Autumn performances
Sep
18
1:00 AM01:00

Autumn performances

Autumn is in the air, the leaves are beginning to change here in the beautiful Upper Peninsula, delicious pumpkin products are widely available, and I’ve got a number of performances (that I know of) coming up in these fall months:

The Gesualdo Six will be performing “My Heart is like a Singing Bird at the North Wales International Music Festival this Friday (20 Sept) at St. Asaph Cathedral at 7:30 pm. I have many fond memories of St. Asaph where the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir performed many times, and by total coincidence, I was in St. Asaph singing (and premiering Shenandoah) when G6 first premiered the piece in 2016. They’ve performed it on numerous occasions since then.

Also on the other side of the Pond, London-based Khoros Choir and their conductor Patrick Allies will be releasing their debut album at a concert at St Stephen Walbrook (EC4N) at 7:30 pm on 17 October. The program includes my piece “Mater Dei” alongside works such as Britten’s “Hymn to the Virgin,” de Lassus’ “Alma Redemtoris Mater,” and Sandström’s “Det är en Ros Utsprungen,” a real favorite of mine. The Edinburgh University Singers and Calum Robertson will also be performing my arrangement of “Wayfaring Stranger” on 22 November at Church of the Sacred Heart, Lauriston Place, at 7:30 pm.

PopUp Choir recently returned from their tour to Scotland, conducted by Paul Mealor, where they performed their program “The Road Home,” including my Shenandoah alongside works by composers including Britten, Paulus, Hogan, and fellow recent Aberdeen grad John Frederick Hudson. They will all be reprising this wonderful program Stateside on 12 October at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN at 7:30 pm.

The William Jewell College Concert Choir and their conductor Anthony J. Maglione will be performing their concert titled “Perspectives” at First Presbyterian Church of St. Joseph, MO. This concert centers around Thomas LaVoy’s stunning cantata “In Heaven, Hereafter,” based on the life and writings of artist and folk hero Nancy Luce of Martha’s Vineyard. My piece “Uprooted” will also be performed, as well as works by Ed Frazier Davis and Nathaniel Dett. Tom will be in residence with the choir that week, and we are both immensely excited to attend what is sure to be a unique and engaging concert. His pre-concert talk begins at 7:30 pm, with the concert starting at 8:00.

Conductor Brian Stevens, a great friend and advocate of many composers including myself, will be performing a couple of my pieces with his choral ensembles: Nazareth College Women’s Choir will be performing my O Vos Omnes at Beston Hall at 4 pm on 16 November, and Nazareth College Chamber Singers will be performing my “Charlie is my Darling” at Linehan Chapel (also at Nazareth College) at 3 pm on 17 November.

View Event →
Upcoming commissioned projects
Aug
12
2:00 PM14:00

Upcoming commissioned projects

Happy August, everyone! At this time of year, a lot of us are hard at work taking stock of our upcoming schedule or planning our next “season” or academic cycle. I am very happy to announce some commissions to be written and premiered in the coming months (and years).

  • I am currently hard at work writing “In the Beginning was the Word” for Harmonium Choral Society and Dr. Anne Matlack. This piece will be a joyous setting of a number of different translations of the iconic verse John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.” I’ve taken the top five languages in the word by population: Mandarin, Spanish, English, Arabic and Hindi, and I am using these wildly different-sounding sentences to create a variety of festive rhythms and textures. The piece will be premiered on December 7th (8:00 pm) and 8th (3:00 pm) at Morristown United Methodist Church, NJ. Harmonium performs all manner of repertoire from Arcadelt to Bach’s St. Matthew Passion to contemporary works including my “Mater Dei” and “We Walked through the Trees” in recent months, and I’m thrilled to be working with them further.

  • My next sacred commission after that will be for Dr. Juan Carlos Acosta and the Choir at The Village Presbyterian Church in Rancho Santa Fe, CA. I worked with Juan on the premiere of my piece “The Devil’s Tower” with SACRA/PROFANA, and I am so excited to be working again with such a warm-hearted and skilled conductor. This time, I’ll be writing an anthem setting of Matthew 28 (the Easter story) for choir, organ and brass.

