I'm currently working on two
commissions for the 2010-2011 season, with a third in play soon.
The first is for the Hong Kong International School Choral Festival and
the second is for SATB/brass/organ/perc/handbells-- the opening festive
piece for the Holiday Dinner at Northern Arizona University. The third
commission, on hold until we have a text, will be for the Cincinnati
In other news, I am thrilled to
learn that Alley Cat Love Song
will be in the New Mexico All-State repertoire in early 2011 (thanks
Sharon Hansen), and that the very gifted Atlanta Sacred Chorale, led by
Eric Nelson, will be performing Morning
Person in October.
The North Carolina Governor's School
June/July concerts were phenomenal. I can't believe how blessed I was to
have 31 amazing singers, kooky characters, and dear souls. Things could
not have gone any better this summer.
I have been commissioned by the Hong
King International School to write a new piece for their choir and to
also come conduct and do clinician work for their choral festival in Feb
2011. I an really looking forward to a whole bunch of music-making and
seeing Hong Kong for the first time. I will also be traveling to
Pittsburgh in November to conduct a county honors choir, thanks to an
invite from my friend Tom Koharchik. Meanwhile, this summer I will be
working with the choral students at the North Carolina Governor's School
East in Raleigh along with my trusty assistant Susan Hahn. One of our
goals is to have the students this year do a lot of the leadership
themselves, including getting them up to the podium and conducting. I
hope they will embrace this opportunity to get up there and lead even if
their beat patterns may not be perfect. We are hoping this is all about
the experience and that perfection is not our goal.
Worlds, commissioned by the Jacobs High School Performing
Andrew Collins, choir director will premiere in May 14, 2010.
SWOSU Women's Chorus, under
the direction of Joyce Adams Curtis performs "A City Called Heaven" and
"The White Rose" on their April 22nd concert. http://www.swosu.edu/news/releases/2010/2010-04-12c.asp
A new decade (unless you're of
the ilk that says 2011 is the start of the decade)...
by the Briar Cliff Singers & Chamber choir, directed by Dr. Sean
Burton, Voices of Earthwill
premiere February 14, 2010.
Worlds, commissioned by the Jacobs High School Performing
Andrew Collins, choir director will premiere in May, 2010.
Just returned from Korea! The five days in Seoul and Incheon City went by so quickly -- and
all the people were so gracious and kind to me. The concert was
spectacular and the audience of over 2,000 loved every minute of the
Incheon City Chorale's wonderfully varied program. In addition to the
premiere of Missa Brevis Incheon(which was sung in bravura
style) they also did three of my spiritual arrangements. The first half
of the program also contained a highly expressive, velvety treatment of
the book six of the Monterverdi Madrigals sung as I have never heard
them sung before. Bravo! The final portion of the concert contained some
enormously fun pieces which had staging and comedic elements to them.
The audience walked out with huge smiles on their faces due to the
brilliant programming and singing of this amazing choir. Thank you Dr.
Yoon and EVERYONE in Korea -- let's do it again soon!
Lynne Gackle informs me that my fun
tune Peace on Earth...and
lots of little crickets (Walton catalog number
HL08501658) is one
of the repertoire pieces for the grade 7-9 honors choir she will lead at
the 2010 Central Division ACDA convention in Cincinnati. This should be
fun, and I may be able to attend. Peace on Earth... is Walton Music's #1
seller for the last two years. Lynne will be using the small cuts in the
piece which you can find
OCTOBER 19-23 -- I am honored to be in Incheon
City/Seoul, Korea to attend the premier of the commissioned mass,
Missa Brevis Incheon,
for the renowned Incheon City Chorale, conducted by Hak Won Yoon. Stay
tuned here and on my blog -- I'll be sharing about this amazing
I have accepted a commission to
write a short SATB/piano piece for the Briar Cliff University Singers,
directed by the very talented Dr. Sean Burton, for their upcoming
tour of Hawaii. We have chosen the text Voices of Earth by the
Canadian poet Archibald Lampman. I hope to write a drop dead gorgeous
piece on this beautiful text, which ties into the university's theme for
the year, Care for Creation.
My new friend Hak-won Yoon plans
to conduct my Missa Brevis Incheon,
which he recently commissioned, during his Incheon City Chorale interest
session at the ACDA western Division Convention being held March 3-6,
2010 in Tucson, AZ. The Incheon City Chorale is one of two featured
professional choirs performing, the other super duper choir is
Chanticleer. I think early in March in Tucson might be an improvement on
Chicago in March, so I plan on being there.z
MENC State Honors Choir commission for 2015
I have been chosen to be the commissioned composer
and conductor for the Tennessee MENC state
honors choir -- for 2015. I am
very honored regarding this, and am also impressed that the folks in TN
can plan that far into the future. I'm lucky to see two weeks out at a
Chorale Commission completed!
