3 Premieres and a CD!

Posted on January 15th, 2016 by jondavid

Happy New Year!

A little 2016 news from the composer front:

Award-Winning carol premieres in Portland, ME On January 3 the Choral Art Society, under Robert Russell, premiered my All My Heart This Night Rejoices as part of its “Epiphany Celebration” concert. The work was the winner of the 2015 New England Carol Contest. What a tremendous performance and wonderful group of human beings!

Perotin-inspired work premieres at Depauw U., then off to France
The Depauw Chamber Singers, led by Kristina Boerger, gave a brilliant debut of my Sederunt: A Perotin Caprice, Sunday, January 10 in Greencastle, IN. On Monday, the 11th, the ensemble took the work on tour to France, including a concert in the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris (!).

New Work for Duke Vespers Ensemble I recently finished a setting of Psalm 86, Bow Down Your Ear, O Lord, as a gift for the Duke Vespers Ensemble and Music Director Brian Schmidt. Tentative date for premiere is early March at Goodson Chapel, Duke University, Durham, NC. Previously the Ensemble commissioned my Te Lucis Ante Terminum, which was premiered in April, 2015.

TTBB Alleluia to receive 2nd performance, in Durham, NC
Jeremy Nabors leads his men’s ensemble, Vox Virorum, in the 2nd performance of the TTBB version of my Alleluia, Sunday, January 17th, First Presbyterian Church, 305 East Main St., Durham, NC.

Song CD recording planned for June
I’ve begun planning for a commercial recording of most of my songs for solo voice and piano. It will include cycles written for soprano Amy Bartram, baritone Daniel Neer, and the Cheah-Chan Duo (Phillip Cheah, baritone, Trudy Chan, piano), all of whom will appear on the disc. Poets featured include Gerard Manley Hopkins, Thomas Merton, Howard Moss, Daniel Neer, Bonnie Phelps, Muriel Rukeyser, Percy Shelley, and Sylvia Townsend Warner.

How does one follow up singing with the Rolling Stones? Well, with the debut of a song cycle July 8 on the glorious Maine coast! Gitchee Gumee takes a tri-generational perspective on the 1975 sinking of the ship, the Edmund Fitzgerald. The texts are by Daniel Neer who will also sing baritone in the performance, with Marijo Newman on piano. The work was an Honorable Mention in the 2014 NATS Art Song Competition. The details: “Our Voice: American Art Songs at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century,” Wed. July 8 at 8:00pm, Bar Harbor (ME) Congregational Church, 29 Mount Desert Street. www.barharbormusicfestival.org

Alleluia in Asheville

Posted on May 29th, 2015 by jondavid

Alleluia in Asheville

Last-minute heads-up about a performance of my Alleluia this Sunday, May 31, 2015, at 3PM, at All Souls Cathedral in Asheville. Paige Mathis will be leading the awesome Youth Chorale of the Atlanta Young Singers. I’ll be making the drive out west for it!



Posted on December 6th, 2014 by jondavid

Happy holidays to all,

Following are a few upcoming highlights of my work:

New Collaboration with Zsuzsanna Ardó at European Parliament
Mirror, Mirror
International art exhibition at the European Parliament
March 23-27, 2015

Following our wonderfully successful collaboration on the installation, Könnyek, Almák és Kövek (Tears, Apples and Stones), which ran in Autumn of 2012 in Slovakia, Zsuzsanna and I are teaming up again this spring. Taking its title from Zsuzsanna’s eponymous poem, Mirror, Mirror brings together artists from Europe and beyond, inspired by interpretations and translations of the poem. Through film, poetry, image, and music, the exhibition explores how collective memory can endure through our attitudes towards “the Other.”

Another North Carolina Commission
If Music Be the Food of Love
Concentus Carolina
Church of the Holy Family, Chapel Hill, NC
Friday, February 6, 2015, 8PM

A wonderful new group, Concentus Carolina, led by Seth Garrepy, has asked me for a setting of If Music Be the Food of Love for its second concert program. The text is the opening monologue from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, not the words set by Purcell in his famous song. The work will be for solo SSA trio and mixed chorus. Thanks to Richard and Lynn Edmonds, who commissioned the work in memory of John Bavicchi, who taught composition to both Richard and myself.

