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.

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 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!

Seven premieres!

Posted on November 2nd, 2011 by jondavid


Better late than never to announce highlights of my 2011-12 season, chief among them seven world premieres, including  four commissioned works :

October 23, 2011, NYC
Azrael, song for soprano and piano, commissioned by Jay Barksdale to honor the 10th anniversary of the Sylvia Townsend Warner Foundation, performed by Barksdale and soprano Beth Wladis.

December 11, 2011, NYC
The Tightened String, 9/11 memorial work for mixed chorus, treble quartet, and prepared piano, commissioned by the Central City Chorus, to a newly written poem by David Brendan Hopes

December 15, 2011, Asheville, NC
A Shepherd’s Nativity (Sweet Light), for men’s chorus and English horn, to be performed by Cantaria, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Asheville

[Early 2012, NYC]
Ask Me No More, for men’s chorus a cappella, to be performed by the Young Men’s Chorus of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy

April 21, 2012, Waukesha, WI
Stabat Mater, for mixed chorus a cappella, commissioned by Carroll University (followed by Italian tour in May)

April 27, 2012, NYC
Gitchee Gumee, song for baritone and harp, commissioned by Daniel Neer (who also authored the text), to be accompanied by Alyssa Reit

May 31, 2012, NYC
The Hounds of Spring, for mixed chorus, electric guitar, bass and drums, to be performed by C4 and members of the Fireworks Ensemble

More details to follow!

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