More news - my commission for the Incheon City Chorale is complete and is
in the hands of the choir in
Korea. I am pretty pleased with the piece
and hope that they are as well. I'm looking forward to hearing
recording of what they do with it!
Reviews in latest
Choral Journal Cantigas de Amigo and Life has
Loveliness to Sell are reviewed in the latest Choral
Journal - nice reviews
for Roger Dean publications. FYI, Roger Dean is always happy to provide free perusal
scores to directors
and also has a free new releases mailing list you
can sign up for. If you need assistance
signing up for this,
let me know and I will help.
Three new pieces will be coming
out from Roger Dean in early 2010. Winter
Solstice (SSA/harp or piano) with gorgeous solstice texts by
New Mexico poets; The Star, a very
fun setting of the anonymous astronomical parody text of Twinkle,
twinkle little star) for SA/piano; and Ding
Dong Merrily on High (SATB/piano or harp), very upbeat, in
7/8 most of the time. I also finally got pieces reviewed in the Choral
Journal- nice reviews for Roger Dean publications
Cantigas de Amigo and Life has
Loveliness to Sell. FYI, Roger Dean is always happy to
provide free perusal scores to directors and also has a free new
releases mailing list you can add your name to- if you need assistance
signing up for this, let me know and I will help.
We did our final concert at the
North Carolina Governor's School on July 24th. This was an amazing
program of music about various intertwined aspects of water, war,
conflict, resolution. We knew it was an intense program, but I don't
think any of us up on the stage realized how amazingly intense it would
be with a rapt audience of 600 people in Jones Auditorium. Once again, I
was so proud of these 32 singers who never gave up on themselves even
when the music was battling us at times in week two of rehearsals. In
fact, during their final week of rehearsals they were getting so pumped
up about that level of perfection they were seeking that I kind of had
to gently cool their jets, as I was afraid they would peak too soon. It
was natural for them to be thinking this way, as every night of the
final week they were witnessing amazing performances by the dance and
theatre groups, and we were the last ones scheduled (for the final
Friday night) to show our stuff. I was especially grateful for the
parental response after the concert and the fact that Dr. McElreath,
head of the school, felt that the choral music performance at the
state department of instruction (NC DPI) was one of his own personal
summer highlights. To see the repertoire for this concert, go to the
We just had our first two concerts at NC Governor's
School East. we sang to a packed house two nights in a row and received
mind-blowing standing O's both nights. These young singers connected to
their audience all night in a variety of ways- straight singing,
choreographed pieces, folk music with indigenous instruments, spirituals
sung in the best possible manner, etc. what a joy and what fun to see
the audience enthusiasm for "classical" music done with style and
energy. "Does classical music still matter"? Those two nights it sure
I will be leading the 32 voice
women's choir at North Carolina Governor's School East, based at
Meredith College (for more info on this incredible program, visit
www.ncgovschool.org This is an
amazing program for 800 gifted HS juniors from all over North Carolina
in all disciplines. The performing arts program especially is geared
toward challenging young people to discover cutting edge arts-- thus no
Mozart, instead John Tavener, or thus... no Brahms, but instead Aarvo
Part. This is going to be way cool, and Sherri, Aidan and I love North
Carolina anyway, ya know! I'll blog about this and post progress,
concert dates, etc. We are going to present two very amazing programs--
and actually, the second program will be mind-blowingly deep and very
I have been asked by the Incheon
City Chorale (the Korean Choir that blew people away at the recent ACDA
national convention) to write a short mass for Fall 09 performance-
perhaps other works as well. This is an amazing opportunity, as I know I
can write ANYTHING for them and they WILL sing it! The mass project is
something I will tackle in my spare time while in Raleigh, and the plan
is to write a piece with texts which suggest the standard mass
movements. Thus there really is no literal Latin Kyrie text, rather
modern (non-simplistic) poetic texts which, to some extent, reflect the
emotion of each mass section. Some people will love this idea, and some
people will hate it!
I have just been asked by Nancy
Menk to be one of the clinicians for her 25th anniversary women's HS
choir invitational in South Bend, IN. Nancy is awesome- and how
amazing is it that she has been doing this now for 25 years?! This event
will be Nov 19th-20th.
