Composer Gordon Thornett

Composer Gordon Thornett

composer Gordon Thornett

Gordon Thornett (b. 1942) read Music at Manchester University, and has had a long career as a teacher and a music therapist in the UK. As a keen choral singer, he has written a number of new settings of Christmas texts, which have been performed by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Chorus, of which he is a long-standing member, and other symphony choruses and smaller choirs in the UK, USA and elsewhere. Some of these have been published by Oxford University Press, Shawnee Press and Norsk Musikforlag, but many others are self published, and available through this website.

He was commissioned by the CBSO to write a Festive Overture, ’The Joy of Christmas’, and this is published by Faber, and has been recorded by the RTE Concert Orchestra, on the Heritage label (HTGCD 299). His ‘Children’s Christmas Suite’ (score and parts obtainable through Swirly Music) has been recorded by the Birmingham Royal Ballet Sinfonia, conducted by Gavin Sutherland, and is available as a download through such sites as Spotify and Apple Music. He has also written a brass fanfare for the inaugural conference of the British Society for Music Therapy in 2014. One recent publication, ‘Lo! in the cold of Winter Deep’, with words by Julie Myers, was named ‘Editor’s Choice’ by J W Pepper.

Choirs in the UK who have performed his music include the CBSO Chorus, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, the Royal Northern Sinfonia Chorus and the London Symphony Chorus. He has formed a close association with the Nidaros Cathedral Boys’ Choir in Trondheim, Norway, and has written a number of settings and arrangements for them. His extended setting of the Gloria, also obtainable through Swirly Music, for soprano soloist, mixed choir, brass, timpani and organ was premiered by in 2014 by the Bel Canto Chorus in Milwaukee, and has subsequently received several performances in the USA.

Choral Music

  • Sweet Chiming Christmas Bells

    Upper voices (SSA) and piano (3' 30" approx.)


  • Jesus, Friend of Little Children

    For either Solo Voice or Choir (SATB) (1' 35" approx.)


  • Cherubic Hymn

    for SATB choir with organ or orchestra (5' 40" approx. (without organ prelude))


  • It's a Beautiful, Wonderful World

    Unison or SATB choir, with piano accompaniment (2' approx.)


  • The Angels' Song

    Women's or Children's Choir (SSA) (4' 40" approx.)


  • Star of Wonder

    Choir (SATB with divisions) + organ, piano or orchestra (5' 20" approx)


  • British Folksongs Medley

    Choir (SATB) and Piano (6' 45" approx.)


  • It's Harvest Time

    For mixed choir (SATB) and piano, with possible addition of children's choir (unison) (3' 15")


  • Christmas is Coming (Secular Version)

    Children's Choir and Piano


  • Christmas is Coming

    Children's Choir and Piano (2' 45")


  • Guiding Star

    Mixed choir, SATB with some divisions (3' approx.)


  • Christmas Fanfare: Rejoice!

    Mixed, Community & Children's Choirs and Orchestra (6' 30" approx.)


  • Beyond Grief

    for Mixed Choir (SATB) with Soprano Soloist (2' 3")


  • Three Flower Songs

    for Women's Choir (SSA) (6' 30" approx. in total)


  • Go Tell It on the…

    For Mixed Choir (SATB), piano, bass and violin (2' 30")


  • Tyger!

    for Mixed Choir (SATB) (2' 45")


  • All Good Gifts

    Choir (SATB) and Piano/Orchestra (6' approx.)


  • Non nobis, Domine ('Not unto…

    for Voices, S(S)A, a cappella (2' 20" approx..)


  • Gloria in D

    for Soprano Solo, Mixed Choir, Organ, Brass and Timpani (10' 15" approx)


  • Majestic Ride — a Choral…

    for Mixed Choir (SATB) and Organ (12' 30" approx.)


  • Christmas Candles

    for SATB Choir (with optional children's part) (4' 50" approx.)


  • Kling no Klokka

    Mixed choir (SATB) and piano/organ (2' 30" approx)


  • Bright was the Star

    Mixed choir (SATB) and piano/organ (4' approx.)


  • The Sleepy Shepherd Boy

    for children's choir and piano or orchestra (4" 35")


  • Hidden Memories

    Women's Choir (SSA) (2' 45")


  • Christmas Time in the Eyes…

    (2' 50")


  • Christmas Time in the Eyes…

    (2' 50")


  • Away in a Manger

    for Mixed Choir (SATB) with Soprano Soloist (2' 40" approx.)


  • Little lamb, who made thee?

    for SATB choir (1' 35")


  • Gather Ye Rosebuds

    Women's Choir (SSA) (2')


  • Chamber Music

    Solo Voice