WILLIAM KEMPSTER moved from his native Australia to Canada in 1995 after extensive experience conducting many choirs and orchestras to pursue further academic study. In December 1997, he formed Ensemble de la Rue, which originally focused on the music of the 15th and 16th centuries; its focus has since been expanded to also include rarely performed modern works for chamber choir. He received his Doctorate in Choral Conducting at the University of Alberta, in August 1999, with a thesis entitled “Chromatic Alteration in the Missa L’homme armé of Pierre de la Rue: A Case Study in Performance Practice.” He has also written other articles that shed new light on aspects of the la Rue repertory.
William has been the Director of Choral Activities at the University of New Hampshire since 1999. Other conducting activities include the 1996 World Symposium on Choral Music held in Sydney Australia, where he acted as the assistant chorusmaster for performances of the Berlioz Requiem, as well as guest conducting the Sydney Chamber Choir, one of the finest specialist choirs in Australia. In 1997 he conducted the Vancouver Chamber Choir as a participant in Jon Washburn’s annual National Conductor’s Symposium. In 1998 he was selected to participated in a masterclass in Namur, Belgium, held by Frieder Bernius of the Stuttgart Kammerchor.
He has conducted on six commercially available compact discs: four with Ensemble de la Rue, and two with the UNH Chamber Singers. He has also published numerous editions of Renaissance choral music with Prima la Musica in Great Britain, as well as original works for percussion ensemble with C. Allen Publications in the United States.
Works by William Kempster
This arrangement of the traditional English New Year's carol is a lively reminder of God's providence from one year to the next. The piece is best suited for a choir that is large enough to produce a good fortissimo while also being nimble with the 2/2 meter and syncopation.