Choir
(Hard)



Psalm 53 (2016)

for SATB double choir, a cappella

Duration: 5 minutes

Text: King James Bible (Ps. 53:1-3, 6)

Winner of Best Under 30 in the Psalmfest Composition Competition by the Elysian Singers.

First performed by the Elysian Singers (Sam Laughton, dir.) in October 2016.

Despite a long and arduous love affair with the Book of Psalms, having completed my Modern Psalter, this compendium of poetical sacred text continues to inspire me! My setting of Psalm 53 was written in response to a competition in London, tasking composers with setting one of the three least-common psalms. In my piece, the passionate language of Psalm 53 is realized through thick, flowing lines, culminating in a bright and strident exclamation: "Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad."

Click here to see the complete score.

The audio below is from the first performance by the Elysian Singers in October 2016.


The Fair Youth (2015)

for SSATB choir, a cappella

Duration: 3 minutes

Text: William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Runner-Up in the Shakespeare Choral Composition Competition by The Fourth Choir.

First performed by The Fourth Choir (Dominic Peckham, dir.) in London, UK in April 2016, and in Antwerp, Belgium (as part of the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival) in August 2016.

The Fair Youth was written in response to a competition from The Fourth Choir, a London-based LGBT-friendly chorus. The competition was to set one of Shakespeare's sonnets addressed to a young man who may have been his lover. In The Fair Youth, I used the text of Sonnet 104 ("To me, fair friend, you never can be old...") to create a fervent and ecstatic anthem which teems with youthful energy through interweaving strands of vocal fabric and pompous fanfare. However, at the same time, a metronomic pulse permeates the entire work, emphasizing the constant and irrevocable passage of time.

Click here to see the complete score.

The audio below is from the first performance by The Fourth Choir in April 2016.


Requiem for the Fallen (2013)

for SSAATTBB choir, a cappella

Duration: 6 minutes 30 seconds

Text: Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) and Henry Wadworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Winner of the Spring 2013 Call for Scores by the University of Regina Chamber Singers.

First performed by the University of Regina Chamber Singers (Dominic Gregorio, dir.) in April 2013. The final movement, "In Paradisum," is also available separately as a setting of Panis Angelicus.

My Requiem for the Fallen is not a traditional setting of the Latin mass, but rather an adaptation of two elegant poems from the time of the American Civil War. The first three movements are based on Henry David Thoreau's "Woof of the Sun"; it opens with an Introit, an invocation of the dense haze that cloaks the soldiers as they proceed to the battlefield. This is followed by the Dies Irae, embodying the faceless Machine of War, full of vague hallucinatory imagery. The Libera Me breaks the tension, and is a plea for peace in the midst of chaos. In Paradisum, the final movement, sets a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Aftermath." As the work comes to a close, this simple chorale is intended to remind us that in the ravages of war, we are all united in our loss.

Click here to see the complete score.

The audio below is a private recording made by the University of Regina Chamber Singers in April 2013.


Gaudete (2012)

for SSAATTBB choir, a cappella

Duration: 3 minutes

Text: Piae Cantiones (16th c.)

Winner of the Winter 2012 Call for Scores by the University of Regina Chamber Singers.

First performed by the University of Regina Chamber Singers (Dominic Gregorio, dir.) in December 2012.

Gaudete was originally conceived as a reimagining of the Medieval Latin Christmas carol of the same name, taking the traditional text and setting it to entirely new music. In my version, the original refrain/verse form has been broken into an episodic series of varying textures and styles, with the work bookended by energetic statements of “Gaudete!” The aim of this setting is to reflect the mindset of early Christians: that of ecstatic joy, expressed in the most simple and direct words possible. While Christians might now treat the birth of Jesus as a simple event, it was once an earth-shattering apex of that faith.

Click here to see the complete score.

The audio below is a live recording of the first performance by the University of Regina Chamber Singers in December 2012.