Te Lucis Ante Terminum
Duke Vespers Ensemble
Duke Chapel, Durham, NC
TBD (late January/early February)

The premiere of my other North Carolina-commissioned work this season will likely be within weeks of that of If Music…, in late January/early February. The commission, announced in my last missive, is from the Duke Vespers Ensemble, Music Director, Brian Schmidt. Te Lucis will be premiered during Vespers service in the spectacular Duke Chapel space, and streamed live.

A Couple Holiday Performances

1. Saturday, December 6, 2014, 7 PM
The Chaffey College Chamber Choir,
Music Director David Rentz, performs my Merton setting, Flocks Feed by Darkness

Chaffey College Theater,
5885 Haven Avenue,
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 9173

2. Friday, December 19, 2014, 8 PM
My dear friends, the Greenwich Village Chamber Singers and Music Director Mark Mangini, perform my Alleluia. It will be the premiere of the revised version of the piece.

St. Joseph’s Church
371 Sixth Avenue
New York City.

Hello Friends,

I hope you’ve all been well. Following are some recent and upcoming highlights of my work:

Duke Vespers Ensemble Commission I’m very happy to announce that the Duke Vespers Ensemble has commissioned me for a new setting of the Compline hymn, Te lucis ante terminum (“To you before the end of light”). DVE is led by the exciting young conductor, Brian Schmidt, and is composed of some of the elite singers from Duke University and the surrounding communities. The new work will be three to four minutes and will be premiered in the 2014-15 season.

See-A-Dot to publish Alleluia The innovative NYC publishing house, See-A-Dot Music, is set to publish my Alleluia, a 4-part piece from 2003 that I revised earlier this year. The outer sections contain some of the most spare and reserved music I’ve written, texturally dominated by a mantra-like chanting of the title word. The drama and syncopations of the climactic central section present a strong contrast and ecstatic uplift before the piece returns to the original mood. An optional organ part provides pitch grounding, if desired. The piece is suitable for strong high school ensemble, community, or college chorus. See-A-Dot will also publish a men’s chorus arrangement (TTBB) of the piece. For more information check www.seeadot.com over the next few weeks.

NATS gives Honorable Mention to Gitchee Gumee In late March the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) announced the winners of its 2014 Art Song Composition. Daniel Neer, the author of the text, and I were pleased to learn that our three-movement cycle, Gitchee Gumee, had received an Honorable Mention. Composer Libby Larsen was the finalist judge. The text explores the 1975 sinking of the ship, the Edmund Fitzgerald, from the perspectives of three generations.

How Sweet I Roamed Friday at Harvard Memorial Church The Holy Cross College Choir will perform my setting of an early William Blake poem for the third time this spring, on Friday, May 16, at 7:00PM. The church’s address is 1 Harvard Yard, Cambridge, MA. The concert is free to the public. The program is quite diverse, featuring music of Arrell, Haydn, Berlin, Vaughan Williams, and Green Day.

Thanks for reading and happy spring!

Two performances coming up at University of Illinois

Posted on March 13th, 2014 by jondavid

Kristina Boerger leads the U. of Illinois Chorale in my Stabat Mater, a work she commissioned in 2012. Saturday, March 15, 7:30PM, Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL.

The following week David Wozniak plays the alto saxophone in St. Johns Dance, a work he commissioned last year, as part of the North American Saxophone Alliance Conference. Sunday, March 23, 1:00PM, Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana, IL

My wind ensemble piece, En Seumeillant: Reflections on a 14th-century French Ballade will be premiered by the Manhattan Wind Ensemble on March 2, 2014 at 4PM. The performance is part of the Columbia Festival of Winds and will take place at the Roone Arledge Auditorium, Columbia University, 2920 Broadway, New York, NY. The work was commissioned by the ensemble’s Music Director, Christopher Baum.

