Well hello, Internet! It’s been a while. Life stuff, day-job stuff, and house stuff (not to mention stuff stuff) have kept me pretty busy, but I have some awesome first-half-of-2015 updates to share with you. First, 2 new choral pieces! Both were named Editors’ Choice by J. W. Pepper and have been/will be included in some larger summer reading sessions. Benediction of Hope is published by Hal Leonard/Brookfield Press, and O, For a Closer Walk with God (Oh Fire of God) is out now through Alfred Sacred. Keep reading for more info on these pieces!
First, Hal Leonard/Brookfield Press published “Benediction of Hope,” an unaccompanied choral setting of my paraphrase of Romans 15:13. The piece is the perfect end to a worship service or sacred concert. Listen to an exquisite demo recording here.
Second, Alfred Sacred published my arrangement of “O, For a Closer Walk with God (Oh Fire of God)”, which is a Getty/Townend reimagining of William Cowper’s hymn text. Parts are available for guitar, bass, and violin, though the arrangement works fine with just piano. Getty and Townend wrote this song a while ago, but just recently reworked it and added a chorus. This setting is the first published that uses that new chorus, “Oh Fire of God.” My arrangement is in the spirit of the recorded version on The Greengrass Sessions. You can listen to this arrangement on JW Pepper.
Last bit of news for now: “The Bitter Cup” is my first collaboration with a living lyricist (Duane Nichols), and The Wilds recorded the piece for their big summer recording. The recording is available now (Amazon and iTunes), and the choral music will be published by Lorenz for Spring 2016.
I recently received two recordings in the mail that included my setting of Still, Still, Still. One is from the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Eric Stark directing. “Still” won their 2012 Christmas Carol Competition, and they were kind to include the piece on this recording. It’s a well-rounded recording with something for everyone. The choir has some 160 voices and has a strong, warm sound. Their performance of my piece is powerful! The CD is available from the choir’s store here, and a digital download is available through Amazon. The other recording, Be Merry!, is from the Choirs of All Saints Northampton and the Northampton Bach Choir, Lee Dunleavy conducting. It’s an all-British recording of all American composers, with that softer, clearer tone of a mixed choir with boy sopranos. Also a lovely sound! This recording may be purchased here. I’m quite thrilled to hear my music being sung and recorded by groups of this caliber! Thanks to all involved in both!
The Indianapolis recording also includes a piece by my friend Brian Büda, and the Northampton disc includes pieces by Peter Anglea, Craig Courtney, and Dan Forrest.
Just in time for Christmas, my new arrangement of “Sleep, Jesus, Sleep” is now available through Heart Publications! This tender Christmas lullaby is a beautiful addition to your church’s Christmas repertoire. The simple SATB voicing can be learned quickly, and the included parts for violin, bass, and guitar/harp add layers and depth to the piano accompaniment. The arrangement works well with choir as well as smaller groups. You can purchase the arrangement at Heart Publications’ website here, and see a score sample here.
Also, All Saints’ Church (Northampton, UK) is accepting pre-orders for their latest recording, Be Merry!, which will be released November 1. This recording includes my Still, Still, Still and is the first professional recording of the piece. I’m excited to hear it! This CD also includes settings by Forrest, Courtney, and Anglea, among others, and you can pre-order here.
Great news! I got a call from Joseph Martin this week: Hal Leonard is publishing my Benediction of Hope! It’s being published in their Brookfield Press line, which is (I believe) marketed to both church and school choirs.This Benediction is my personal favorite among the things I’ve written thus far, so I’m especially excited to share this piece with a larger audience. Listen below to the premiere of the piece (apologies for the applause—it was the closing piece for my graduate recital). The piece will be available this fall.
I’m excited to have two arrangements coming out in the upcoming choral season. First, SoundForth/Lorenz is publishing “Grace Alone,” my simple arrangement of the song by Scott Wesley Brown and Jeff Nelson. This arrangement was slated to come out last season but was held up due to licensing. Here’s hoping it makes this season as expected… Personal friends might recognize this arrangement: it began as a duet setting that my wife Jennifer and I sang at our wedding. The arrangement is dedicated to her. I love you, honey!
