- Jillian Bray
- Born: 1939
Jillian Bray (b. 1939)
It is primarily as a writer of hymn tunes that Jillian is known. Of about fifty published hymns, most are to texts by Shirley Murray, who is among the foremost writers in her field. Jillian has also set to music texts by Brian Wren, Joy Dine, Rusty Edwards, Joy Cowley and others. In 1998 Jillian was nominated to the editorial board of the New Zealand Hymnbook Trust on which she served as a music editor for eighteen years. Alleluia Aotearoa (1993), Carol our Christmas (1996), and Faith Forever Singing (2000) published by NZHBT during this time, contain most of Jillian’s output. Hope Publishing Company (USA) have published more recent hymns on line.
As a private piano teacher Jillian has written a number of pieces for pupils. Seventeen of these pieces (available from SOUNZ) appear in the St. Cecilia Examination syllabus- grades 3-8.
Jillian has directed several community choirs and sung in others. This has led her to write choral works on commission. Professor Peter Godfrey requested she write choral settings of some hymns for his Kapiti choirs; performed on the Coast and recorded for the television series Praise Be. Other choral works include: Anno Domine written in 2001 for Porirua City Choir and performed at St. Andrews on the Terrace and Te Papa, Centennial Anthem (2002) for the Khandallah Presbyterian Choir on the occasion of that church’s centenary, and Jubilee (2006).
V8 vocal ensemble recently toured Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga, including in their programme Sing with me friends written especially for them; another setting with words by Shirley Murray.
From time to time Jillian responds to requests to write music for friends and family: a piano trio, a duet for flute and bass clarinet, solo songs, pieces for organ, occasional piano pieces; works to mark a friend’s passing, weddings, farewells…Source: Jillian Bray, June 2007