  • I will also be writing a new work for organ (a current favorite instrument of mine) for Carson Cooman. Carson is a composer himself and his dedication to all kinds of new music for organ is abundantly clear. The piece is tentatively scheduled for premiere in June 2020 at National Cathedral, Washington DC – more info when the time comes.

  • This is all in addition to my new piece for the Glasgow School of Art Choir, which I can’t wait to focus on this spring. The piece will be premiered in 2021.

View Event →
New project with the Glasgow School of Art Choir
Aug
6
4:30 PM16:30

New project with the Glasgow School of Art Choir

The Glasgow School of Art Choir and their conductor Jamie Sansbury have just announced their partnership with Creative Scotland and the Glasgow Women’s Library. They are commissioning seven composers: Rebecca Rowe, Ailie Robertson, Pippa Murphy, Jane Stanley, Dee Isaacs, Cecilia McDowall and myself. I’m honored to be in such fantastic company!

The 100-member-strong choir has an extensive record of commissioning new works from composers including James MacMillan and Jay Cappernauld, and they are also participating in the Scattered Light consortium with myself and Thomas LaVoy. I absolutely can’t wait to work with them on a larger-scale project. More information will be available in the spring of 2020, and the works will be premiered in 2021.

View Event →
Performances of Charlie is my Darling
Aug
6
3:30 PM15:30

Performances of Charlie is my Darling

I’m pleased that my arrangement of “Charlie is my Darling,” released on the Jo-Michael Scheibe Series on Walton a few months ago, is making the rounds. The piece was workshopped at NextDirection Choral Leadership Symposium on July 19th at University of Wisconsin (Parkside), as well as at the Choral Conductors Workshop with renowned conductor Rod Eichenberger in Seaside, Oregon on July 31st. Aberdeen Vocal Ensemble is also performing the piece on their Scottish tour from Elgin to the the Lothians August 5th through the 10th; details available on their Facebook page.

These are, of course, just the performances I know of – very exciting!

View Event →
New recordings
Jul
15
4:00 PM16:00

New recordings

With a number of performances of new and recent works in the past few months, I’ve received a number of excellent recordings recently. I am proud to be able to share them now.

In particular, the St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral Girls Choir and their conductor Blanaid Murphy have just released their new CD Vox Feminina, a stunning collection of sacred music for upper voices by women featuring works by composers such as Judith Weir, Roxanna Panufnik and Sarah MacDonald, and my “O Sing Unto the Lord”. The piece was commissioned by the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney for the installment of Bishop Anne Dyer, first female bishop in the Scottish Episcopal Church.

The musicianship and sensitivity of these recordings is absolutely top-notch. The CD is available for purchase all the usual sources, and individual tracks are on YouTube.

Khoros Choir (London) and their conductor Patrick Allies have also just completed their recording sessions in Cambridge this month, which included my piece Mater Dei. Can’t wait to hear the final result – here’s a preview of the ensemble!

I’ve been thrilled to receive a number of stunning live recordings recently as well, including the recent performance of “The Devil’s Tower” by SACRA/PROFANA, and “Interrogations at Noon” and “The Angel with the Broken Wing” from my Failed Saints cycle by Ensemble Companio.

View Event →
“Buy one get one" Latin sacred pieces
Jun
15
to Jul 15

“Buy one get one" Latin sacred pieces

With the summer break, now is the time that many conductors plan their upcoming seasons. In honor of that, I’m running a special on some of my sacred pieces –

My “O Vos Omnes” and “Adoravit” are both great options for liturgical or concert performance – buy a full set (i.e. enough for the whole choir) of one of these two, and I’ll send you the other piece, OR one of my Sacred Harp arrangements for free.

Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions!

