1 March 2018: Despite the "Beast from the East" snowstorm, Sarah's new work 'Babylon' was premiered to great success by the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir, University of Aberdeen Percussion Ensemble, and conductor Michael Bawtree at King's College Chapel, University of Aberdeen.
This is the final work for Sarah's PhD portfolio in composition. A recording of the entire piece can be found here (all movements are available in the playlist).
1 March 2018: Sarah was honored to be commissioned to write a setting of Psalm 96 for the Consecration of Canon Anne Dyer as Bishop of the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney, first female bishop in the Scottish Episcopal Church. Photos from the event along with a video and orders of service can be found here (though Sarah was in fact in the congregation with her family and not singing in the choir).
February - March 2018: Upcoming performances of 'O Vos Omnes'
The SATB version of 'O Vos Omnes' will receive a significant performance run this Lenten season with performances in England and the United States. The University of Kent Chamber Choir will perform the piece twice on 23 February, at lunchtime at Studio 3 Gallery and 19.30 at St Michael's Church, and in the Crypt of Canterbury Cathedral at 19.30 on 2 March. Read about the work and their performances on the University's choral blog, Cantus Firms: http://blogs.kent.ac.uk/cantusfirmus/2018/02/05/between-two-worlds-o-vos-omnes-by-sarah-rimkus/
The City of Canterbury Chamber Choir and fellow Aberdeen PhD student Edward-Rhys Harry will also perform the piece at 18.30 pm at St Peter's Methodist Church on 18 March, alongside works by Whitacre, Lauridsen, and Sarah and Edward's advisor, Phillip Cooke.
The piece will also be performed in East Bay, California by the Festival Choir of Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church and conductor Brett Strader, as part of their Good Friday service on 30 March. They will be joined by an artist who will create an original painting over the course of the service.
16 February 2018: The University of Aberdeen Percussion Ensemble will premiere Sarah's 'Blackbird' for marimba and vibraphone at Butchart Centre, University of Aberdeen at 7:30 pm, on their concert concluding their days of workshopping with English percussion duo Maraca2. They will be giving a repeat performance at the Percussion Ensemble's final concert of the semester on 28 March.
9 December 2017: Join Con Anima Chamber Choir at St Andrew's Cathedral, Aberdeen at 19.30 for an evening of including Byrd, Matthias, Poulenc, Maxwell Davies, and a world premiere of a new commission by Sarah, conducted by Dr Roger B Williams. Tickets are £10, £5 concession.
25 Nov 2017: Sarah's St Andrew's Mass for choir and semi-chorus received an encore concert performance by the Cathedral Choir and friends (with Sarah conducting) at St Andrew's Cathedral's lunchtime recital series. Also on the program were two premieres of new arrangements of American folk tunes by Sarah, which you can see and hear on YouTube here and here.
From Alan Cooper's review of the concert: "As I wrote in my review of the BBC Singers on Thursday, in my student days and beyond, the commonly held view was that tonal composition was a busted flush. Everything had been done already and probably better. Now composers like Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre and as we heard on Thursday in Aberdeen, Paul Mealor and Phillip Cooke are proving that there are still so many new ways of composing tonally. I think we should add the name of Sarah Rimkus to that list... Her music was original, fresh, fascinating and above all, attractive."
22 October 2017: Sarah was honored to win the National composer award as part of Seattle-based virtuosic choir The Esoterics' annual POLYPHONOS competition. She will receive a commission to write a new work to be premiered in October 2018, and will be traveling to the performances to work with the choir and their director Eric Banks, and speak about her work (and drink lots of good Seattle coffee with her friends and family back home).
News for Autumn 2017:
- Upcoming events across North America include performances of Sarah's arrangements of 'Oh Shenandoah' and 'Amazing Grace' by Cantabile Chamber Singers in Toronto, 'Charlie is my Darling' by the mixed varsity chorale of Taylor High School in Katy, TX (Sarah's first performance by a high school ensemble) and the premiere of her 'Ave Rosa, Sine Spinis' by Nova Vocal Ensemble in Glendale, California.
- Her commission for Amuse Singers in New York City will be premiered with Sarah in attendance at Rutgers Presbyterian Church (73rd and Broadway) on 18 October at 7:30 pm, with a subsequent performance at the Cathedral of St John the Divine (112th and Amsterdam) on 22 October at 4:45 pm.
