Welcome to the Site of Canadian Composer Tate Pumfrey

Bio

Canadian composer Tate Pumfrey (b. 1998) grew up in Thamesville, Ontario and studied at Western University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Music. In 2022 he completed a Master’s Degree in Composition at York University under the supervision of composer Stephanie Martin. His teachers and mentors include Gilles Maurice Leclerc, Jeff Smallman, and the late Rachel Laurin. As a performer, Tate has focused primarily on organ and singing. A strong interest in Catholic sacred music has led to the self-publication of two volumes of 24 original hymns each (in collaboration with Australian poet-organist-composer Christian Catsanos). Tate has also written several works for chamber ensembles.

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Ten Pieces for Organ, Volume 1

Published by Wayne Leupold Editions, January 2024

Includes: 

1. Prayer / 2. Prelude on LASS UNS ERFREUEN / 3. Prelude on SLANE / 4. Cantilène du Soleil / 5. Lux in Tenebris / 6. Marche Joyeuse / 7. Pavane / 8. Spera in Deo / 9. Jubilate Deo / 10. Toccata - Exultemus Domino

Compositions

Works For Organ

Prayer (2017) - 2' 30" - A lilting, melodic piece, and my first composition for the organ.

Postlude (2018) - 2' 00" - A lively work, with a scherzo-like feel.

Jubilate Deo (2020) - 4' 45" - A joyful piece with toccata-like flourishes, colourful harmonies, and lyrical episodes. 

Marche Joyeuse (2021) - 2' 00" - A jubilant piece, which works well at weddings. 

Prelude on Slane (2021) - 3' 30" - A soft liturgical prelude or a interlude based on a popular Irish hymn tune. 

Sortie Solennelle (2021) - 3' 40" - Somewhat march-like, with energetic flourishes and a fughetta in the middle. 

Toccata - Exultemus Domino (2021) - 4' 20" -A piece with many changing time signatures and bright harmonies, making for a bright and ecstatic composition.

Sursum Corda (2021) - 7' 00" - Commissioned by organist-composer Carson Cooman, organist at Harvard's Memorial Chapel, this is a slow, meditative work.

Introduction, Variations, and Finale on Victimae Paschali Laudes (2021) - 16' 30" - Composed for the Major Research Project (similar to a thesis) of Tate’s master’s degree at York University. It takes the sequence chant Victimae Paschali Laudes, traditionally sung on Easter Sunday, and varies the melody through nine variations. 

Toccata Luminosa (2021) - 4' 30" - This bold toccata bubbles along with outbursts of bright chords, and hints of J. S. Bach's "Jig Fugue" in the pedals. 

Lux in Tenebris (2022) - 4' 00" - Commissioned by LAUDEM (L'Association des musiciens liturgiques du Canada) as part of an anthology of new Canadian organ works, this composition exists within a peaceful but melancholic atmosphere, and makes use of the softer stops on the organ. 

Four Meditations on Pange Lingua (2022) - 6' 00" - Commissioned by American organist Margaret-Mary Sauppé, the well-known Gregorian chant melody Pange Lingua forms the basis for each of the four meditations.

Pavane (2022) - 4' 30" - Pavane begins softly and continues to build, with the middle being the loudest section, before dying down to end quieter than it began.  The outer sections are lyrical and chorale-like, while the middle consists of a quick, quasi-contrapuntal texture.  

Spera in Deo (2023) - 4' 00" - This work was commissioned by Dr. Wayne Carroll for a recital celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Casavant organ at St. Andrew's United Church in Chatham, Ontario. A lyrical melody sings above accompanying strings and soft pedals before eliding into a chaconne, until a solo reed takes the original melody in the tenor register for a bold conclusion. 

Sarabande (2023) - 3' 45" - This soft, lyrical piece is dedicated to long-time friend Don Pole, a retired organ builder.

Works for Choir

Ave Verum Corpus (2019) - SSATB a cappella - 3' 15" - Scored in a modal F-sharp minor soundscape for five voices, based on the traditional eucharistic text. Revised 2021. 

Missa Brevis (2021) - SATB a cappella - 8' 15" - This Missa Brevis is cast in four movements: Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus & Benedictus, and Agnus Dei. Inspired by Healey Willan and Ralph Vaughan Williams, Difficult. 

Te Joseph Celebrent (2021) - SATB - 4' 45" Composed for St. Dominic's Sacred Music, Brick, NJ, commissioned by Colton Martin, DSM. This meditative motet sets three verses of the traditional Latin hymn Te Joseph Celebrent. Scored for SATB, with divisi in the soprano, tenor and bass parts.

Works for Chamber Ensembles

Gaelic Rhapsody (2018) - String Quintet (with Double Bass) - 4' 30" - Based on a traditional Scottish Gaelic melody, Chì mi na mòrbheanna.

Fanfare (2018) - for Brass Septet (3 tpt, hn, tbn, bass tbn, tba) - 2' 00" - A bright, festive flourish for a larger brass chamber ensemble.

Works for Solo Instrument

Triptych (2019) - Viola and Piano - 9' 00" - This work features three movements, titled, Idyll, Scherzetto, and Berceuse. 

Rêverie (2019) - French Horn and Piano - 2' 40" - A peaceful piece which has a feeling akin to daydreaming, with lush sonorities and broad melodies. 

Viola Sonata (2020) - Viola and Piano - 18' 30" - Cast in four movements: Moderato con anima, Lento. Allegro Scherzando, and Vivace.

Évocation (2020) - English Horn and Piano - 3' 45" - A lyrical English horn part with a toccata-like opening reminiscent of raindrops and otherwise flowing piano part.

Variations on Nettleton (2021) - Solo Viola - 5' 00" - Variations on "Nettleton" is a composition for solo viola, based on a famous American hymn tune. 

Works for Orchestra

Cò am Fear (2018) - String Orchestra - 9' 30" - A series of variations on the traditional Scottish Gaelic song An Eala Bhàn ("The White Swan"). 

Fanfara Infuocata (2019) - Orchestra (2.2.2.2.; 4.2.3.1.; timp. plus 2 perc.; harp; and strings) - 2' 15" - A brief and bombastic orchestral fanfare.

In collaboration with Australian poet Christian Walter John Catsanos, I have written  48 hymns for the Church year. They are traditional in style, and harmonized in a standard SATB format. Our books are available on Amazon.

Vol. 1

Vol. 2

Recordings 

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