Clucas Responses Manuscript

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Winning bid

About this item

Clucas Responses

An auction in aid of Cathedral Music Trust

In the summer of 1962 I was in my second year as a Choral Scholar of King’s College, Cambridge. By then, David Willcocks had already started a series of annual competitions to write a piece for the choir; in my first year, it was a Jubilate. I did not think of myself as a composer in those days; I just tinkered around with it a bit. Besides, Cambridge was full of very clever people, and I was not reading music anyway (I am an English graduate).  But I had a go and came fifth. The winner was Simon Preston (Preston in C); Simon was the current Organ Scholar. Jonathan Harvey (in F) was runner-up.

In my second year the task was a set of Responses. There came a day when I would either finish these or go on a punt; the punt nearly won. I was surprised and delighted to come first, emotions which seemed to be shared by David himself. In my third year, we broadcast them. Interest was shown. David was running the Oxford University Press church music section, and OUP published them. It was a time when everyone did the various Tudor Responses, but the only other modern set seemed to be the Bernard Rose. My Responses still sell quite well. The manuscript is written in blue ink, with one or two crossings-out and emendations. I am mildly embarrassed that I sent it to OUP in this state.

Twenty years on, I was a lay clerk at Guildford Cathedral. Every time my Responses came up, Michael Barry, a fellow Lay Clerk, would ask why there was no Lord’s Prayer; in the end, I wrote one to keep him quiet. Twenty-odd years later still, I agreed that the Responses manuscript should be auctioned to raise money for the music foundation of Guildford Cathedral; Michael, the Lord’s Prayer dedicatee, added his manuscript to the package. The successful bidder has now died, and his widow, who has become the owner, has agreed to a second auction, the money raised to go to the Cathedral Music Trust.

The successful bidder at the original auction was Ian Richard Hanby (26.11.1940 - 27.12.2020) who had sung the Clucas Responses with the Cramner Company of Singers on several occasions at Cathedrals in England.

Humphrey Clucas

Update at 7:30pm, 27 September 2023

You can listen to the iconic Clucas Responses online:

Southwell Minster Choir sing the Clucas Responses

Bidding ended: 12:00am, 20 December 202312:00am, Wednesday 20 December 2023Europe/London


Bidder Time Bid
Harry Hoyland 11:59pm 19 Dec 2023 £760
Mark Dale 11:59pm 19 Dec 2023 £750
Harry Hoyland 11:59pm 19 Dec 2023 £720
Mark Dale 11:57pm 19 Dec 2023 £700
19almondt 10:31pm 19 Dec 2023 £670
alpsimsfamily 9:27pm 19 Dec 2023 £650
Benedict Collins Rice 11:38am 19 Dec 2023 £610
Mark Dale 8:34am 19 Dec 2023 £600
Simon Beattie 11:11am 18 Dec 2023 £550
alpsimsfamily 8:59am 17 Dec 2023 £500
Mark Dale 7:39pm 27 Nov 2023 £400
Alex Rasmussen 12:16am 16 Nov 2023 £300
johnsoncn 12:30pm 15 Nov 2023 £250
Mark Dale 8:27pm 11 Nov 2023 £200
Jeffrey Smith 11:33pm 07 Nov 2023 £190
aig 12:18am 07 Nov 2023 £180
Jeffrey Smith 1:48pm 06 Nov 2023 £110
Simon Beattie 1:37pm 06 Nov 2023 £100