis, takes the form of the release of a CD containing the Gloria, Wenceslas, My Perfect Stranger, The Nine Gifts and Jesus, Springing. Gretchen Kuhrmann conducts her choir and DC musicians for the release on British label, Signum.
Bob sang with the King’s Singers for 12 years, and the group is soon to celebrate its half centenary. In February the singers recorded an anniversary disc which includes a brand new commission, We Are, and an arrangement of Shenandoah. Bob was delighted to join them at the sessions, and wishes them well with the anniversary tour. In June he works with them at their US Summer School in De Pauw on a choral music stream. In April 2018 he and they, with Simon Carrington, perform with massed choirs at New York’s Carnegie Hall in a DCINY concert.
Every June Bob alternates between the children’s choir festivals of picfest and Crescent City, and this year will travel to New Orleans where the massed children’s choir will première a new commission.
Early March saw the first performance, in St John’s Smith Square, of A Tree of Song at the British Kodály Academy celebration concert. Bob is proud to have been invited to become a patron for the organisation.