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Dominick Argento and Will Todd at ACDA in Minneapolis

(March 2017)

ArgentoToddACDA.jpg Composers Dominick Argento and Will Todd are featured at the American Choral Directors Association convention in Minneapolis in March.

Music by Dominick Argento, celebrating his 90th birthday this year, is featured in his home town of Minneapolis to launch the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) national conference between 7 and 11 March. Events are launched with Argento's Te Deum at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Tuesday 7 March with The Singers and VocalEssence joining their voices with the ACDA-MN Festival Choir of Conductors and Students and the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra conducted by Philip Brunelle.

Argento's Te Deum, composed in 1987, is a large-scale 45-minute work for mixed chorus and orchestra setting the traditional text in Latin together with anonymous Middle English lyrics. Philip Brunelle recorded the work on the Virgin Classics label in 1991 with the Plymouth Music Series, receiving a Grammy nomination. Brunelle's special relationship with Argento's music included the world premiere of his opera Postcard from Morocco in 1971 and its South African premiere with Cape Town Opera in 2014, and the world premiere of The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe by Minnesota Opera in 1976 and its European premiere at Gothenburg Opera in 1986. The vocal score of Te Deum is published by Boosey & Hawkes and the orchestral materials are available from the B&H Rental Library.

Choral composer Will Todd leads the Boosey & Hawkes showcase hosted by Hal Leonard in Meeting Rooms L100 I and J at 3pm on Thursday 9 March. The session includes latest publications from the publisher of Bernstein, Britten and Finzi, including a read-through of the Kyrie movement from Todd's recent Jazz Missa Brevis.

Will Todd’s Jazz Missa Brevis gives new life to the sung Latin Mass texts in an accessible, short setting which embraces a variety of jazz styles, from the swinging jazz waltz Kyrie to the up-beat Latin-groove Gloria. The smooth jazz ballad Sanctus, 7/8 Benedictus and soulful Agnus Dei complete this inspiring Mass setting. Underpinned by Todd’s characteristic jazz harmonies and melodic craftsmanship, it is suitable for performance both liturgically and as part of a concert by mixed choirs of all abilities. The work can be accompanied by piano alone (as written or extemporised), jazz trio (piano, bass and drums) or jazz ensemble (alto saxophone, 2 trumpets and jazz trio.

Will Todd’s music ranges from simple anthems for church and youth choirs to complex works for professional chamber choirs. His anthem, Call of Wisdom, was performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations with a TV audience of 4.5 million people. Since 2003, his breakthrough work, Mass in Blue (originally titled Jazz Mass), has been performed hundreds of times all over the world. His arrangement of Amazing Grace was performed at President Obama’s Inauguration Day prayer service in 2013 and as part of the BBC’s Nelson Mandela Thanksgiving Service. His opera for children Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has been performed annually by Opera Holland Park in London since 2013, travelled in 2015 to The Royal Opera's Linbury Studio Theatre, and was released on disc by Signum Classics.

If attending the ACDA convention, please visit the B&H stand at booth 519.

>  Further information on Work: Jazz Missa Brevis

Photos: Tom Berthiaume and Andy Holdsworth

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