Welcome, originally a short four-minute work for boy’s voices, organ, brass and percussion, was commissioned specially for the Royal Opening of the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, in 1996, in the presence of HM The Queen.
The text is rather simple – it consists of the word ‘Welcome’ repeated many times in a variety of languages, from various European, to Hebrew and Arabic – a fitting way of welcoming a new audience to a new hall, and to signal a bright future for an international concert venue in a great city.
Although the work opens serenely, with flowing upward arpeggios on the organ, it soon becomes more joyful and exuberant, with pounding accented rhythms accompanying the swaying voices. The opening music eventually returns, but swiftly moves to a joyful and celebratory climax.
In 2006 the composer made a new version for upper voices and piano, specially for the Kinder Children’s Choir of the High Peak and their Director Joyce Ellis, who performed it at a concert in the Buxton Opera House in 2006
This version was published by Novello in 2015.