- Two new recordings of Sarah's work are in the queue for release - Sarah's Christmas carol 'Brightest and Best' was recently recorded by Manchester-based ensemble Kantos and conductor Ellie Slorach, to be released in December on Prima Facie's new record 'The Silver Stars at Play', including carols by a wide variety of other distinguished living composers. The record will be officially released in concert in Manchester on 16 December. Additionally, production is beginning on the Cambridge Chorale's album of Marian works, including Sarah's commission 'Mater Dei', among works by Pawel Lukaszewski, Owain Park and others.
- 'Brightest and Best' has additionally been accepted for publication by GIA Publications and editor Dr. James Jordan of Westminster Choir College, marking Sarah's professional publication debut.
8 July 2017: Join the Cantus Ensemble and director Dominic Brennan at 7:30 pm at St Gabriel's, Warwick Square for their concert and final phase of their composition competition, in which Sarah is a finalist. Each of the four finalists will have a new Magnificat premiered, all designed to be paired with Arvo Pärt's beautiful Nunc Dimittis. More information here.
Update: Sarah was honoured to win the competition and a recording will be available soon.
26-30 June 2017: Sarah is currently on tour in the London area with the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir, which includes performances of her new work 'O God, thy sea is so great and my boat is so small' at Ely Cathedral on the 28th and Queens' College Cambridge on the 30th, both at lunchtime (1:15 pm).
24 June 2017: The cathedral choir of St Andrew's Cathedral, Aberdeen will be premiering Sarah's St Andrew's Mass for two choirs, joined by music director Prof Andrew Morrisson and soloists Ross Cumming, Sam Paul, Sarah LeBrocq and Kathleen Cronie (a fellow PhD student at Aberdeen University). This performance is part of the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney's annual Gaelic Eucharist, celebrated by Dean Emsley Nimmo, one of the few major Gaelic language events in the Northeast. Read about it in the Press and Journal here.
April/May 2017: The St. Ambrose University Chamber Singers, directed by Dr. Nathan Windt, will be performing Sarah's "Shenandoah" alongside works by American, Austrian and Italian composers in Davenport, Iowa at Christ the King Chapel on Thursday 27 April at 7 pm, then taking their program on a European Tour of Milan, Venice and Vienna.
March 2017: Sarah has several performances in the coming weeks.
- Dulciana women's choir, directed by Eoghan Desmond, will be performing Sarah's 'O vos omnes' at Kaleidoscope Night's International Women's Day concert on 8 March at Bello Bar, Dublin, IE. They will be giving a repeat performance at their concert on 3 April at 8 pm at Freemason's Hall, Dublin.
- Additionally on 8 March, the Choir of King's College, Aberdeen will be premiering Sarah's new choral anthem 'Lead me Lord' under the direction of James O'Donnell, organist and master of the choristers at Westminster Abbey.
- On 24 March, Sarah's 'Bealltainn' for organ and percussion will be performed by members of the University of Aberdeen percussion ensemble and Ed Jones, organ scholar of Exeter Cathedral, at 7:30 pm at St Andrew's Cathedral, Aberdeen. The piece opens the programme, which celebrates the culmination of American composer Thomas LaVoy's PhD studies in Aberdeen with the world premiere of his setting of Rabindranath Tagore's "Gitanjali," entitled Endless.
- On 25 March the Cambridge Chorale, directed by Owain Park, will premiere Sarah's new work 'Mater Dei', commissioned for this concert entitled Hymns to the Mother of Christ, 7:30 pm at Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge.
27 January 2017: The University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir's album 'The Immortal Memory - A Burns Night Celebration' debuted at no. 3 in the U.K. classical charts. Additionally, Sarah's "Charlie is my Darling" was featured on Classic FM on 26 January.
12 January 2017: Sarah's arrangement of 'Charlie is my Darling' was given its live premiere at Glenmuick Parish Church in Ballater, Aberdeenshire in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
The concert was to celebrate the forthcoming release of 'The Immortal Memory - A Burns Night Celebration' by the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir, the proceeds of which will contribute towards the Ballater Flood Appeal. Read about the event (and see photos of Sarah meeting His Royal Highness) in the Press and Journal, and pre-order the disc on Amazon.
21-23 December 2016: Sarah's chorale prelude on 'Joy to the World' was performed at the University of Aberdeen's Nine Lessons and Carols concert by Ed Jones, organ scholar of Exeter Cathedral, at St Marylebone Parish Church, London. The concert was recorded and broadcast by Classic FM on 23 December; the broadcast is available here. Classic FM garners an audience of about 5.5 million listeners per week.
Additionally, Dr Jones will give a repeat performance at Exeter Cathedral at matins, Christmas Day.
