The Herbert Howells Society
The Herbert Howells Society was set up in 1987 at the instigation of Ursula Howells, the composer’s daughter, and is based in Westminster Abbey, where the composer’s ashes are buried.
The aims of the Society over more than two decades have been to promote a wider appreciation of Howells' music and to support and publicise the performance, publication and recording of his works.
The Society acts as a focal point for all lovers of his music, and for questions about his output. It has organised articles in various publications and periodicals, advises researcher on sources, and regularly liaises with publishers to ensure that his works are kept in print. It has only really been since Howells' death in London in 1983 that a number of compositions that he had put to one side have been re-discovered. The Society has been active, along with his biographers Christopher Palmer and Paul Spicer, in trying to ensure that all his compositions will finally be published, and has collaborated with the composer’s principal publisher, Novello, in bringing into print for the first time a number of choral and orchestral works. To this end, the Society also works closely with the Howells Trust, set up in 2007 to assist projects for the publication, recordings and concerts of the less well known works. The Society also disseminates regular information to its members about live performances, new and existing recordings and publications.
The Society publishes an annual Newsletter, and holds an Evensong together with its AGM on the nearest Saturday to his birthday, 17th October. The venue alternates between Westminster Abbey and cathedrals or colleges with which Howells was associated.
The Society has members from all over the world, as well as a North American Branch, and the Royal Forest of Dean Herbert Howells Society is affiliated to it.
Officers and Committee