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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.)