Balulalow is a 16th-century lullaby carol and the words have been set by many composers over the past few centuries. Michael Rose has created a wonderfully simple and atmospheric setting with frequent time changes to suit the flow of the words. There are few challenges for any choir and a beautiful opportunity to create a time of stillness and magic in any Christmas concert or setting.
Michael Rose graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 1953 with piano and violin as principal studies. This was followed by three years' military service in the Regimental Band of the Scots Guards. Then came 6 years as Head of Music at John Lyon School, Harrow, followed by 6 years as a Music Adviser, firstly to Middlesex County Council, then to two London Boroughs. During these years he won the Clements Memorial Prize for a String Quartet, and began his conducting career with choirs and orchestras, which led in 1966-67 to an Apprentice Conductor's position with the BBC Northern Orchestra (now the BBC Philharmonic).
From 1968, he worked for the BBC as Assistant in Charge of their Training Orchestra in Bristol, frequently conducting their public and recorded concerts, including two Proms in 1970. In 1972, he returned to the world of music education, as Music Adviser in Bedfordshire, where he was able not only to build an expert instrumental teaching team, but to develop the orchestral, band, choral and operatic opportunities for young musicians. It was also during this time that he was Chairman of the National Association of Youth Orchestra, for fifteen years. For many years he assisted George Hurst on the Conducting Course at Canford Summer School of Music.
He took early retirement in 1990 to devote time to study, composition, conducting and examining, and for the Associated Board has examined in Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman, Africa, Sweden, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Singapore. He tutors a number of aspiring conductors and carries out special sessions in conducting for teachers and young people. He is leader of the Olney Conducting Workshops, a series of one-day and weekend courses which began in 2005.
Much of his music for young players has been published by the Associated Board, and has appeared in the examination syllabuses. Other music, both choral and orchestral, has been published by OUP, Novello and others.
He has continued as Conductor of the Bedfordshire County Youth Orchestra, with whom he has toured to France, Cyprus, Germany, Russia, Spain, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Italy.
He was awarded the OBE in 1990, for services to music.