Gordon Thornett


Gordon Thornett was born in 1942.  He read music at the University of Manchester, and went on to teach at a number of secondary schools in London, and also became a member of the LSO Chorus.

Following a teaching exchange year California, he undertook training as a music therapist at the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre in London.  Soon after that, he moved with his family to Birmingham, where he worked in special schools. Since 2000 he has been a freelance music therapist, composer and arranger.

As a longstanding member of the CBSO Chorus, Gordon Thornett has written a number of pieces for chorus and orchestra, which have featured in Christmas concerts in the UK and elsewhere. He conducts the Sutton Coldfield Chamber Choir, and has written a number of pieces for them.  Recently he was commissioned by the CBSO to write an overture, The Joy of Christmas, which received a number of performances at their Christmas concerts in Symphony Hall in December 2010, and subsequently in Gateshead, Aberdeen, Bristol and in the USA.

He has also received commissions from other choirs in the UK and the USA, and has been invited to write pieces for the Nidaros Cathedral Boys’ Choir in Trondheim, Norway.

Two of his choral pieces were broadcast on Classic FM over the Christmas period 2013.

Further information about his published choral pieces can be obtained from the Oxford University Press and Norsk Musikforlag.  A number of pieces are listed, with music and recorded samples, on the ‘Compositions’ link at the top of this page.


See ‘Compositions - Unpublished’ for details of latest orchestral piece, ‘A Children’s Christmas Suite’. 

New Christmas carol, ‘Bright was the Star’, was performed at CBSO Christmas concerts in Symphony Hall, Birmingham, December 2013. This is a setting for choir (SATB) and orchestra of a poem by Brian Holmes, who lives in San José, California, USA.

Also a new A cappella piece for women’s voices (SSA), ‘Gather ye roses while ye may’, written for the Women’s Glee Cub in Michigan, USA, has received its first performance on 9th November, 2013.

A Portuguese children’s choir and youth orchestra performed my light-hearted children's piece, 'The Sleepy Shepherd Boy' in their Christmas concert on 18th December. They are called the Coros Voximix e Voximini,. and are based at the Conservatório Regional de Castelo Branco in Portugal, and are directed by Armanda Patricio.

The Saginaw Choral Society in Michigan, USA, presented a concert called ‘Musical Tales’ on December 14, and this included a performance of my Festive Overture: The Joy of Christmas

Coming events:

I have been commissioned to write a fanfare for ten brass instruments for the opening ceremony of the first National Conference of the British Association for Music Therapy, which is to be held at Birmingham Conservatoire on 21st February 2014.

The fanfare, which was written in memory of fellow music therapist, Tony Wigram, has now received its first performance.  Here is a link to a recording of it, together with a brief programme note.

[For a copy of the full score, see ‘Unpublished Compositions’ page.]Unpublished_musical_compositions_by_Gordon_Thornett.htmlHome_files/brochure.docshapeimage_1_link_0

(Please click on this link
for access to password protected site for current and former members of the CBSO Chorus.)