ABOUT

Margaret Haley is a composer of chamber, orchestral and vocal music based in Wakefield (UK).

Her working methods show a concern for mapping techniques as a means of skeletal construction, prior to staff notation. Often achieving an air of mystery, particularly in her instrumental projects, Margaret’s visual approach is tempered by her desire for shaping sound: Primary Colours (2003) and Black Hole (2008) two works for string orchestra alongside Cloud (2005) for saxophone quartet, explore this concept.

Margaret's growing catalogue of choral music include two a cappella works for SATB voices, the award-winning Mother Mary Sing (2003) and The Poppy Field (2008), both of which received acclaim.  As runner-up in the New Cambridge Singers Renaissance Reimagined composition competition (2016), Margaret was invited to reimagine A Fisherman's Baby for SATB voices (with divisi) & organ (2017).

 

Born in England (Coventry) in 1954, Margaret began her musical life at the age of seven by receiving piano and music theory lessons before developing a real passion for classical guitar in her mid-teens.

 

Already an established freelance instrumental music teacher, Margaret Haley embarked on further academic study as a mature student at the University of Huddersfield, where she studied composition with the guidance of her supervisors Christopher Fox, James Saunders, and latterly Monty Adkins and Bryn Harrison. On completion of her music undergraduate course (2000) Margaret’s burgeoning interest in contemporary music led to more in-depth research. Firstly, for her Master of Arts degree, as a result, she achieved an overall distinction alongside the prestigious postgraduate music prize in 2003. And, secondly in 2010, she was awarded a PhD in composition, in partial fulfilment of her portfolio of compositions Margaret's doctoral thesis: Drawing Sound in Time: A Commentary on my Recent Music investigates a visual approach.

In addition to academic study Margaret Haley was appointed instrumental teacher of guitar for Wakefield Music Services (September 2000-December 2004). This post afforded an opportunity to write educational material specifically for guitar ensembles (beginners - advanced level) in performance: Bugs (2002), Fishy Story (2004) and Wintertime (2004).

ACADEMIC BACKGROUND

 

2005 - 2010

University of Huddersfield PhD in composition

 

2001 - 2003

University of Huddersfield MA in composition (awarded with overall distinction)

 

1997 - 2000

University of Huddersfield BMus(Hons) composition major (2:1)

 

 

WORKSHOPS

 

2015/16

Fountain Room/Barbican Centre, London

Opus2016 shortlisted composer in association with Britten Sinfonia: Rotanev

2010 

University of Huddersfield with the Goldberg Ensemble: Black Hole

 

2006 

University of Huddersfield with the Goldberg Ensemble: Primary Colours

 

2000

University of Huddersfield with Firebird Ensemble: Betelgeuse

 

1999

University of Huddersfield with violinist Mieko Kanno: Eclipse

 

 

RESIDENCIES, PRIZES

 

2007 - 2008

SPNM & Making Music (UK), National Adopt-a-Composer Scheme/The Aire Valley Singers: The Poppy Field

                    

2006   

Hythe Singers Christmas Carol Composition Competition (awarded first prize): Mother Mary Sing

                     

2004 - 2007

SPNM (Society for Promoting New Music): shortlisted composer

 

2003

University of Huddersfield, recipient of the post-graduate music prize

 

 

SELECTED COMMISSIONS

 

2017

A Fisherman's Baby for SATB voices (with divisi) & organ, commissioned by the New Cambridge Singers

2016

Some Say for SATB voices (with divisi), commissioned by Via Nova

2007

Gemini for 2 classical guitars, commissioned by the Living Composers Project 2

 

2008

The Poppy Field for SATB voices (with divisi), commissioned by SPNM & Making Music (sponsored by PRS)

 

2006

Procyon for ensemble for 7 players, commissioned by Sounds Positive

 

2006

5 Miniatures for solo piano, commissioned by the Living Composers Project 1

                  

 

TEACHING

2016 - 2017

Wakefield Music Service, teacher of Guitar (key stage 2-4)

 

2016 - 2018

Ossett Guitar Group, Musical Director

 

2015 - 2018

Coxley Singers (Wakefield area, UK), Musical Director

 

2012 - 2015 

Kirklees College, Adult Education, courses in Guitar Performance, Singing

 

2005 - 2006

Kirklees Music School, teacher of Guitar (key stage 2-4)

 

2000 - 2004

Wakefield Music Service, teacher of Guitar (key stage 2-4)

 

1990 - 1994

Wakefield College, Adult Education courses in Guitar Performance

 

1990 - 2020      

Freelance teacher: Guitar Performance, Music Theory in Practice, Composition