2018: ‘The Pity of War’

2018: ‘The Pity of War’

Caz undertook a commission from St Chad’s Music Festival and Shrewsbury Bookfest to compose and direct her World War 1 songs for choir. A large-scale concert held in Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn, ‘The Pity of War’, took place in November 2018. The first half of the evening showcased Caz’s compositions ‘In Flanders Fields’ and other songs. The second featured a new work by top composer Bob Chilcott. With almost one hundred young local singers, Caz directed the ‘Bookfest Remembers Choir’ in a performance which met with great acclaim and was recorded and broadcast by BBC Radio. The concert formed part of a Shropshire-wide programme to commemorate the end of the Great War. Scroll down ‘Testimonials’ to view feedback for this...
2017 London Premiere for ‘In Flanders Fields’

2017 London Premiere for ‘In Flanders Fields’

The five poems of this set were given their first London performance by the excellent Etcetera Civil Service Choir. The commemorative concert took place in the Horseguards Parade. Director Stephen Hall, commented: ‘We very much enjoyed working on the pieces and performing them, and they were definitely appreciated by the audience.  We are likely to perform them again this...
November 2015: ‘Bookfest Remembers’

November 2015: ‘Bookfest Remembers’

This project was commissioned by Shrewsbury Bookfest to mark the centenary of World War 1. My brief was to compose several new songs for a youth choir of upper voices, using poetry from WW1, to be performed in a large-scale community concert. The event had a particular link to Gallipoli 1915, and the songs included a poem by the Australian poet Leon Gellert. I was also appointed as Musical Director and I worked with the Bookfest committee to bring the project to completion. The songs were premiered by a combined choir of 120 young singers from different schools around the county. There were also several high-profile bands and choirs such as the Military Wives’ Choir from Shawbury and the Abraham Darby Academy Showband. The concert was filmed for the Arts Council and was recorded by the BBC, with Vicki Archer as presenter. A special programme of the concert was broadcast on BBC Radio Shropshire on Christmas Day.   BBC Shropshire broadcast of the concert:   Taster film: Bookfest Remembers 2015 (Director: Nick Fogg)     Bookfest Remembers Programme (Final): produced by Creative Digital (click to view)   Radio interview with Eric Smith, BBC Radio Shropshire 7th November 2015 http://cazbesterman.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/interview-AAC-audio.mp3  ...
2014: ‘In Flanders Fields’

2014: ‘In Flanders Fields’

‘In Flanders Fields’ is a set of evocative new songs aimed at school, college and church choirs, and perfect for any WW1 centenary event or concert. The five songs reflect a nation’s journey through the Great War, from optimism to despair and ultimately grief. Presented chronologically, poetry by the most famous war poets including Sassoon and Owen is set to poignant music accessible to singers of an intermediate standard. With optional extra parts, the songs are equally suitable for solo, duet, SAB/ mixed voices, junior or girls’ choir. Performance time: 15 mins Published by Shorterhouse, the songbook was featured in the ABCD choral exhibition in August 2014. To buy your copy, go to: UK: www.shorterhouse.com/worldwarone.html USA: www.edition-peters.com/works/modern/Besterman-Caz...
‘The Woman who Painted Dreams’

‘The Woman who Painted Dreams’

An exciting new venture in collaboration with Jonathan James, The Woman who Painted Dreams is a set of songs designed for use as progressive exercises and performance by intermediate and advanced level choirs. Unaccompanied SATB. Available soon....