Roger Dean has just announced
they will be publishing three more of my pieces. They will be out Feb
2010- more info later, but I can say that one is
Winter Solstice, a very gorgeous holiday piece for SSA/harp
Sales at Walton of
Peace on Earth...and lots of little crickets continue
to be through the roof. Also at Walton, more and more performances
lately by college choirs of Play with your
Food!, including a very solid and enjoyable rendition which I
attended last night by the DePaul University Singers right here in
Chicago, led by the very animated and fun Clayton Parr- great
performance (and some very cool programming overall) and a BIG THANKS
LATE MARCH 2009
Coming up for
this summer- Loosin Yelav, SATB version, will be in the directors choir
repertoire for the Illinois ACDA summer convention, directed by Rick
Bjella. Play with your Food will be in the repertoire for this summer's
Interlochen Music School and Festival, and some of my advanced SATB
pieces will be sung at the Iowa ACDA summer sessions in late July.
Six New Releases
hit the market (and flew off the shelves) at the ACDA 50th Anniversary
Convention in Oklahoma City, OK. Two pieces from SBMP- Blow ye the
Trumpet Blow (SATB a.c.) and Lake Song (SSA/piano). Form Roger Dean--
Morning Person (SATB/piano 4 hands), A City called Heaven (SSA/piano),
Now to Sleep (SA/piano), and Waltzing with the Moon (treble
UNISON/piano; four short movements and VERY accessible for young
I will be conducting the Festival
Choir of Madison in a concert which includes the world premiere of
their commissioned piece:
Into This World
American Voices: Composer Conducts Special Guests: Middleton High School
Chamber Singers, Thomas Mielke, Director
Saturday, February 28, 2009 • 7:30 p.m. Middleton Performing Arts Center,
2100 Bristol Street, Middleton
Two new SBMP new
releases due out January 2009; Five new Roger Dean releases out by the
ACDA National Convention in early March 2009
Music Publishing (www.sbmp.com)
will release the following:
Blow ye the trumpet, Blow(SATB a cappella) a 19th century
shape-note style tune. top be included in
Jo-Michael Scheibe's series
at Santa Barbara Music Publishing.
Lake Song (SSA/piano) a setting of a sublime text by Colette Inez, in Sharon
Hansen's women's choir series. Sharon has recorded this song recently
and it will be on her new CD with The Milwaukee Choral Artists.
Roger Dean will
release the following:
(SATB/piano four hands) a wild fun ride as God creates the universe,
with an exhilarating text by Vassar Miller, recently premiered by Rick
Bjella's White Heron Chorale
The following titles
will all be in Janet Galvan's wonderful series at Roger Dean:
the Moon (treble unison
voices/piano) three short movements with very fun texts by itinerant
poet Vachel Lindsay
The Westminster College Women's Chorus hosted choral
composer and arranger Paul Carey for a workshop
The repertoire of the chorus, under the direction of Westminster adjunct
music faculty Mr. Kris Harper, includes two of Carey's
pieces: "A Million Miracles" and "The Curlew's Song." Carey worked with
chorus member and flautist Amber Kunder to imitate the
sound of the curlew bird on the flute.
"It was truly a wonderful experience to discover what the composer had
in mind as he composed these pieces and how he envisions them being
performed," Harper said.
Carey studied composition at the University of Illinois and graduate
studies at Yale University. He is currently composer-in-residence for
The Festival Singers of Madison, Wis., for the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009
His compositions have been performed by choirs worldwide and at numerous
music conventions across America. "Rise Up, Emma Lazarus" won the 2003
New York Treble Singers composition competition, and "Esta Tarde, mi
bien" ("This Evening, my love") won the 2004 Cambridge Madrigal Singers
The October 11th
women's choir festival in Naperville, IL featuring Belle Voix of
Illinois State University, four clinicians, and a number of ambitious
area high schools was a very fun day. The non-juried aspect of this was
refreshing as the day was all bout great singing and the sharing of
music and ideas, not about ratings and trophies. Thanks to Jim Yarbrough
and Karyl Carlson for creating this event. And it was great fun to
conduct about 150 talented singers in alley Cat Love Song!
New releases by
Walton (Play with your Food!, Peace on Earth...and lots of little
crickets), SBMP (Unending Flame- two voicings). UPDATE- all these
pieces are selling heavily- a very nice feeling. Unending
Flame,is already into its second press run, just after being in release for a
commissioned piece for The Festival Singers (Madison, Wisconsin) will be
composed over the summer of 2008. This multi-movement piece will be
premiered in the Spring of 2009.