View Event →
World premiere of “The Sycamore"
Jun
5
7:30 PM19:30

World premiere of “The Sycamore"

I am immensely looking forward to the world premiere of my setting of Wendell Berry’s poem “The Sycamore,” commissioned by Lee Ryder for the Stephen Black Singers. Wendell Berry’s poetry and its sophisticated descriptions of our environments has inspired countless composers in recent decades, and it was a thrill to add my voice to that. I showcased the more lyrical side of my style in this piece, allowing the text to take center stage, and the tune and form of the piece twist and turn like the tree the poem describes.

The performance will be on the 5th of June at Metro Baptist Church in Midtown, NYC, and the program features other stunning settings of Wendell Berry by composers including Joan Szymko and Andrew Maxfield. Conductor Stephen Black is a fellow USC graduate and I am looking forward to his presentation of this wonderful program very much. More information can be found on the project website.

View Event →
Spring + Summer news round-up
May
5
6:30 PM18:30

Spring + Summer news round-up

Spring is in the air (in most places), and I haven’t done a “round-up” news post in some time, so here are some recent and upcoming performances I’ve got on my musical docket:

  • Mater Dei was performed by the Chamber Singers of Iowa City and conductor David Puderbaugh at First Presbyterian Church in Iowa City on the 24th of February. Choir member Ned Szumski writes about their program here.

  • Harmonium Choral Society and conductor Anne Matlack performed my Dylan Thomas setting “We walked through the Trees” in Madison and Short Hills, NJ on the 2nd and 3rd of March on their “Swan Songs” program, alongside works by composers from Arcadelt and Monteverdi to Kevin Puts and Michael Bussewitz-Quarm. 

  • The Botetourt Chamber Singers and conductor Jamie Bartlett gave the American premiere of my first Magnificat at The College of William and Mary in Virginia on April 7th. The piece was written for The Cantus Ensemble’s composition competition in 2017 as a companion piece to Arvo Pärt’s Nunc Dimittis. 

  • My Wayfaring Stranger was read at the national ACDA convention in Kansas City in MusicSpoke’s reading session on February 28th, led by acclaimed conductor Charles Bruffy.

In news from the other side of the pond: 

  • Acclaimed organist Roger Williams reprised his performance of my commissioned piece Window Image as the voluntary at St Machar’s Cathedral, Aberdeen on 20 January. I enjoyed the commission very much, and I’m happy to be working on two more works for organ currently. A truly rewarding family of instruments to write for!

  • The Cathedral Singers of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and conductor James Potter performed my arrangement of “Shall we gather at the River?” in their evensong service on 23 February. 

  • The Gesualdo Six performed my piece My Heart is like a Singing Bird at their “Passion and Polyphony” concert at Cadogan Hall on 7 March. The concert was partially in celebration of the winners of their second composition competition – in an Aberdeen clean sweep, the “21-and-over” category winner was fellow Aberdeen PhD student Alison Willis, and the winner of their first competition in 2016 was my (now former) PhD advisor Phillip Cooke. They will be performing my piece again at Trinity College Cambridge on 11 May at 8pm, as part of the Cambridge Festival of the Voice.

  • Aberdeen Vocal Ensemble and conductor (and all-around swell guy) Sam Paul will perform my arrangement of Wayfaring Stranger on 11 May, 3 pm at Midstocket Parish Church, Aberdeen.

  • Two of my works are being performed on the London Festival of Contemporary Choral Music

    • The Evening Canticles will be performed on Evensong by the choir of St Luke’s Chelsea and Jeremy Summerly, alongside works by Judith Weir and Judith Bingham among others at St Luke’s on 12 May at 3pm. 

    • Window Image is receiving its London premiere at Eucharist on 16 May at St Pancras Parish Church, 1:15pm. 

Looking towards the summer, my works will see some Transatlantic action: 

  • I’m honored to have my first performances by the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge and their director Sarah MacDonald, first female DOM at an Oxbridge chapel and long-standing advocate for living choral composers in the UK and elsewhere (and fellow Pacific Northwesterner). They will be performing my Brightest and Best in their recital performances on their tour of the Northeast United States in mid-July. 