Other performances over the next month-plus:

  • St. Johns Dance for alto saxophone and piano

 David Wozniak, saxophone; Krista Wallace-Boaz, piano

1. Sunday, February 23, 2014 (tomorrow!), 4:30pm
Church of the Reconciliation, 110 N Elliott Rd, Chapel Hill, NC

2. Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 7:30pm
Broyhill Chapel, Mars Hill University, Mars Hill, NC

  • Stabat Mater for mixed chorus

University of Illinois Chorale
Kristina Boerger, conductor
March 15, 2014, 7:30PM
Foellinger Great Hall
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
500 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL

  • How Sweet I Roamed for mixed chorus

Holy Cross College Choir
David Harris, conductor

1. Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 8PM
St. Joseph Memorial Chapel
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

2. Friday, April 4, 2014, 8PM
Brooks Concert Hall
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

Könnyek, Almák és Kövek debuts (on tape) in Slovakia

Posted on September 15th, 2012 by jondavid

The piece (title is Hungarian for “Tears, Apples and Stones”) was written for Zsuzsanna Ardó’s eponymous sculpture installation running from September 2 through October 2, 2012 at the At Home Gallery/Synagogue Šamorín, Slovakia. (Šamorín is an ethnic Hungarian city on the north bank of the Danube). The work is a vocalise (no consonants), setting 3 Hungarian vowel sounds. The installation explores the religious-political history of the building, and my piece uses a popular Jewish High Holidays melody as an elaborated cantus firmus. Thanks to recording vocalists Amy Bartram, Melissa Bybee, and Karen Siegel, as well as Chris Baum who prepared the singers. There are a couple photos and a description here: http://www.athomegallery.org/ More information on the artist, Zsuzsanna Ardó, can be found at her website: www.ardo.org


Venice, Todi

Posted on May 19th, 2012 by jondavid

Just had the breathtaking and humbling experience of performing my own work one floor above the tomb of the monk (Jacopone) who wrote the work’s text! Euro premiere of my Stabat Mater in Santa Maria Fortunato, Todi, Italy, with Kristina Boerger and the Carroll University Concert Choir. Really touched by the tremendous commitment and love the MD and singers have shown my work.     Two days ago sang mass at St. Mark’s in Venice! It’s been a pretty heady several days. Not to mention the food, which has been mostly extraordinary everywhere I’ve gone. Amazing seafood (raw and otherwise) in an outer district of Venice; wild boar, mushroom flan, coffee semifreddo last night, a charcuterie platter with smoked goose breast and lardo, black truffle pasta tonight in Todi.

Slew of upcoming premieres…

Posted on May 13th, 2012 by jondavid

Finally got sleep last night after a long day of jet lag. Assisted by ear plugs to defend against the celebrating bands of Borussia Dortmund supporters outside the window. They just won the German Cup.

In Germany and Italy until the 25th, so I’m disappointed to miss two of the following premieres of my work over the next several weeks (times all eastern). (Please contact me at jonathandavidmusic.com, via Facebook, or on my blog for more details.):

May 12, 11AM: Little Drops of Water (premiere), Marble Collegiate Church Cherub Choir (live streaming at www.marblechurch.org). Yes, 3-to 5-year-olds!

May 19-23: Stabat Mater (European premiere): Todi, Collevalenza, Siena, Florence

May 19, 7:30PM: Ask Me No More (premiere), Young Men’s Ensemble of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy, Roulette Theatre, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn.

May 30, 7:30PM and June 2, 8PM: The Hounds of Spring (premiere), C4 and Fireworks Ensemble, Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St., NYC (5/30); Theatre at MMAC, 248 West 60th St., NYC (6/2)

June 2, 7PM and June 3, 5PM: Evening Song (Look off, dear love…) (west coast premiere), Cascadian Chorale,  St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 8398 NE 12th St., Medina, WA (6/2); Nordstrom Recital Hall, Harmony Hill Retreat Center, 7362 E State Route 106, Union, WA (6/3)

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