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Latest news

New publications of my pieces 

I am delighted to announce that I am officially a published composer! Three of my best and most interesting pieces-- "As kingfishers catch fire," "O Clavis David," and "Songs in Time of Peril"-- are now part of the catalogue of Personage Press, the imprint headed by my longtime teacher and dear friend Vince Peterson. I'm so excited to have these pieces more widely publicized to choirs worldwide.

I've taken the opportunity as well to revamp the rest of my catalogue and produce new editions of additional pieces of mine, which I've then self-published through Sheet Music Plus. Availability through SMP makes the pieces simpler to purchase and more searchable too. You can see all my scores available for purchase, as always, on my scores page.

A new score for our times 

Another new score is up on my scores page, a setting of the Advent antiphon "O Clavis David." I started working on this piece some months before the pandemic hit, but was inspired to push it through to a finished product while cooped up here at home. The setting is in Latin; a rough English translation is:

 

O Key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel,

Who opens, and no one can shut; shuts, and no one can open;

Come and free the captive from the prison house,

who sits in darkness and the shadow of death.

 

I'd initially thought to dedicate it to refugees and immigrants unjustly detained; but now it speaks to all of us who are effectively under house arrest "for the duration." I can only hope that when the Advent season comes this year there will be choral concerts again, and that somewhere people will gather to sing this piece and hear it sung and recall a feeling of confinement that will then be a memory.

Oh my country so beautiful and lost 

Yesterday I recorded a video of myself singing the first tenor part to "Va pensiero" for the Musical Solidarity Project. I'll post again if and when the completed, merged/mastered virtual choir recording is available. In the meantime, if any readers are looking for a way to express our togetherness virtually in musical form, check it out and consider submitting a part-recording yourself. It was a somewhat awkward exercise since I don't usually do at-home self-recordings, but I think it came out well. The quoted line-- "Oh mia Patria si bella e perduta"-- was the most emotionally difficult to sing, as I imagine it must be for many.

On a happier and longer-term note, my "As kingfishers catch fire" has been named a finalist for the 2019-20 American Prize for short choral works. It continues to be one of my favorites and one of my most honored pieces-- do check out the recording on my YouTube channel and consider purchasing the score from my scores page.

 

 

New catalog acceptance, new available score, and looking ahead 

A few updates to share:

1. Several of my works are cross-listed on Project Encore, a catalog of previously performed choral music deemed to be of high quality by a panel of choral conductors. I'm pleased to announce that the most recent set of additions to Project Encore includes my piece Rise up, my love, a Hebrew setting of verses from the Song of Solomon, which IOCSF originally performed in 2012 and has since reprised in its current revised form.

2. In keeping with the spring season, a new piece of mine is available on my scores page: a setting of Horace's ode "Diffugere nives" in a style heavily influenced by Renaissance motets, but given my own spin with a little more harmonic movement and a 7/8 time signature. There has been no public performance of this one, but the skilled readers and singers of the First Readings Project have produced a very fine demo recording. The text reminds us to enjoy the pleasures of spring while remembering that our lives are fleeting and our time of enjoyment limited-- this last message unfortunately has only become more poignant with the present world situation.

3. Speaking of the present world situation, I am sheltering in place with my family like many of you, missing choral singing intensely, and thinking ahead to the time when the present crisis will have passed and we can gather together in person to make music again. I'm working on a couple of pieces whose texts speak to the fears we face now and offer hope for deliverance from those fears. More details hopefully soon.

American Prize semifinalist 

I'm honored to be able to announce that I have been selected as a semifinalist for the American Prize in choral composition for 2019-20:

https://theamericanprize.blogspot.com/2020/01/semi-finalists-composers-choral-music.html

You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize

The pieces for which I was selected, As kingfishers catch fire and Ve hayah ba-'acharit hayamim (movement 3 of my "Songs in Time of Peril" cycle), are available for purchase on my scores page.