  • The PopUp Choir of Minnesota will be performing my spectral-inspired arrangement of Oh, Shenandoah on their summer tour in late August, conducted by none other than Paul Mealor. I am quite touched that this excellent group will be bringing the piece “home” to Scotland with performances in Dundee, Aberdeen and Braemar. 

On a personal front, in news that came as a shock to absolutely no one, I also got engaged to this brilliant dude on the 27th of April! (Obligatory plug for our joint project, which we are very much looking forward to bringing to life this summer.) 

View Event →
Chorus Austin: “Southwest Voices"
May
4
to May 5

Chorus Austin: “Southwest Voices"

I’m honored to have won Chorus Austin’s Young Composer Competition, which means that my winning piece “Rough Country” will be performed on their Southwest Voices concerts:

  • Saturday, May 4 8PM – University Presbyterian Church, 2203 San Antonio St, Austin, TX 78705

  • Sunday, May 5 4PM – Austin Scottish Rite Theater,  207 W 18th St, Austin, TX 78701

Many thanks to the judges and to conductor Ryan Heller for all of their hard work! Looking forward to spending time with the choir in Austin (and going to Torchy’s Tacos).

I enjoyed setting “Rough Country” and the other three texts very much indeed. Like many of Dana Gioia’s poems, they paint beautiful pictures of wild landscapes, alongside more internal thoughts and spiritual questioning.

This will be the US premiere of Rough Country (Kantos gave the world premiere performance last year). The other movements, “Interrogations at Noon” and “The Angel with the Broken Wing,” will continue to be performed in Ensemble Companio’s run of their Failed Saints performances.

View Event →
UK Premiere of “Uprooted"
Apr
13
7:30 PM19:30

UK Premiere of “Uprooted"

Very touched that the story of Kay Sakai Nakao and Lilly Kitamoto Kodama, as told through my piece Uprooted, will be making its way over to Scotland in May. The Reid Consort and conductor Cole Bendall will be performing the piece on their spring concert, centered around Arvo Pärt’s Passio: https://www.facebook.com/events/237530426942381/

The piece was commissioned by The Esoterics and Eric Banks as part of their POLYPHONOS competition last year. They will also be performing my pieces O God Thy Sea… and We Walked through the Trees on their “Humility” concerts in December.

View Event →
“Charlie is my Darling" on Walton
Apr
10
to Apr 11

“Charlie is my Darling" on Walton

I’m very excited to see that my arrangement of Charlie is my Darling is now available on the Jo-Michael Scheibe Series on Walton Music. The piece was recorded on the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir’s CD “The Immortal Memory,” which debuted at number 3 in the classical charts in the UK, and it has been featured on BBC Scotland and Classic FM.

From Walton’s website: “This lively setting of a beloved Robert Burns poem brings to mind charming images of Scotland. Very achievable and fun with great vocal construction, making this a good option for high school and above. A favorite of Prince Charles!”

View Event →
Performances by Ensemble Companio
Mar
30
to May 11

Performances by Ensemble Companio

I’m honored that Ensemble Companio and their director Erik Peregrine will be premiering the first two movements of my choral cycle Failed Saints on texts by Dana Gioia, “Interrogations at Noon” and “The Angel with the Broken Wing.” (The final movement was premiered by Kantos Chamber Choir on their “America” concert last year.)

You can read Erik’s words about their program titled after my work on their website, which includes other brilliant 20th and 21st century works such as Saunder Choi’s The New Colossus, Melissa Dunphy’s O Oriens, and Alberto Ginastera’s Lamentations of Jeremiah.

With performances in Boston, Newport, New York and Philadelphia, there are a number of opportunities to catch this program:

  • Saturday March 30th at 7:30pm, Good Shepherd-Faith Church, New York, NY

  • Saturday April 27th at 7:00 pm, St. John the Evangelist Church, Newport, RI

  • Sunday April 28th at 1:30 pm, United Parish in Brookline, MA

  • Saturday May 11th at 8:00 pm, Trinity Center for Urban Life, Philadelphia, PA

Do check it out if you live in the Northeast of the United States, you won’t want to miss it.

