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A new cantata for young women seeking to find their way in the world.

CALLED TO BE HAPPY is written in honour of Mary Ward, a seventeenth century English woman whose vision and unshakeable optimism enabled her to found the first non-enclosed religious order for women. The cantata draws parallels between her life experiences and those of young women today.

Making extensive use Mary’s own words, it presents her amazing example as a woman of courage and steadfast determination, who retained her calm, unshakeable faith in God despite the dangers and problems she faced. The words she used to encourage her young followers four hundred years ago are now used in a new light to offer encouragement to contemporary young women as filled with expectation, they start on their life’s journey.

As a woman in a man’s world, Mary encountered relentless opposition, but throughout her life she remained absolutely committed to the work she had undertaken. Her words offer both inspiration and consolation. Her serene certainty serves as a beacon of hope, as she urges young women to trust in God, use their talents for good in the world and always be happy.

Although the ideas of the cantata spring from the experiences, thoughts and words of Mary Ward, her message of unwavering hope in the face of adversity has a timeless relevance. This is a world where the voice and talents of women are often undervalued or simply ignored. Mary’s words of quiet assurance will resonate with young women everywhere.

The cantata has been commissioned by the Maria Ward Schule, Mainz, Germany in celebration of its 300th Anniversary. The world première took place on March 12th 2022 in the Electoral Palace, Mainz, Germany. For more information about Mary Ward, please visit this page.

Called To be Happy is scored for Narrator, Soloists, SSA Choir and Orchestra.

The piano/vocal scores and chorus scores are now avaialble,  published by Josef Weinberger Ltd., London. (See below). The orchestral scores and instrumental parts are available to hire.


To peruse the complete Vocal Score, please click here.

A Compact Disc of the première performance by Maria Ward-Schule is now released (excerpts below).

To purchase, please click HERE.

Enjoy these most beautiful performances of two of the songs from Called To Be Happy, The Lord's My Shepherd and Be Yourself directed by Matthias Warzecha.  The wonderful soloist in Be Yourself is Sophie Heitzmann, singing the role of Mary Ward.

This Lord's My Shepherd video features the beautiful St Stephan's Church in Mainz, where the school often worships. The stained glass windows are world famous, the creation of the great Jewish artist, Marc Chagall.

Called To Be Happy   

Première Performance by the Maria Ward-Schule, Mainz, Germany. March 12th 2022

We were recently privileged to be guests of honour at the première of Called To Be Happy in the beautiful Renaissance Electors Palace in Mainz. The performance by the 75 strong orchestra and the severely Covid restricted but amazing choir was truly wonderful. 

Forget Your Problems

Our gratitude goes to the Director of Music Matthias Warzecha and his colleagues, Lioba Ruedell (for her sensitive translations) and not least the Principal of the school, Dr. Andrea Litzenburger for placing so much trust in this commission. Hearty congratulations to all the talented singers and players for producing such a magical performance that totally deserved the 10 minute standing ovation. Bravissimo to every one of you!

The CD is now available - these sample tracks include: The Lord's My Shepherd, We Are But Women, We Have Heard Your Call and Serve The Lord With Gladness

Maria Ward-Schüle CD Sample Tracks
00:00 / 03:02

The Sheet Music of Called To Be Happy is now available for purchase from Presto Music. Please click this link to take you to the Called To Be Happy page on the Presto Music Store.

The cover of the Vocal Score features the beautiful artwork of Amie Butcher

(The Colour of You), a student at St. Mary's School, Cambridge, a Mary Ward school:


‘I am very pleased to have my work selected to be the front cover for this creative music project. I hope people can see the link between my work and the music’s intentions’.

The Head of Art at St. Mary's, Su Conroy, was delighted to say: ‘We are very proud of Amie’s achievements throughout the duration of her art studies with us. This accolade is a fitting tribute to her skill as an art practitioner.’ 


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