Composer Mike Sheppard has been commissioned to compose two original songs for the international honour choir of AMIS — the Association for Music in International Schools. The two songs — ‘Noster Nostri’ and ‘Out Of The Long Dark’ were commissioned by conductor Jo McNally and will be premiered in Frankfurt in October by a 65-piece choir made up of the best singers from the International Schools across Europe.

The songs, with words written by the composer, explore the themes of international brotherhood by looking back over the last century of man’s past and then forward, to an uncertain future a century hence.

The pieces were written for ‘cambiata’ voices, or boys voices that are changing, which brought particular challenges to the composer.

“The restrictions on vocal range are quite precise,” he explained; “at first it feels like comopsing in a strait-jacket, but you soon get used to working within tight parameters, and then the creativity flows again.”

The pieces will be published worldwide by Edition Peters.