I enjoyed setting these texts so much that my partner Thomas LaVoy and I are putting together a consortium to commission works from both of us on texts by Dana Gioia. You can read about the project and how to support it on my dedicated page here.

View Event →
SACRA/PROFANA win and performances
Mar
22
to Mar 23

SACRA/PROFANA win and performances

I could not be more thrilled that my new piece “The Devil’s Tower” has won the SACRA/PROFANA composition competition. I adapted my own text on the Kiowa story of Devils Tower in Wyoming to write a new piece for this competition, and it was an absolute joy to work on. Thank you so much to artistic director Juan Acosta, outreach coordinator Sacha Peiser, and everyone on the panel for all of their hard work and support of new choral works.

The piece will be performed on their “Gender: X” program, part of their tenth anniversary season, with guest conductor Emilie Amrein. Catch the concert at St. David’s Cathedral, 5050 Milton St, San Diego on Friday the 22nd at 7:30 pm (tickets), and at Christ Lutheran Church in Pacific Beach on Saturday the 23rd at 7:30 pm (tickets).

Update: read a review here.

View Event →
The London Festival of American Music
Feb
24
7:30 PM19:30

The London Festival of American Music

Happy to see my music continuing to have a life in the UK – my piece “Le Dian” will be performed by the Ligeti Quartet at their concert on the London Festival of American Music, organized by Lontano Ensemble and Odaline de la Martinez.

There are a number of exciting and diverse concerts and pieces programmed on this festival in late February, including works by Melinda Wagner, Marvin Bresnick, David Conte, Ruth Seeger and a world premiere clarinet quintet by Elena Ruehr, who I had the pleasure of meeting a few weekends ago at Michigan Tech. Very jealous indeed of all those who get to attend these events – if you are in the London area, check it out!

The Quartet’s concert is at 7:30 pm on Sunday, 24 February at The Warehouse, tickets available here.

View Event →
Performances of “Above the Stars" in Oxford
Feb
23
to Mar 3

Performances of “Above the Stars" in Oxford

My motet for upper voices Above the Stars is having its first UK outing, and my music is making (to my knowledge) its Oxford debut with new ensemble The Korrigan Consort, led by Caroline Lesemann-Elliott. They’ll be performing the piece a few times, alongside other choral gems and creative programming.

The first is their concert “Locus Iste” at St Mary’s Adderbury in Oxfordshire, which has a rich history from the 13th century to present, as the event description says – “It is one of Oxfordshire’s largest and most iconic parish churches, and has witnessed countless events, from the “invention” of Morris Dancing to Royalist conspiracies to the flourishing of Quaker clock-making. Its high-Gothic windows and masonry showcase stunning art, and the crown in the church’s jewel is its 600-year old chancel, to which this concert is dedicated to celebrating.” The concert starts at 7:30 pm on Saturday 23 February.

They will be reprising the piece on their “Welcome Joy, Welcome Sorrow” concert over the following weekend in Oxford: St Mary Magdalen Church on 1 March at 8 pm, Balliol College Chapel on 2 March at 8 pm, and Somerville College Chapel on 3 March at 1 pm. The program is centered around Imogen Holst’s setting of Keats’ “Song of Opposites”, and also features works by Gustav Holst and Mendelssohn.

View Event →
“Our Lady's Consort" competition win
Feb
2
7:00 PM19:00

“Our Lady's Consort" competition win

Very pleased to announce that I won Notre Dame-based choral ensemble Our Lady’s Consort’s first call for scores. The Consort will be performing my new piece Adoravit, a setting of ‘Senex puerunt portabat’, at the choir’s concert for the Feast of the Presentation on February 2 at the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Notre Dame. I enjoyed exercising all of my early Renaissance influences in writing the piece very much indeed. Thanks very much for the work of all involved - judges Dr. Carmen-Helena Téllez and Dr. Nancy Menck, the choir, and their director Dr. Caleb Wenzel. I met Caleb at the Oregon Bach Festival Composers’ Symposium and I feel confident that he’ll do an excellent job!

