Home 9 Composers 9 DAVID MACHELL

Dr, David Machell (1949-2014), was a Choral Scholar at St. Catharine’s College Cambridge, and worked as composer and conductor in the choral field ever since. The anthem Hallelujah, Your Kingdom Come (Oxford) was a winner at the BBC Songs of Praise competition in 1988, and over the next years a series of cantatas were commissioned by the Nottingham Choral Trust Youth Choir, notable Imaginary Menagerie to the poems of Roger McGough. Shortly afterwards, the Easter song A Tree there Grew in Galilee was published by Stainer and Bell. His Gloria was performed at Westminster Abbey by the Cavendish Singers. Mass: Mother and Child was premiered at Lincoln in 2006, followed closely by Famous Lincolnshire in Lincoln Cathedral for the Lincolnshire Youth Choir. This was his first collaboration with poet Gordon Jackson and conductor Kate Witney, of which the current publication is a successor. 

Dr. Machell was an active writer who produced over 80 professional and scholarly works in his specialty areas of addiction and psychopathology. His writings on emotion disorders of professors have been discussed in national and international publications. He was an invited speaker at numerous graduate schools and other institutions nationwide. Dr. Machell was also a licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor (LADC) who contributed to and created six addiction treatment programs in CT. He provided consultation to several addiction facilities including Guenster Rehabilitation Center in Bridgeport, Meridian Foundation in Stamford, and Rushford Center in Middletown, CT.

Dr. Machell was an accomplished musician, who continued to share his love of music giving 15 musical recitals at WCSU along with Howard (composer/ pianist) and Christina Rovics (soprano) and other guest artists, including his dear friend and WCSU colleague, Dr. Harold B. Schramm, as a guest narrator. He performed on the concert and Native American flutes, piccolo, Irish penny whistles and bagpipes.
Dr. Machell was a bagpiper who began learning to play the bagpipes at the age of 7 under the mentorship of James Farrell. He was a member collectively for 20 years of the St. Patrick’s Pipe Band, which was founded by his family in the 1940s in Manchester, CT. For 26 years he presented the annual “Bagpiper on the Green” performance at WCSU with his colleague, Professor David Smith on drums.



Today the Christ is Born

by David Machell

SATB a cappella – KH 105 – duration 3:35

This piece has a stately splendour intended for a resonant acoustic. The Latin lyrics need to be distant and rather veiled, with the English lyrics clear and well enunciated. The piece as a whole should be timeless and meditative rather than dramatic. Staggered breathing is essential for the sustaining of very long notes. The solo phrases — for solo or semi-chorus — may be freely divided between choir members as required, at the appropriate octave.






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