Composers Group

Membership of the SSG Composers Group is open to anyone who is interested in composing music or writing texts for the Roman Catholic liturgy.

If you would like to receive information about the Composers Group’s activities, you are invited to join the SSG Composers’ Group email list. Simply click here to email Alan Smith, the Composers Group Secretary, and he will add you to the mailing list and be in touch.

All communication about the Composers Group business will be carried out via email, so do please sign-up.

Programme for 2020

Every other month, live online meetings in the course of which compositions submitted by Group members will be examined and discussed. The first of these took place on Saturday, 18 April (see the report below). The next meeting will take place on Saturday, 20 June at 2pm and will once again be hosted on Zoom. Group members will be emailed with set-up details for the meeting.

3 live webinar presentations in May, July and November which will be teaching sessions, addressing aspects of composition submitted by Group members. These will been hosted on Zoom and the first session will be on Saturday, 16 May at 3pm. The topic will be ‘Composing for the RC liturgy for beginners – part 1’ and will cover the rudiments of music and of liturgy! This session will not be restricted to Composers Group members. Depending on how well it is received, we may broadcast succeeding parts more frequently.

The weekend conference, 5–6 June (Friday evening & Saturday), including a talk by an established liturgical composer, discussion of new music, and liturgies, etc. Sadly, this has had to be postponed until circumstances permit.

A private Facebook page for the Group to provide ongoing support and opportunity for news and discussion. Members should email me to request an invitation to join.

Alan Smith

Secretary, SSG Composers Group


                         Photo © 2020, Teresa Brown

It was a historic first for SSG Composers Group last Saturday, 18 April, when it held its first ever forum meeting online via the newly-ubiquitous Zoom. The Group has been in existence for over 50 years (see my article in Music and Liturgy, issue 354, volume 41 number 1, June 2015), but we live in extraordinary times and needs must.

After a few initial technical wobbles, the meeting got underway, almost as normal: the 10 participants took turns to introduce themselves and their compositions, after which we all discussed their work in a generally helpful and supportive manner. Each composer had sent one piece ahead of the meeting for me to prepare and email out a set of study scores for everyone to consider in advance and to use at the meeting.

There are currently about 40 people on the Composers Group mailing list so 25% of the membership attended. This really is a first! However, the meeting did last two and a half hours, so many more might have been problematical. On the other hand, virtual meetings are in many ways easier (and cheaper) so we can hold them more often. I propose to host a forum (discussion) meeting every other month (June, August, etc), alternating with teaching sessions (May, July, etc) in which Group members or invited guests teach some aspect of composition (e.g. melody writing, word setting, harmony, arranging, etc) or some related topic (e.g. getting published, copyright for composers, notation software, etc).

We had hoped to resurrect our annual 24-hour residential conference this year but, clearly, that cannot now go ahead. All being well, we will run it next year.


  • Meetings — online sessions when Group members present their music from home using their own computer, and discuss it live with other members.
  • Presentations — online sessions every other month when composers and arrangers give presentations about the ‘how to’ of composing and arranging. (These presentations will be archived, for re-watching subsequently.)
  • An annual SSG Composers Group weekend meeting — Friday to Saturday, residential, and with input from an experienced composer.

Alan Smith

Secretary, SSG Composers Group

28 March 2020



Alan Smith

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