Flintshire composer on song for the royal wedding

Reporter:

Matt Jones

AN UNKNOWN composer from Flintshire was plucked from obscurity to write music for the royal wedding.


Dr Paul Mealor, originally of Connah’s Quay, now tops the classical download chart after a global audience of 2.5 billion tuned in to watch the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.


Dr Mealor has since been inundated with 15,000 emails of congratulation after his music was performed during the wedding service.


The piece, Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal, is currently at number one in the classical download chart.


Dr Mealor, 35, a reader in composition at the University of Aberdeen, said: “It was thrilling to be a part of it. I have had 15,000 emails congratulating me and it shows how much people have been moved.


“It has been a life-changing thing. I did not realise how big it was. It was very special to be part of it.”


Dr Mealor is one of only two living composers whose music was performed at the ceremony, the other being 65-year-old John Rutter.


He said: “The royal couple heard my music at St Andrews University and asked me if I would mind a piece of mine being included in the ceremony – of course, I said yes.


“The couple liked the music and then found out about me. It shows a great deal of interest on their part. They have given a young and relatively unknown person a chance.


“My reaction to their invitation was one of amazement and humility. How wonderful that the future King and Queen wanted my music at their wedding. To be a part of living history is astonishing.”


Ahead of the ceremony Dr Mealor felt the words to his composition needed to be changed so he re-wrote the piece.


He said: “I re-wrote the piece to the words, Ubi Caritas. Ubi Caritas words are from the fourth century and mean, ‘Where charity and love are, God is there’. So, it seemed more fitting for a wedding.”


The piece was performed by the Choir of Westminster Abbey.


Dr Mealor is a former pupil at Golfyn Junior School and Connah's Quay High School and played in Deeside and Northop brass bands.


He studied A-level music St David’s High School in Saltney and as a boy he had lessons from Professor William Mathias, who wrote a piece for Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding in 1981.


Dr Mealor said: “I met Kate and William a couple of times. They were a wonderful couple and really kind.”

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