Scottish composer Helen MacKinnon studied music at The University of Glasgow, specializing in composition and graduating with a Bachelor of Music First Class Honours. Her most notable work of that period was Crossing the Domain, a setting of Scottish poet Edwin Morgan’s poem From the Domain of Arnheim for female voices and percussion. MacKinnon cites her compositional influences as being her Scottish heritage, Catholic faith, and cinematic music.
After graduating, MacKinnon enjoyed a career in marketing and management in the charity sector before moving professionally into composing in 2016. Since then, MacKinnon has written a large portfolio of sacred choral works which have been performed or aired across the United Kingdom, Europe more widely, the United States, Asia, and South Africa.
MacKinnon’s Gloria in excelsis Deo was awarded in the 2nd International Choral Competition of Choral Composition Ennio Morricone at Florence International Choir Festival. The work was subsequently recorded with PARMA Recordings and features as a set contemporary work in Florence Choral Festivals. In 2020, the recording was nominated for a Scottish Award for New Music. The work has received regular airplay globally and was reviewed as “spectacular writing for voices” (Music of our Mothers). In 2019, MacKinnon’s work for string orchestra and soprano Ave Maris Stella premiered in Serbia with the Subotica Philharmonic. Recent major works include a full mass in Latin and a substantial sacred work for choir, strings, and timpani, The Road to Calvary.