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 Swirly Music, SMP, and MyScore (J W Pepper).
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” 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. He was also asked to write a special opening piece for a performance in Berlin Cathedral, given by the John Kennedy International School Choir and Orchestra and the choir of the American Church in Berlin.