Colin Mawby – A Tribute

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Colin Mawby KSG (9 May 1936 – 24 November 2019) leaves us a legacy of being one of the most significant English contributors to the music of the Roman Catholic liturgy.

Colin Mawby
Colin Mawby

Image attribution: Derivative work. Benjamin Dahlhoff, CC BY-SA 3.0

Colin Mawby’s Music

I first heard one of Colin’s organ works in 2011 while attending an Anglican Methodist LEP (Local Ecumenical Partnership) church service in south London. I was much moved by the beauty of the music and felt compelled to ask the organist for the composer’s name. It was not shown on that day’s music list.

That was the beginning of my research into Colin’s music. I now have a collection of almost every CD album I managed to find online. This task wasn’t the easiest, as there is no single online source where all of Colin’s music is available.

Colin’s music always conveys to me the essence of worship by perfectly complimenting the service or mass attended. Colin almost exclusively composed organ and choir music, specifically for the church and its worshippers.

As for Colin Mawby’s style of music, I will quote using his own words:

My music is approachable. I make great use of sonority and have been much influenced by plainchant. I value the spiritual element in music and have a healthy contempt for musical fashion. I “do my own thing.

Source: Colin Mawby from The Contemporary Music Centre Ireland

The following are the websites I used for my CD collection

Amazon in the UK
Kevin Mayhew in the UK
Dr. J. Butz in Germany
Brentwood Cathedral in the UK (online shop no longer shows)

Examples of Colin Mawby’s music that I would like to share with you

Ave Verum Corpus

We start off with one of Colin’s most frequently performed works, presented by The Choir of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.

Ave Verum Corpus

I feel that Colin’s Ave Verum Corpus works very well with a piano accompaniment. In this case we can listen to it performed by the BYU Singers.

Celtic Blessing

Performed by The Choir of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.

Gloria (Liverpool Mass)

Performed by The Choir of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.

Ave Maria

From the album Cantate Domine – Sacred Choral Music. Performed by the Dresdner Motettenchor.

Christus Resurrexit

From the album Tod, wo ist dein Sieg? (Death, where is your victory?) Performed by Westfälische Kammersolisten.

Interviews with Colin Mawby

Kevin Mayhew. April 2013
The Contemporary Music Centre Ireland. December 2006 Date unknown.


Remembering Colin Mawby. Contemporary Music Centre Ireland. Listen on Soundcloud – User the slider and go to 32 minutes 51 seconds.


Contemporary Music Centre Ireland
Church Times
The Telegraph (subscription required)

Website – Legacy Information

Updated 04 November 2022

Good news?  Yes! When I originally published this article, I mentioned that Colin Mawby’s website was no longer accessible. I am now able to report that the website is again available. I can continue recommending Visiting Music for Church Choirs for informative articles about conflicts that can arise in churches. Some subjects you can find on the website are Organist vs Minister and Minister vs Organist, all with helpful tips about how those conflicts could be resolved. On the website are also suggestions of music for occasions such as funerals and weddings.

Vivace Newsletter

I used to receive Colin’s Vivace newsletter, which always had engaging articles about Colin’s view on what was happening in the world of congregational music.

The last Vivace newsletter was issued in March 2017 and was entitled Grand Finale! In the newsletter, Colin explained that his age and health had led to the difficult decision of stopping the newsletter.

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