View Event →
Performance on “Music from the Northwoods" festival
Jan
20
3:00 PM15:00

Performance on “Music from the Northwoods" festival

I am looking forward to making a very snowy road trip out to Houghton, MI with Thomas LaVoy for concerts on 19 and 20 January, for Music from the Northwoods: A Festival of Music by composers inspired by or from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. My piece ‘Godspeed the Day’ for solo viola will be performed by Ria Hodgson from the Superior String Alliance String Quartet on Sunday the 20th, 3 pm in the McArdle Theater. This is one of two concerts – the other is on the 19th at 7 pm at the Rosza Center. Having only lived on the UP for about a month and a half so far, I’m lucky to be included! There is an exciting amount of variety on the program, including string quartets, choral works and all sorts of other things by composers including Thomas LaVoy, Abbie Betinis and Griffin Candey.

View Event →
Performances by The Gesualdo Six
Jan
12
10:00 PM22:00

Performances by The Gesualdo Six

Happy to hear that Owain Park and friends are at it again – catch performances of my piece ‘My heart is like a singing bird’ with this renowned vocal consort on a number of concerts over the next few weeks:

  • The Berliner Philharmoniker Chamber Music Hall, Berlin, 16 January at 8 pm

  • “Rising Stars” concert series at St John’s Church, Taunton, 26 January at 5 pm

  • The Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall in Leeds, 15 February at 1:05 pm

  • St James Sussex Gardens, London (Paddington), 17 February at 8 pm

  • Trinity College Cambridge, 18 February at 8 pm

  • Boxgrove Priory in Sussex, 19 February at 8 pm

For tickets and more information, see their website.

View Event →
Scattered Light | Commission Consortium 2019
Jan
4
6:00 PM18:00

Scattered Light | Commission Consortium 2019

With the PhD over, I’m very much looking forward to getting on to some new projects in 2019. To that end, Thomas LaVoy and I are excited to announce our first joint venture - a consortium of ensembles to commission two new SATB works from us on poems by Dana Gioia, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and poet laureate of California. I’ve set Dana’s poetry before, and he’s a formidable poet and collaborator whom we are thrilled to have onboard with the project.

The deadline to sign up is the end of June 2019, and pieces will be delivered later in the summer. For more information and to express your interest, see my dedicated page (or see Tom’s website as well).

View Event →
PhD viva success
Nov
20
10:30 AM10:30

PhD viva success

I am very proud to say that as of last Wednesday the 14th, I have passed my PhD viva with quite minor corrections! I’ll be submitting the final document for approval shortly, before I leave Aberdeen, and the degree will be officially conferred in June 2019.

My internal examiner was Prof Pete Stollery and my external examiner was Prof Francis Pott, and it was an honor to get such extensive feedback from them on my work. I am a huge fan of Francis Pott’s choral music in particular, which has been performed extensively throughout the UK and elsewhere.

I forgot to take any photos whatsoever of that day, so here’s a photo of me and my supervisor Phillip Cooke taking a walk, in an attempt to stop my nerves. I’ll miss Phil very much!

View Event →
Upcoming performances: Nov-Dec 2018
Nov
7
3:00 PM15:00

Upcoming performances: Nov-Dec 2018

I have neglected this page a bit, with my PhD defense (or “viva voce” on this side of the pond) coming up on 14 November, and serious (and seriously rewarding!) teaching load during my last term in Aberdeen. However, I have a number of performances coming up this season:

The Harmonium Choral Society and conductor Dr. Anne Matlack will be performing my ‘Mater Dei’ as part of their ‘Navidad Nuestra’ concerts on Saturday, December 8, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 3 p.m. at Morristown United Methodist Church in New Jersey. They will also be performing my Dylan Thomas setting ‘We walked through the trees’ in March 2019, which will be the American premiere of the piece. Both of these works feature texts that I absolutely fell in love with before and during the composing process, and I hope Harmonium enjoys them as much as I do!

