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Tallis Scholars Perform World Premier of Teenage Composition

19 May 2008

Keryn Tatman, winner of the Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival's Young Composers Competition The Tallis Scholars, one of the world's leading vocal ensembles, will perform 17 year old Keryn Tatman's new composition entitled 'Stabat Mater' in Beverley Minister on Friday 23 May at 7.30pm as part of the 21st Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival, co-ordinated by the National Centre for Early Music (NCEM) in York.

Keryn currently attends Beverley Grammar School, and was one of six Yorkshire finalists who attained an extremely high standard in the first ever Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival's Young Composers' Competition in April.

Peter Phillips, director of The Tallis Scholars, judged the competition and commented: "I was extremely impressed with the overall standard of the young composers. The winning piece, 'Stabat Mater' was exceptionally good and quite different in complexity to the other compositions. It has been beautifully written for the acoustics of Beverley Minster and The Tallis Scholars are thrilled to give Keryn's work its first public performance during the Festival."

Speaking about his experience of the competition Keryn Tatman added: "I am ecstatic to have won the competition as it was the first thing I have ever entered. The judges left us in suspense on stage waiting for the decision to be made and I never for one minute thought I'd win as the competition was so strong.

The whole thing has been a great learning experience and one that no doubt open doors for me in the future. I'm hoping to study composition at Brunel University, London or the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. Composing music in my spare time is the thing I love to do most and it was fantastic to hear the Ebor Singers perform the music I'd written. It will be quite amazing to experience The Tallis Scholars perform my piece in Beverley Minster where I used to be a choir boy."

Delma Tomlin, Director of the Festival and the NCEM noted: "We were absolutely delighted with the standard of all six finalists - it is just awe-inspiring to be reminded of what fantastic talent we have in our teenagers. We are planning to run a similar competition next year with The Tallis Scholars in York and look forward to discovering more young talent."

Keryn's family has long-held associations with the Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival. Both his mother Susan, who currently sings in the Minster Choir and his grandfather Fred Garrett, now 89 years old, have stewarded the Festival over the past 21 years. This August, Keryn goes on to conduct the music he has recently composed for a new play 'The Life and Death of Isabella Bird', for chamber orchestra and chorus, in the Memorial Hall, Beverley, directed by his fellow student Rosie Bristow.

The other finalists in this first Young Composers' were: Ben Horrigan from St Mary's College, Hull; Tom Armitage from Wolfreton School, East Riding of Yorkshire; Natalie Clarke from Fulford School, York; James Woodrow from St Peter's School, York and Ruth Eaves from Huntington School, York.

Tickets for the concert in Beverley Minster on Friday 23 May are available from the NCEM Box Office on 01904 658 338 or online at


Press Contact for further information, high res. Images and sound bites:
Shona Galletly, on behalf of National Centre for Early Music
t: 0113 255 1308
m: 07813 796 733

Notes to Editors

1.For further information on the Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival's Young Composers' Competition and the 2008 Festival visit: or ring the NCEM on 01904 632220.

2.The 2008 Beverley & East Riding Early Music Festival (which runs from 23 - 26 May) is supported by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council; the National Centre for Early Music; the Hull & East Riding Charitable Trust; the University of York; Orchestras Live; Schroders and the University of Huddersfield.