Karen Wimhurst

"Hooray for Hobson has been a fun romp in partnership with Dave Cohen, who wrote the lyrics, and Helen Weinstein who commissioned the piece and provided the source materials and briefing for the story about the enterprising family who lived in Cambridge in the 1600s. Father and son were horse monger, postman, innkeeper and philanthropist, called Thomas Hobson, after whom there are many street names and the water conduit in Cambridge surviving to this very day.  You can read more about the history of the Hobson story on this website here.

Dave’s concise and humorous poem arrived fully formed and ready to be set to music. It is great that my Hobson song has been performed in so many concerts now with Historyworks at 'Singing History' and school concerts and assemblies, where it has been heard now by many thousands of primary children and communities at live concerts and from listening to the song online.

My inspiration for the piece was a vision of hundreds of children having a good time! So I’ve started the composition with introductory tongue clicks calling up the horses in Hobson’s stable! The piece has simple harmonies to try out as well as a climatic round at the end along with a bit of shouting as people fall off their bikes at Hobson’s conduit in Trumpington Street. It’s a pleasure to be in Cambridge again working with choral leaders Anna Louise Lawrence, Rowena Whitehead and historian Helen Weinstein."

To learn more about the piece that Karen has composed and to hear a sung version of it you can visit the Song pages on this website where you will find the lyrics and sound files to learn the song here


I work as a freelance composer and clarinettist across classical, jazz and folk genres. I collaborate widely with others, including theatre practitioners, scientists, environmentalists, historians, poets etc. Current projects include; Miriam, a music theatre piece with Electric Voice Theatre and entomologist Peter Smithers Plymouth University; Heartwood, a commission with Prof. Adrian Newton for amplified ash tree and choir, premiere Inside Out Festival Sept 2014; Freedom, Bread and Peace, a multimedia piece exploring European Communism in image and music, with Sound Storm premiere Oct.’14 Bournemouth Festival; Fruit of Paradise, a touring quartet celebrating the English apple and environmental company Common Ground; Souvenir, pieces written for the Voice Project, Norwich and Norfolk Festival 2014; Get Up and Tie Your Fingers, a theatre show currently touring down the east coast of England “The style of performance was innovative, a new category of modern ‘choral theatre’ was forged because of the ambition and intricacy of Karen Wimhurst’s composition...’ The Stage.

For further information see; www.karenwimhurst.co.uk