“Why Learne to Sing?” has been published by GIA Publications, Inc. as part of the Music at Westminster Series.
Why Learne to Sing? uses excerpts from the preface to William Byrd’s 1588 anthology, Psalms, Sonets, and Songs of Sadnes and Pietie. The archaic spelling of sixteenth-century English was generally kept intact. since the text is not a poem, unconventional and frequently changing time signatures were chosen to accomodate the uneven rhythms of the text. The “omnis spiritus laudet Dominum” section uses its corresponding Pro Defunctis chant, which dates to as early as the 1300s, giving this text an even more ancient quality.
This semester, I had the pleasure of arranging a three-song set for the Deaftones, the mixed a cappella group at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. These arrangements were performed as part of the Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, and as this was my last year of eligibility in terms of arranging (one must be a student at the school to do so), I was excited to do the honors.
The Deaftones won the competition, and they will advance to the Semifinals on March 29th at Rutgers University.
Mike Chin of A Cappella Blog selected my arrangement of “Pompeii” as one of his picks for Outstanding Arrangement, saying,
“I wrote earlier about making a song your own and highlighting your identity, particularly at the climax of your set, in the last impression you’re leaving on the audience and this was a perfect example of remixing a song to spotlight everything you’ve got. Really lovely subtle weave-in of “No Light, No Light” on the finish. Killer set!”
My three-movement choral work, Three Songs After Adelaide, will be performed by Nashville’s Portara Ensemble, conducted by Shreyas Patel.
Part of a concert featuring Jonathan Dove’s “The Passing of the Year” and music by Matt Walker (ALIAS Chamber Ensemble, Nashville Symphony cellist), the concert will be at the Cathedral of the Incarnation on October 13th, 2013.
Here’s the world premiere recording of my setting of a collect from the Book of Common Prayer, “Lord Jesus, Stay With Us.” It was performed in Bristol Chapel at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, featuring an ensemble of various student singers.
A new work of mine, “At a Window,” will receive its premiere at Westminster Choir College in April.
Based on a text of the same name by American poet Carl Sandburg, who I have set before in my choral work Nocturne in a Deserted Brickyard, this piece is written for orchestra and a soprano soloist.
It will be premiered by the Westminster Community Orchestra and Audra Casebier, soprano, on April 3rd, 2013 in Bristol Chapel at Westminster Choir College, and will be conducted by the orchestra’s director, Ruth Ochs.
Recital Update: I have begun collaborating with the other first-year composition graduate student at Westminster Choir College, Ian Good. We will be putting on a recital together in the spring of 2013 of works that we have composed based on the same text. It will be a nice trial for our own individual masters recitals in the spring of 2014.
Composition Update: I have finished several new works/commissions:
Sidewalk Zoo for the chamber ensemble sync|duo. This work is a duet for marimba and flute, and will likely be recorded onto a CD of new works for percussion and flute by that ensemble. It was commissioned by Daniel Kozlowski, who I have collaborated with before in composing Elisabetta.
In Unum, a work for divisi SATB chorus and piano. Based on the Psalm text that proclaims: “Behold how good and pleasant it is when people dwell together in unity,” In Unum is a highly challenging, rhythmic work that often borrows influence of jazz.
And They That Be Wise, a work based on Daniel 12:3 for a cappella SSAATTBB chorus. This work can be characterized by its frequent modulations and use of unconventional tone color.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel. I was commissioned by Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond, VA to arrange this hymn for a small choral ensemble, to be used in their annual Christmas program. The arrangement will also be available for any other ensemble that wishes to use it, because I wrote it deliberately to be accessible, but still provide a depth of musicality.
The Tide Rises, a setting of the text by Ralph Waldo Emerson for high voice and piano. This work will be premiered by a tenor at Westminster Choir College in the spring of 2013.
Currently working on several projects:
An orchestration of a Kutless song for Grove Avenue Baptist Church
A setting of Walt Whitman’s text “Gliding Over All”
The first movement of a choral/orchestral work…more on that later
The Beltones sang my arrangement of the national anthem at the women’s basketball game on February 16th, 2012. Unfortunately, they were missing several people, and an alto had to move up to soprano, but even so, the athletic director immediately asked them to sing it again next season.