November 2007 A new Hanukkah piece,
Flame, for children's choir with orchestra, commissioned by the
Grammy winning Michigan State University Children's Choir will be
premiered Dec. 1st.The piece will also be sung Dec. 16th by
the MSU Children's Choir with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. The piece
will be published by Santa Barbara as SA/clarinet/piano and SABar/clarinet/piano.
the orchestrated version will also be available Click here for details...or visit www.lansingsymphony.org
The Festival Choir
of Madison (WI), with new artistic director Drew Collins, has announced
Paul Carey as their composer-in-residence for the 2007-2008 and
2008-2009 concert seasons. The choir will perform various
published pieces by Mr. Carey as well as new works in manuscript and
works-in-progress. This collaboration between the choir, Drew, and Paul
is expected to bring a new level of excitement to the Madison choral
music scene. The two-year arrangement will culminate in a concert of
music hand-picked and conducted by Mr. Carey. Please visit
www.festivalchoir.org/to learn more about the choir, its history, and
its plans for upcoming concerts.
The Illinois ACDA chose "Thou Art the Sky"
as the winner of its 2007 Choral Composition Contest. The piece will
be published by Roger Dean in February, 2008.
Santa Barbara Music Press releases two new pieces
Alley Cat Love Song, (Catalog # 737),
very vampy text and tune, in the Sharon Hansen women’s choir series.
This should be a big seller- audiences have loved it while it was
being performed in ms. There is a recording on the
Another fun text- Jenny
Kiss’d Me (CAT # 718), in Jerry Blackstone’s SBMP series for TTBB.
This was premiered by the University of Michigan Glee Club a couple
months ago. There is also a recording of this piece on the
Commissions announced for the upcoming
2007-2008 concert season
Nebraska Choral Arts Society, Matthew Harden artistic
director, has commissioned a piece for the 25th anniversary
celebration of their organization, to be premiered at their annual
December Festival of Christmas Brass and Choral Music. The new piece
will be scored for children's choir, mixed choir, and brass ensemble.
State University Children's Choir, directed by Grammy winner Mary
Alice Stollak, has commissioned two pieces for the 2006-1007 season.
One of the pieces will be for children's choir and small orchestra.
Choral Artists, directed by Sharon Hansen, has commissioned a
piece to commemorate their tenth anniversary, to be premiered in early
Interested in commissioning a piece for your group? It's not too late
to have a piece specially written for you for 2007-2008.
E-mail me for details. If you have never commissioned a piece of
music before, try it. It's great fun and really quite often brings a
whole new level of excitement and pride to a musical organization.
some of these are available now
and the rest will be out in time for the March ACDA national Convention
The Night is Young
SATB a.c. cat. # 9780193869530
A very sweet, contemporary Irish folk music piece about staying
connected to family and good friends - would be great as a concert or
season-ender and especially as a graduation piece- HS and up
The Water is Wide
SABar/piano cat. #9780193869523
An SABar version of this English folk song that has sold very well in
its SA/piano form. Middle school and up
The White Rose
SSA/violin/piano Cat. #WLG125 (to order, use HL08501630)
Written for Sigrid Johnson and premiered at St. Olaf. A very lush love
poem -– nice recording on my website (click on the song title above).
My Friend Elijah
SATB a.c. divisi Cat. #WJMS1088 (to order, use HL08501621)
A most unusual poem by Natalie Goldberg, set like a Moses Hogan
spiritual. The text provokes a lot of fun discussion and the piece has
been a big hit in its performances while in manuscript form. A very
Charge of the Snail Brigade
SA/piano/optional bass drum and snare Cat. # 6335
Text is a clever parody of Charge of the Light Brigade -- great for
children’s choirs and other treble choirs looking for fun music.
Santa Barbara www.sbmp.com
SA/piano Cat. # SBMP 679 and SATB/violin/piano # SBMP 698
A sublime Armenian folk song about the beautiful rising moon. Dawn
Upshaw has been singing the solo version of this lately (arr. by Luciano
Berio). Nice recording soon of both versions on my website. The Armenian
is easy to learn.
Ain’ dat- a rockin’ all night
SATB with solos, a.c. Cat. # 15/2309R-2
For the Charles Bruffy series with Roger Dean. A gentle, slightly
syncopated spiritual about Mary and baby Jesus. Very intimate. HS and
Life has Loveliness to sell
SSA/piano Cat. # 15/2314L
This text has been set a lot, usually all happy and major. Mine is in
minor and reflects, still with many moments of beauty, poet Sara
Teasdale’s troubled inner life. Recording coming soon!
