GRAMMY-nominated True Concord Voices & Orchestra announces its fourth annual Stephen Paulus Emerging Composers Competition. This year’s contest focuses on texts by women writers consequential to the suffrage movement. The submission deadline is December 1.
Composer and conductor Paul Ayres has made a series of online videos, “Paul’s Informal Choir Practice Online during these Quite Exceptional Times” (PICPOQET). Designed for community choirs and choral societies, they feature a mixture of vocal tips, theory training, singing along with well-known tunes, and musical analysis. Presented in Paul’s customary welcoming and friendly style, and including quite a few of his corny jokes too. These are free to share with all choirs, during lockdown, and beyond.
episode 1 – numbers (scales, basically) – https://youtu.be/POTgWwpbYr8
episode 2 – (Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About The Introduction To) Zadok the Priest (But Were Too Afraid To Ask) – https://youtu.be/QZdWpDZqe8U
episode 3 – chromatics (adjacent notes in close combat) – https://youtu.be/xgs9UjGsvCs
episode 4 – Ave verum corpus (Mozart’s setting, and how not to sing it like a pirate) – https://youtu.be/QrcCDutixTs
episode 5 – majors and minors (it’s all about the thirds) – https://youtu.be/qpkcR9iW7HQ
episode 6 – Stabat Mater (Pergolesi’s setting, including an uptempo swing interpretation) – https://youtu.be/rLwEyZE_-Bo
episode 7 – intervals (the distance between notes, not just the half-way break in the concert) – https://youtu.be/rk4WjwT3ot0
Kate Simmons, August 2020
Contributing Editor: Jonathan Campbell
Luke Mayernik contributed a gorgeous French part song to the Graphite catalog that will challenge and reward your choir. “Emblem” is a setting of French poetry by Marceline Desbordes-Valmore drenched with romantic imagery: “I wanted to give you roses this morn…”. Scored for SATB divisi, soprano solo, piano, violin, and cello, the musical forces paint a rich tapestry of color and beautiful textures. The piece is intense and satisfying, almost like a self-contained cantata. Though only about five minutes in length, Mayernik serves up a rich and sophisticated piece.
Another lovely setting of French poetry in our catalog is Joshua Shank’s choral cycle “Chanson de la Vigne.” The work is a setting of several 19th-century French poets. Shank’s cycle is filled with sensual joy and beauty. Some whimsical “la la la’s” evoke an English ballet in the first movement. Poignant dissonances offset many carefully prepared and satisfying resolutions, such as in “Les table et les deux verres.” This cycle deserves a more prominent place in the repertoire. Of the five movements, the first three are unaccompanied with the final two adding piano. The five movements in this cycle are available for sale individually as well.
“Emblem” and “Chansons de la Vigne” would pair exceptionally well with another setting of French “rose” poetry: Lauridsen’s popular “Les Chansons des Roses.” The choral parts are similarly challenging to Lauridsen’s masterpiece and the combined French poetry would provide for a fascinating and lovely concert. Yet another option is Bading’s “Trois Chansons” for SATB and piano. If you don’t know these pieces, give them a listen—at the very least simply for your enjoyment. Any of these works will challenge an advanced ensemble, but the rewards would be great.
The USC Chamber Singers perform “Trois Chansons Bretonnes” by Henk Badings at their October 24, 2014 concert. Aram Arakelyan, piano; Jo-Michael Scheibe, conductor.
About the composers
Luke Mayernik is an award-winning composer, organist, pianist, harpsichordist, improviser, and collaborative artist. With over 20 sacred works published in the last five years, Luke continues to write both sacred and secular music noted for its engaging harmony, inventive forms, and cross-genre appeal. Luke’s personal mission is to help young composers discover their individual musical voice and instill within them a passion for artistic growth. For more info, visit www.lukemmusic.com
Joshua Shank’s works have been widely performed by educational and professional ensembles alike. His music has been called “jubilant…ethereal” (Santa Barbara News-Press) and “evocative and atmospheric” (Gramophone). The Boston Classical Review called his Magnificat for the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo “powerful” and “emotionally charged.” Learn more at www.joshuashank.com Connectedness – of heart, of mind, of body, and of soul. Jaunty and sensual, this song set uses French poems from nineteenth-century Romantic poets.
