Tang, Agnes

Composer

b Malaysia 1945. She lived for some years in New Cross, SE London; worked in the Law Courts as a court reporter, and as a speech-to-text reporter for deaf people. She has studied at RSCM and is a widely-travelled linguist; organist/pianist at Christ Church Old Kent Rd in the 1990s, then at St Mark’s Kennington, also in SE London, 2001–2003. She lives in active retirement in Pafos (Paphos) in W Cyprus. Having composed some 16 hymn tunes, mainly 1995–96 for texts by Christopher Idle, she made this total up to 20 by 2006. These she recorded on a CD, ‘Yes, Hymns!’, in which she played and sang her music to traditional hymns including 7 of Charles Wesley’s. Suspecting that often ‘for the under-50s … the glories of hymns, except for a few Christmas carols, are a closed book’, she sets out to bridge the gap between older words and contemporary music. Much is lost, she writes, in the trend to limit congregations to choruses and songs: ‘the poetry and richness of language used by hymnwriters still have the power, even after centuries, to edify spiritually.’ Nos.333, 551.

Tunes and arrangements by Tang, Agnes

Tune Name
Holifield
Re’emi