Second, Alfred Sacred is publishing my arrangement of a Christmas piece, “Welcome to our World,” for SATB choir, with optional children’s choir, child soloist, and congregation. The arrangement includes the beloved carol “Silent Night” as well. This was the first time I’ve taken an assignment from a publisher, and due to winter travel and weather I ended up with a pretty short deadline. I’m glad for the opportunity, and I really like the piece as it turned out. I hope you will, also! I’ll update the site with audio and links once they turn up online.
Lastly, Jen and I are thrilled to be traveling to the ACDA Southern Division Conference in Jacksonville, FL, where we’ll be performing with Rivertree Singers. The group is honored to be one of only two choirs in South Carolina accepted to perform. We’re excited to present newly published works by Peter Anglea (his Jubilate Deo) and John F. Hudson (his powerful Newtown Psalm), as well as one of Dan Forrest’s American folk song settings. You can watch a video of one piece from that program below (the Kyrie from Tomas Luis Victoria’s missa pro defunctis), and here’s a link to our program. For any friends at the conference, we’ll be performing in the 3:30pm Friday block. I’ll also be wandering around the exhibit space at some point, where I hope to meet face-to-face some publishers with whom I’ve only yet had electronic contact :-).
That’s it for now. I’ll post again when content is available for the two new pieces.
Happy new year to all! A little before Christmas, I got the wonderfully exciting news that Lee Dunleavy included my Still, Still, Still in the Christmas Eve service at All Saints’ Church, Northampton, UK! He is planning to record the piece with the Northampton Bach Choir in May 2014. Some readers may recall that Lee recently recorded Dan Forrest’s Carol of Joy with the choirs of All Saints (Carol of Joy was the title track of this recording). The Christmas Eve service was my first performance in the UK, and this recording will be the first one of significance of any of my works. soli deo gloria!
Rivertree Christmas is this week! Greenville/Upstate friends, please plan to attend one of our free concerts 7:30pm Thursday, Dec. 19th, Daniel Chapel at Furman University; and 7:30pm Friday, Dec. 20th, Second Presbyterian Church, River Street, downtown Greenville. We’re also singing for the Biltmore Candlelight Christmas Evening on Wednesday, Dec. 18th, off and on from 6pm until 10. Rivertree was recently featured on a local TV news broadcast as well. The video can be viewed here. The choir is including my Still, Still, Still this year, which is really fun for me!
Merry Christmas, and I hope to see many of you later this week!
My “Still, Still, Still” is being performed in Capital University’s Christmas Festival this year, under the direction of Lynda Hasseler. I have heard wonderful things about this yearly tradition. There are four performances in Columbus, Ohio, on December 5–8; 7:30pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and 3:30pm on Sunday. Tickets are available for purchase here, and you can read more about the event here.
Also, Rivertree Singers, under the direction of Warren Cook, is performing “Still, Still, Still” in their Christmas series this year. We (Rivertree) will be performing two free concerts in Greenville, SC: Thursday, Dec. 19th in Daniel Chapel at Furman University and Friday, Dec. 20th at Second Presbyterian Church on River Street in downtown Greenville. Both concerts are at 7:30pm and are free to all. Rivertree Singers is also singing for the Biltmore Estate’s beautiful Candlelight Christmas Evenings event on Wednesday, Dec. 18th. This is a ticketed event, but certainly one worth considering!
My first published piano solo, “Come Thou, Almighty King,” is in this new collection from SoundForth, All Praise and Glory. The collection was complied by Molly Ijames, and it has been named an Editors’ Choice collection by J.W. Pepper. That retailer describes this collection as a “fresh compilation . . . that you’ll want to keep in your bench all year round!” Head over to the Lorenz website to see samples of some of the pieces (unfortunately the viewable sample doesn’t include mine).
Composer Mary McDonald presented my “Still, Still, Still” at a reading session for Stanton’s Music. She has a bit of a sense of humor :-). You can watch her entertaining presentation here.