Also on Saturday 8 December, the choir of the Oratory Church of St Chad in Manchester and their conductor Rory Johnston will be giving the UK premiere of my ‘Ave Rosa, Sine Spinis’ at their mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On Sunday 18 November, the Chamber Choir of Christopher Newport University in Virginia will perform my spectral-inspired ‘Shenandoah,’ conducted by Jacquelyn Shilling. Also in Virginia, the choir of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Richmond and their director Ryan Tibbetts will be performing my ‘Hodie’ in their Christmas Eve service.

On 1 December, the Groton-Dunstable High School Chamber Chorus will perform my ‘O God, Thy sea is so great…’ on their fall semester concert in Groton, MA. Quite a feat for a high school ensemble, but their recordings are absolutely top-notch and I’m certain they’ll do an excellent job!

Last but not least, I have a couple of remaining performances with my ‘home choir’ of the University of Aberdeen Chapel Choir in the last bit of my time here. The choir will be premiering my setting of Micheal O'Siadhail’s poem Motet, commissioned by the Very Rev Professor Iain Torrance, at the University’s afternoon graduation ceremony on Friday 23 November. Micheal will be receiving an honorary Doctor of Literature at the ceremony. The choir will also be performing my arrangement of ‘Shall we gather at the river?’ at the UK Consulate House for the British ambassador to the United States while on their tour to New York City, on Monday 26 November.

View Event →
Performances by The Esoterics
Oct
5
8:00 PM20:00

Performances by The Esoterics

Having just submitted my PhD, I am immensely excited to be returning home to Seattle for The Esoterics’ concerts as part of their POLYPHONOS competition. My new commission is being performed on their “Consolo: The Reimagined Requiem” concerts the weekend of October 5th.

Appropriately, this has become a very close-to-home musical project. From 1942 to 1945, 120,000 people in the western United States were forcibly incarcerated for no reason other than their Japanese ancestry. This happened within living memory. The Supreme Court ruled that it was constitutional. Those who were living on Bainbridge Island were the first to be taken away. This summer I was fortunate enough to speak with Kay Sakai Nakao and Lilly Kodama, who were imprisoned at Manzanar and Minidoka “relocation centers” during these years, and I’ve set their words in my piece, “Uprooted”. Kay, Lilly and countless others have in fact shared their story many times, in hopes that nothing like this may happen again. 

Working on this commission has been an extremely meaningful experience to me, and there are other wonderful works by living composers on the program as well including fellow winners Ily Matthew Maniano and Anna-Karin Klockar, and Dale Trumbore. Concerts are in Seattle on October 5th, West Seattle on the 6th, and Tacoma on the 7th: http://www.theesoterics.org/concerts/season-2018/consolo 

View Event →
Performance by Pro Coro Canada
Sep
16
3:00 PM15:00

Performance by Pro Coro Canada

I am beyond delighted that Pro Coro Canada will be performing my 'O God, Thy sea is so great and my boat is so small..." at their 100th anniversary tribute to Leonard Bernstein on 16 September: https://procoro.ca/ALivingSoul Pro Coro is one of if not the top professional choir in Canada, and I have no doubt that they will do this rather ambitious piece more than justice. 

In the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir, we were extremely lucky to have their music director Michael Zaugg with us last year as guest for the performance of Thomas LaVoy's Endless, and Michael received a much-deserved honorary DMus from the University this spring. I wish I could be there to see him bring this piece to life, but alas I will still be deep in PhD completion in Aberdeen. 

View Event →
Return to Cheltenham Music Festival
Jul
11
9:00 PM21:00

Return to Cheltenham Music Festival

I was thrilled to write for the Ligeti Quartet a second time this summer, following up from my participation in last year's Composer Academy with a commission from the Cheltenham Music Festival this year. My piece Le Dian ("with intensity" in Gaelic) is a bit of a follow up to last year's piece, using lots of vocally-reminiscent sounds, but this time with more of a sense of urgency. The programme also features works by Michael Zev Gordon, Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Bethan Morgan-Williams, and Christian Mason, and we will also be having a panel discussion on diversity in music. 