Our Contributing Editor
Jonathan Campbell received his B.A. from Luther College in 1998, a Master of Sacred Music degree from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota in 2002, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting in 2015 at North Dakota State University. As a composer, Jon has received numerous awards and commissions, including a Faith Partner’s Residency through the American Composer’s Forum, as well as first place in the Morningstar College Choral Composition Festival. From 2004-2012, Jon conducted the Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota Chorale and in the spring of 2011, served as interim director of choral activities at Winona State University. At Augsburg University, Minneapolis, MN he recently served as faculty conductor of the Cedar Singers male chorus and the Masterworks Chorale. Jon is founder and was artistic director of the Minnesota Renaissance Choir, and is currently Director of Music and Fine Arts at Claremont United Church of Christ and Lecturer in Music at Pomona College, both in Claremont, CA.
From the ACDA Composition Initiatives Standing Committee
On August 23, 2020, the winners of the Raymond W. Brock Competition for Professional Composers were chosen:
1st place: Elaine Hagenberg – I Am the Wind
2nd place: John Muehleisen – Sing to Me!
3rd place: Joseph Gregorio – Go Out With Joy
4th place: Ellen Gilson Voth – Across the Empty Square
5th place: Carlos Cordero – Ayúdame
The first place winning competition, I Am the Wind, by Elaine Hagenberg, will receive a special performance at the upcoming national conference of the American Choral Directors Association. Details of this virtual performance are being determined.
The Raymond W. Brock Competition for Professional Composers was established in 2018 in an effort to further the mission of ACDA to promote choral music and ensure its future. It is an outgrowth of the Raymond W. Brock Memorial Choral Commission fund, and its objectives are three-fold:
- To acknowledge and reward outstanding composers in early, mid, or late career
- To encourage choral composition of the highest caliber
- To further promote composer activity at ACDA regional and national conferences
Elaine Hagenberg’s music “soars with eloquence and ingenuity” (ACDA Choral Journal). Her compositions are performed worldwide and frequently featured at national and regional ACDA conferences, All-State festivals, Carnegie Hall, and other distinguished international concert halls from Australia to South America and throughout Europe. In addition to composing full-time, Elaine actively engages in bringing her music to life as the guest artist and featured clinician for professional conferences and festivals both in the U.S. and abroad as a composer, conductor, and accompanist of her work. With over fifty commissioned works, she has composed new music for ACDA, professional choirs, colleges and universities, community choirs, high schools, and churches. Elaine has music in print with various publishers including Oxford University Press, Hal Leonard, G. Schirmer, Hinshaw Music, and Beckenhorst Press, and she currently publishes her concert music independently through Elaine Hagenberg Music.
Statement from ACDA’s Executive Committee
ACDA is grateful for the many years of excellent service that Tim Sharp has provided for the organization. During his tenure, Tim brought the organization forward into the 21st century, not only in terms of technology, but also through his innovative and creative leadership. Tim’s efforts on behalf of ACDA have helped to continue to create global opportunities that we enjoy today as a leading choral music organization.
His collaborative spirit led to great partnerships with the International Federation for Choral Music, Chorus America, the Barbershop Harmony Society, and many others. Tim’s efforts in increasing membership of ACDA have benefited the organization in manifold ways. His passion for mentorship has provided direction for generations to come.
We wish Tim the best in his retirement.
Lynne Gackle, President
André Thomas, Vice President
David Fryling, President-elect
Tom Shelton, Past President
Tom Merrill, Treasurer/Secretary
A song PBCC has been singing for many years. Since the boys haven’t been able to go to school for several months now, we thought it might be nice to sing this song and make a virtual choir video about one of the things they particularly miss – Walkin’ to School.
“Walkin’ to School” from the musical Suburb by Robert S. Cohen and David Javerbaum. Lyrics and music adapted and arranged for the Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale.
Available in an SATB version through PBCC or the composer and can be arranged, on request, for any voicing by the composer www.robertscohen.com