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  • Graham Parsons


Graham Parsons holds postgraduate degrees in music composition and music education, and is currently Senior Lecturer of Music Education at Massey University, New Zealand. After studying at Victoria University during Professor Page’s “heady ’60s”, under David Farquhar and Douglas Lilburn, Graham moved overseas and attended an international composition course led by Karlheinz Stockhausen and Henri Pousseur. The need for survival necessitated Graham’s move from composition to teaching. After working as Music Specialist, Head of department, in a number of English Grammar Schools he returned to New Zealand to work in the area of teacher education specialising in particular in philosophy and sociology of music education, music composition and musical style. Along side his teaching, Graham has performed widely as a conductor of choirs and orchestras, an organist and an accompanist.

More recently he has returned to music composition. Having been a community musician for so many years, it seemed only natural for him to fall into the roll of community composer, writing works to suit various local and national performing groups. The attraction to this form of composition is that the limits of the performers’ technical abilities are clearly defined, and one can guarantee that the works will be performed. His ‘Missa Brevis’ is performed by cathedral choirs in both Auckland and Wellington, and this ‘Mass of the Holy Spirit’, recently published by Millennium Publications, is performed by various church congregations throughout the country. His works for recorder ensembles are performed by both amateur and professional groups and his choral music has been performed by various choral societies and has been included by schools in the Choral Federation Secondary Schools Choral Competition programmes. One of the appeals of Graham’s music is its range of technical requirements and its suitability for a variety of musical occasions.

Source: Graham Parsons, July 2007

Selected Works

Dance Solo 1 one movement work for recorder sextet  
Missa Brevis for unaccompanied SSA choir  
Recorder Suite: Scenes from the Merchant of Venice Four movement work for recorder sextet  
Songs of Creatures Great and Small five songs for unaacompanied SATB choir  
Three Shakespeare Songs three songs for unaccompanied SATB choir  


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