*Read reviews of the concert here and here

View Event →
Canticles at AGO Convention
Jul
2
to Jul 6

Canticles at AGO Convention

  • 2018 American Guild of Organists national convention (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

My Evening Canticles (so far my first and only set of canticles) will be read at the American Guild of Organists convention on Friday the 6th, as part of MusicSpoke's AGO Anthem Anthology, curated by Charles Bruffy and appearing on his sacred music series on MusicSpoke. You can read about the anthology here, as well as see previews of all of the works included. The full anthology is also available on Amazon

View Event →
“Music in 3D" with Amuse Singers
Jun
13
7:30 PM19:30

“Music in 3D" with Amuse Singers

If you're in the New York area, join Amuse Singers for their "Music in 3D" concert on June 13th at Rutgers Presbyterian Church (73rd and Broadway) at 7:30 pm, which will includes the premiere of my new work "All Beautiful". 

I wish I could be there for this one - these lovely ladies expertly perform loads of contemporary repertoire including this companion piece to Byrd's "O Gloriosa Domina" which they premiered last year. Their president Lee Ryder was kind enough to commission me again, and I've written them a piece that combines the prayer 'Tota Pulchra Es' with Rilke's short epitaph on a rose, which stars small and blooms around the ensemble. 

You can hear a recording of my last commission for Amuse here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7-vEpMcZP8

View Event →
Performances by Kantos Chamber Choir
Apr
28
7:30 PM19:30

Performances by Kantos Chamber Choir

I was very happy indeed to make the journey down to Manchester again over the weekend of - a choir as good as Kantos is worth the coach journey! I met Kantos and conductor Ellie Slorach through their recording and subsequent performance of my 'Brightest and Best' for The Silver Stars at Play CD of contemporary carols. They gave a stunning performance of American (+ Tippett) choral works including Copland's In the Beginning, Whitacre's When David Heard, songs by William Billings, and two works by me. With soloist Sarah Keirle they performed my arrangement of Oh Shenandoah, and also premiered a new setting of Rough Country, with words by California poet laureate Dana Gioia

Rough Country is the third of a set of three settings of Gioia's stunning poems, which I'm looking forward to making fully available for purchase soon. I have set his work before but not since my University of Southern California days, so it's been a very enjoyable homecoming working with his texts again. You can hear the piece here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLlGTecQBfI

View Event →
“Shall we gather at the river?" in Poland
Apr
20
to Apr 21

“Shall we gather at the river?" in Poland

The University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir are going on tour to Warsaw, Poland as the ensemble-in-residence for the Polish Choral Conductors Conference. They'll be singing two concerts: one on Friday, 20 April at St John's Archcathedral at 8 pm, and an encore performance outside the city on Saturday, 21 April at 7pm at Garwolin Church. The programme includes my arrangement of 'Shall we gather at the River', which I am very much looking forward to conducting myself. 

See a video of the Garwolin performance here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ve3zTF7LoLE

View Event →
Performances by the Gesualdo Six
Apr
3
to Apr 6

Performances by the Gesualdo Six

The Gesualdo Six are giving repeat performances of my piece 'My heart is like a singing bird' as part of their spring tour, on their programmes at Clodock, Bristol, Colyton and Winchester. Full details about the performances can be found on Classical Events. They are touring in promotion of their 'English Motets' CD, which debuted at no. 1 on the classical charts in the United Kingdom. 

G6 first performed this piece at St John Smith's Square in June 2016, and I've been honoured that they've toured it around the UK and Europe since then. 

View Event →
O Vos Omnes at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church
Mar
30
7:00 PM19:00

O Vos Omnes at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church

The SATB version of my 'O Vos Omnes' is being performed by the Festival Choir of Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church and their conductor, Brett Strader.

*Update: see a live stream of the service here, with 'O Vos' beginning at around 53:00. Artist Daniel Panasiuk created a painting of one of the thieves crucified alongside Jesus, beginning during the choir's performance. Daniel frequently creates pieces of art as part of worship. 

View Event →