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Welcome. Oliver Tarney is an acclaimed experienced and composer who specialises in choral and vocal music for a broad range of styles and settings from primary school songs to oratorios and works for professional choirs. He loves to inspire others to write and find their love of music. 

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'...alternates between the ineffable and the radiant.'

The Financial Times

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Oliver Tarney was born (1984) and educated in Lancaster, moving on to read music at Manchester university. After completing a Master's Degree in composition, and training as a teacher, he is now Head of Academic Music and Composition at Winchester College in Hampshire. He sings regularly with the college's chapel choir and with Winchester Cathedral choir. 

His most recent works are published by Oxford University Press, including the Missa Media Nocte and The Wise Men and the Star. Other recent pieces Lux Stellarum, a requiem written for the American Cathedral in Paris, first performed at St Sulpice, and Majora Canamus, written for the Southern Cathedrals' Festival in Winchester, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. A Prayer of St Richard of Chichester was written for Sansara Chamber Choir (winners of the 2015 London International A Cappella Choir Competition) with whom he is an associate composer, and has been recorded on their their acclaimed CD, Cloths of Heaven (Convivium Records).

2019 saw his St Mark Passion, commissioned by the St Endellion Easter Festival 2019, given its first performance. His 2014 Magnificat has been recorded by Serafine Chamber Choir & Sinfonia and released on the Convivium Records label to wide critical acclaim. Other recent recordings include a setting of Maria Virgo assumpta est for Suzi Digby's ORA Singers, and a set of three Christmas pieces (The Waiting Sky, Balulalow, and The Wise Men and the Star) recorded for Sansara’s most recent album, The Waiting Sky. Other recent commissions include a work for Sonoro Chamber Choir as part of their ‘Choral Inspirations’ series, and the Festival Commission for the St David’s Cathedral Festival, 2020.

Oliver has worked extensively with 'Sing for pleasure', the national choral organisation that promotes choral singing in communities, choirs, and classrooms. He is passionate about inspiring others to find a love of singing.  


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The Night before Christmas

A fun setting of the classic Christmas poem featuring bursts of well-known carols such as, God rest ye merry, gentlemen, O little town of Bethlehem, and We Wish you a Merry Christmas (well-suited to audience participation.) Set for SATB choir, children’s choir, and small orchestra this is a perfect, lively, 20 minute section of any Christmas celebration. 🎄🤶🧑‍🎄🎅🎄


Cover of Sanctissima by ORA - a depiction of a woman wearing orange with swirling blue behind.

St Mark Passion

Commissioned for the St Endellion Music Festival 2019, Good Friday saw the premiere of this dramatic new work. Reviewing for the Church Times, David Steven commented:

It is not always easy to know if clapping a Bach or Tarney Passion is a good thing. But no words here can reproduce either the awed silence — the longest I have ever known at a concert — or the tumultuous cheers and clapping that eventually broke out. All those involved were at an amazing evening, a world première of a work that I hope will travel the world; but the singers and players alike need to know that some very hard graft was involved to produce the effect it had on all of us on Good Friday on the north Cornish coast.

Cover of Sanctissima by ORA - a depiction of a woman wearing orange with swirling blue behind.

Missa Media Nocte

This is an uplifting and celebratory setting of the Latin Missa brevis for SATB (with divisions) and organ or chamber ensemble. The choir may be accompanied by organ, chamber ensemble, or a selection of ensemble instruments in combination with organ, opening up several compelling performance options. Four French carol melodies are woven into the music, and performance with glockenspiel and trumpet bring these particularly to the fore. The chosen carol melodies are often associated with hymns from other Church seasons, making the work suitable for performance throughout the year.

Missa media nocte was commissioned for the 2017 Midnight Mass at Lancaster Priory. It is a short, celebratory work, incorporating four French carols: 'Noël Nouvelet' (Kyrie); 'Quelle est cette odeur agréable?' (Gloria); 'Quittez, pasteurs' (Sanctus and Benedictus); and 'Il est né le divin enfant' (Agnus Dei). These melodies also belong to English hymns from different parts of the Church year, which means the mass can be used whenever a short festal setting is required; however, the organ accompaniment can be extended by glockenspiel, trumpet, timpani, and percussion to make it particularly suitable for the celebration of Christmas.




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Released August 2023, this is a fantasy vespers and benediction for the Assumption. It features In Homeward Flight





The second disc of pieces inspired by choral classics. This features The Spirit of the Lord. a reflection on the prologue to Elgar's The Apostles




A very popular and award-winning album of Christmas music featuring The Waiting Sky, The Wise Men and the Star, and Balulalow.


27 July 2024

Morland, Cumbria

Morland Choristers' Camp

Morland Choristers’ Camp is an annual residential summer course for young singers aged 9-17. It offers a unique opportunity to experience the excitement of singing in a 100 strong four-part choir and to enjoy a week of outdoor activities in the heart of the Eden Valley. Anyone can apply – all that is needed is a love of singing and lots of energy.

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19 July 2024


Gabrieli ROAR

The course dates for this project are 19th – 24th July 2024. The residential will run in a similar format to our ‘Angels and Devils’ project, where we expanded the range of activity on offer and extended the course by a day. As well as learning and performing Verdi’s Requiem, we will also concentrate on musicianship sessions and vocal masterclasses and learn a few a cappella pieces, in various musical styles, to introduce our young singers to a wider range of choral music.

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8 August 2024

Newcastle, Hexham, Carlisle

Northern Cathedrals Course

This choir trip to England is something for you…
as part of the choir trip to England that Koorschool Delft is organising this summer together with English composer and conductor Oliver Tarney. As ‘visiting choir’, you will sing the most beautiful choral music in a number of evensongs in Newcastle, Carlisle and Hexham and a mass in Newcastle.

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31 August 2024


The Night Before Christmas Recording

We're looking to try and capture the magic of Christmas through music, and we need your help! Our project is to record Oliver Tarney's joyful recent musical setting of the much-cherished poem, The Night Before Christmas.

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20 October 2023

Sage One, Gateshead (and Online)

Royal Northern Sinfonia perform 'The Spirit of the Lord'

This piece was commissioned and recorded by Sonoro.

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2 October 2023


Release of 'A Winged Woman' by the Marian Consort

Featuring ' A Hymn to the Mother of God'

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