December 2016: Sarah has joined the innovative online self-publishing marketplace MusicSpoke. Read about her featured Score of the Week on MusicSpoke's blog here: "I think Sarah has done something different and original enough here that it is worth your time to listen... We are changed because of the journey. We've crossed the wide river, and there isn't really a way back." - Kurt Knecht
Shenandoah is now for sale through MusicSpoke at $2.00 per copy, along with her choral cycle 'When only the moon rages' on texts by Dylan Thomas and her 'Godspeed the day' for solo viola.
30 November 2016: Watch Sarah work with secondary schoolers in Aberdeen to produce brand new compositions as part of the BBC Ten Pieces education initiative, on the BBC website.
2 November 2016: Join Sarah and Spectrum New Music Ensemble for 'The Voice: Chamber Music of Morten Lauridsen' at 8 pm in King's College Chapel. The evening features several chamber works by Lauridsen including Jillian Bain Christie, soprano, performing "Cuatro Canciones" on poetry of Lorca. The evening will conclude with the world premiere of "The Vox Collection" by Bryce Hope, winner of the Carlaw | Ogston Composition Award.
8 October 2016: The University of Aberdeen recorded Sarah's cheeky arrangement of 'Charlie is my Darling' at St Mary's Chapel, Blairs, conducted by John Frederick Hudson.
6 October 2016: Sarah's piece 'Flowers of the Forest', inspired by Mendelssohn's Schottische-National Lieder, was performed at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace to a sold-out audience by the German Choir of London, directed by Barbara Hoefling.
August-September 2016: The Gesualdo Six will be giving repeat performances of Sarah's madrigal 'because my love' on a text by Rossetti throughout their summer tour in England. For more information on their performances, visit their website.
4 July 2016: Sarah's piece 'Bealltainn' for organ and percussion was premiered at Beall Hall, University of Oregon School of Music and Dance, by Alex Bean, organ and Crystal Chu and Joseph Bohigian, percussion, as part of the Oregon Bach Festival.
18 June 2016: Sarah's arrangement of 'O Shenandoah' was premiered by the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir at the North Wales International Music Festival, St Asaph, Wales.
Update: listen to the piece here.
Summer 2016: Sarah will be attending Oregon Bach Festival's Composers Symposium from 26 June to 8 July, where she will be studying with composer-in-residence James MacMillan, Symposium director Robert Kyr and others. Her piece 'Bealltainn' for organ and percussion, written specifically for the Festival, will be premiered during her time there.
23 March 2016 - join SPECTRUM New Music Ensemble at 8 pm in King's College Chapel for the Carlaw | Ogston Composition Award concert of finalists and award announcement, featuring world premieres by six Aberdeen University undergraduate and MMus composers. The winner of the Award will receive a £1000 commission to write a larger work for SPECTRUM to be premiered in November 2016 alongside chamber works by guest composer-in-residence, Morten Lauridsen.
Sarah is serving as artistic director of the ensemble, currently and for the 2016-17 season. Event information here.
20 March 2016: Sarah will be traveling to Vilnius, Lithuania for the premiere of her "O vos omnes" for unaccompanied SSAA chorus by MELOS Chamber Choir -- 5 pm at the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as part of their concert for Holy Week.
Event information here.
29 January 2016: Join Marischal Chamber Orchestra, violist Nicola Boag and conductor Chris Gray for a programme of Britten and Hindemith, plus new works by Sarah and fellow Aberdeen composer Thomas LaVoy. Friday 29 January, 7:30 pm @ King's College Chapel, University of Aberdeen.
26 September 2015: Listen to Sarah's latest recording, performed by the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir at King's College Chapel, 24 September 2015.
21 August 2015: View Sarah's most recent feature on Composers Circle, featuring her new work "godspeed the day" for solo viola, written and performed at Bowdoin International Music Festival by Alex McLaughlin.
July 2015: Two of Sarah's recent works, "flowers in the sidewalk cracks" (an excerpt from her recent piano trio) and "godspeed the day" for solo viola to be performed at Bowdoin International Music Festival, 28 July at 6:30 pm in Studzinski Recital Hall on the Bowdoin College campus, Brunswick, Maine.
May 2015: View Sarah's feature as part of the Carlaw / Ogston Composition Competition on the University of Aberdeen website: http://abdn.ac.uk/music/carlaw-ogston-composition-award-2015-507.php As winner of this competition, Sarah will complete a new commission to be performed by "Spectrum" New Music Ensemble in November 2015.
April 2014: Sarah Rimkus named an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award Winner: http://www.ascap.com/press/2014/0331-morton-gould-young-composer-awards.aspx Also featured on the University of Aberdeen website and USC Thornton alumni accomplishments.