The Newest News



Click on the link for a fun interview Reg Unterseher did of me for the newsletter of the NW division of ACDA



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 Children's Choir. 

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.

JULY 2010

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.


JUNE 2010

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.

MAY 2010

Endless Worlds, commissioned by the Jacobs High School Performing Arts Boosters, Andrew Collins, choir director will premiere in May 14, 2010.

APRIL 2010

Scott Foss of Roger Dean Music Company issued a "Spotlight on Paul Carey" highlighting The Star, Winter Solstice, and Ding, Dong! Merrily on High, among others. To read the "Spotlight":

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.


FEB 2010

A new decade (unless you're of the ilk that says 2011 is the start of the decade)...
new commissions...

Commissioned by the Briar Cliff Singers & Chamber choir, directed by Dr. Sean Burton, Voices of Earth will premiere February 14, 2010.


And Endless Worlds, commissioned by the Jacobs High School Performing Arts Boosters, 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 here

-- 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 experience.

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 time!

Incheon City 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 a 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 conducting page.

JULY 2009

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 did.


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 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 theatrical.

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 or piano

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 from me!



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.

MARCH 2009

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 choirs).


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

November 2008

Peace on Earth...and lots of little crickets (published by Walton) has sold 9,000 copies in its first few months in print. Way to go, crickets! Thanks to Oliver Branche for a cool text.

New sheet music releases out soon:

Two new SBMP new releases due out January 2009; Five new Roger Dean releases out by the ACDA National Convention in early March 2009

Santa Barbara Music Publishing ( 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:

Morning Person, (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:

Waltzing with the Moon (treble unison voices/piano) three short movements with very fun texts by itinerant poet Vachel Lindsay

A City Called Heaven (SSA/piano), an African-American spiritual

Now to Sleep (SA/piano) a witty lullaby text by Jim Schley

The Lark in the Clear Air (SSA/piano), Irish folk song arrangement (this may be out later than the other four pieces)

November 3, 2008

The Westminster College Women's Chorus hosted choral composer and arranger Paul Carey for a workshop Oct. 28.

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 concert seasons.

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 competition.

Contact Harper at (724) 946-7276 or e-mail for more information.

October 2008

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!

June 2008

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 few weeks.


April 2008

A large-scale 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, Unending 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

August 2007

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 learn more about the choir, its history, and its plans for upcoming concerts.

July 2007

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.

June 2007

Santa Barbara Music Press releases two new pieces this month:

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 website
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 website.

April 2007

Commissions announced for the upcoming
2007-2008 concert season

The 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.
The Michigan 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.
The Milwaukee Choral Artists, directed by Sharon Hansen, has commissioned a piece to commemorate their tenth anniversary, to be premiered in early 2008.
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.


January 2007

some of these are available now and the rest will be out in time for the March ACDA national Convention in Miami

Oxford University Press

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 

Walton Music

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 popular piece!

Neil Kjos

The 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

Loosin Yelav
two versions:
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.

Roger Dean

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 up.

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!

Seal Lullaby
SA/piano  Cat. # 15/2328R
A very pretty setting of Rudyard Kipling’s sweet poem. Perfect for children’s choirs.

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.

July 2006

Announcing the orchestration of "I Saw Three Ships"
SSA with 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 holiday programs!

I Saw Three Ships 
original SSA/piano octavo cat number 0-19-386690-0
The orchestra 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 your orchestra.

This 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 Radio.

The orchestration 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

For further information on renting this orchestration contact:
Frances Levy. Manager, Rental Library
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.

New Release!
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 piece!

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

March 2005

Roger Dean,  the select division of the Lorenz Music company, will be publishing Where Go the Boats in Janet Galvan’s Roots and Wings Series. Check back for publication date.

Another recently  completed piece which was commissioned as a memorial,
Thanksgiving, for SA/piano, will be published soon in Mary Alice Stollak’s series with Santa 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.

little tree, 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 accompaniment

The Nativity 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 luminous throughout.

And two new double choir pieces!

God is My Salvation
Double SATB choir with two trumpets, a majestic tour de force

A New Commandment
Double SATB choir in a softer, gentler place

Oxford University Press new releases:

Behold, I Tell You a Mystery
SATB a cappella  cat. # 0-19-386866-0

Il est ne, le divin enfant
SATB a cappella     cat. #  0-19-386830-x

January 2005

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 Latest...

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 "Cradle Song." Truly stellar peformances!