New Choral commission, recently completed
IN THESE TIMES (SING LA LA) is a new SSAATTB choral work commissioned by The Downtown Minneapolis churches: Basilica of Saint Mary, the Cathedral Church of St. Mark, Central Lutheran Church, Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church, Plymouth Congregational Church, St. Olaf Catholic Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church for their Choral Festival, 27 February 2011
Read Composer's Notes
Read the Lyrics
Click here to request a score.
NEW SONG – DON’T LET GO
AND JUST RELEASED BY
KING'S SINGERS: SWIMMING OVER LONDON
After the 2009 Grammy Award-winning Simple Gifts and a world premiere recording of Pachelbel Vespers in March 2010, internationally-acclaimed vocal group The King's Singers return to the studio to record Swimming Over London.
Featuring a diverse array of songs, this latest release captures jazz classics, current hits, and more, all arranged, performed, and recorded with the meticulous attention to detail and artistry that has established The King's Singers as one of the finest vocal ensembles throughout their history. Swimming Over London includes five original songs, commissioned specifically for the disc and written by Mia Makaroff, composer and arranger for Finnish vocal ensemble Rajaton; Ysaye M. Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock; Roger Treece, arranger and performer in Bobby McFerrin's Voicestra ensemble; Alexander L'Estrange, composer and arranger for the Swingle Singers; and Bob Chilcott, a former King's Singer. Chilcott, a respected composer of vocal music, wrote the title track for the album, an evocative tale of a woman stretching her way over London to the coast based on a poem by Charles Bennett. Roger Treece, renowned arranger for groups including Manhattan Transfer and New York Voices, composed an original song ("Keeper of the Seasons") and arranged two contrasting songs: Sarah McLachlan’s beautiful "Angel" and Pat Metheny’s "September 15th."
Read the Lyrics
FORTUNE’S BONES: THE MANUMISSION REQUIEM
Many of you have heard me talk about “The Requiem” for the bones of the slave, Fortune, who died in Waterbury, CT in 1798 and whose skeleton was preserved intact for generations until given to the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury in 1930. Marilyn Nelson’s masterfully written poem recounts Fortune’s story with profound eloquence and it is this poem that I was commissioned to set for the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, chorus and 7 soloists. The REQUIEM premiered in Waterbury, CT on May 9, 2009 with one performance only. The role of Fortune was sung by baritone Stephen Salters and the role of Dinah, Fortune’s wife, was sung by contralto Shannon Finney.
A YEAR LONG PROJECT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND – CLARICE SMITH CENTER, FEBRUARY 25 - 26, 2012
WHO WAS FORTUNE?
In life, he was an African-American slave who served a doctor in post-Colonial Waterbury, Connecticut. In death, he became a medical specimen and later a walk-by exhibit at the Mattatuck Museum, a skeleton known only as "Larry."
But Fortune was also a husband, father and human being.
In 2004, Connecticut poet-laureate Marilyn Nelson published Fortune's Bones: The Manumission Requiem, a book-length poem commissioned by the African American History Project Committee in Waterbury. Subsequently, the Waterbury symphony commissioned Dr. Ysaye Barnwell to set the text to music.
The Fortune's Bones cantata, FEB 25 AND 26, 2012 performed by a full symphony, two choirs, seven soloists and a chorus of African bells, is the centerpiece of a performance that celebrates the fullness of African-American life.
The program will also include spirituals.
Together, the artists will metaphorically set Fortune's bones to rest.
As Dr. Barnwell notes, "God's blessings on Fortune ... da bell done rung."
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.