SA/piano Cat. # 15/2328R
A very pretty setting of Rudyard Kipling’s sweet poem. Perfect for
Cantigas de Amigo (5 movements)
SSA/piano in Spanish
Each movement published separely, thus Cat.# 15/2323R, 15/2324R,
15/2325R, 15/2326R, 15/2327R
Wonderful texts for HS and up women’s choirs from an old oral tradition
in Spain and Portugal. The settings are quite varied and the piece has
been very popular while in manuscript form.
Announcing the orchestration of
"I Saw Three Ships"
small orchestra My best-selling
Oxford University Press choral octavo is now available in choir/orchestral form. I hope you will consider this
piece for your
I Saw Three
original SSA/piano octavo cat number 0-19-386690-0
rental cat. number is 9780193869486
The choral octavo syncs with the orchestration; ie., purchase the choral octavo for
your signers/rehearsal pianist and order the orchestral rental for
orchestration was performed last year by Becky Reames at SUNY-Potsdam and by Sigrid Johnson at St. Olaf, who syndicated radio
playtime of the piece around the country through Minnesota Public
is bright and lively, appropriate for college level and up players,
with the instrumental forces of the usual Rutter Christmas carol
orchestrations. This means that if you have decided to do some of
the familiar Rutter Christmas songs with orchestra rental parts from
Oxford, the I Saw Three Ships orchestration
would be using virtually the same forces:
2 flutes, 2 oboes, 1 bassoon, 2 horns, 1 trumpet, harp (could be
played on synth), strings, percussion -- needs
two players: glockenspiel, chimes, triangle, cymbals
information on renting this orchestration contact:
Frances Levy. Manager,
212-726-6049' FAX: 212-726-6441
198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, USA
Fran’s e-mail is
Rental rates are
reasonable and are on a sliding scale.
Orders should booked by October 31 at the latest.
A new, very different, very
hard driving arrangement of the spiritual
Go Down, Moses
has just been released by Santa Barbara Music Press in Daniel
Hughes new series. The voicing is SATB/piano/shaker percussion. The
catalog number will be SBMP 657. Please keep an eye out for this new
Available early 2007 My Friend Elijah,
SATB, divisi a.c.
I'm really excited that Walton is publishing
this piece. The choirs who have sung it in manuscript have really
enjoyed both the incredibly creative, unusual text by Natalie
Goldberg and my music, which is a quasi-spiritual in the Moses Hogan
vein but with a twist of swing. The Michigan 2006 All-State Honors
Choir, directed by Sharon Hansen, rocked on this piece. The piece
has also been sung by Grinnell College singers and will be sung soon
by Hope College singers, directed by Brad Richmond.
Also coming early 2007 The White Rose, a very lush
piece for SSA/solo violin, & piano.
This piece was dedicated to and premiered by Sigrid Johnson at St. Olaf
College. Sigrid will also feature it in reading sessions for the Oklahoma
ACDA summer convention where she is the headliner clinician.
The piece will also be part of the repertoire for the Colorado
All-State Women's Choir in 2006-2007, directed by Lynne Gackle
Another recently completed piece which was commissioned as a memorial,
for SA/piano, will be published soon in Mary Alice Stollak’s series
Barbara Music Press. Check back for publication date.
Other recently completed pieces: This Sparkle of the Day,
written for Nancy Menk and the Saint Mary’s College Women’s Choir, is a
five movement SSA/organ piece which includes wonderful texts by Saint
Theresa of Avila, Saint Therese of Lisieux, and Saint Hilary. The piece
is somewhat reminiscent of the Faure Messe Basse in approach,
length, and intimacy.
For the Beauty of the Day;
SATB a cappella choir, with a baritone solo.
commissioned by the Michigan State University Children’s Choir, on a
delightful E.E. Cummings text, to be premiered in December 2005.
Just completed... (details and sample scores coming soon)
Where Go the Boats An SA setting
of Robert Louis Stevenson's lovely poem with a beautiful, flowing piano
of Our Lord An SATB a cappella piece
in six miniature movements for church or concert use, telling the story
of the nativity from Isaiah's prophecies through Luke. The writing is
The Wexford Carol An SSAA arrangement of
this enchanting carol which harkens back to its Celtic roots
The Night Is Young An SATB arrangement of
Colum Sands' wonderful piece. The text is profound! Suitable for many
levels of choir, this would be a great piece to end any concert, or
perform as an encore.
The Michigan State University
Children's Choir and director Mary Alice Stollak announce Paul Carey as the
choice for their 2005 commission. They have recently released their new
CD "What Sweeter Music" which features "I
Saw Three Ships" and
Song." Truly stellar peformances!