"Ave maris stella is a splendidly original (because it is so obviously meant as a composition) setting for solo soprano, chorus and string orchestra ... a Britten influence may be found here but only in passing and I mention this to try to urge McDowall's 'Englishness' upon you - I love it, and I think you will, also."
International Record Review March 2005
"a lovely new setting of Ave maris stella, tender in unaffected simplicity."
The Spectator 2004
'Other agreeable Presteigne memories? Cecilia McDowall's moving motet Ave Maris Stella, written in 9/11's shadow. And the sun, every day.'
The Times 2007