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Argento, Brewbaker, Brunner, Jenkins at ACDA

Attendees at this year’s national conference of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) in Oklahoma City will encounter the music of four Boosey & Hawkes composers in performances and in seminar sessions:

Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award Winning Dominick Argento composed Cenotaph, the ACDA’s Raymond W. Brock Memorial Commission. A festival chorus and the Oklahoma Philharmonic Orchestra will perform the world premiere on March 5, under the baton of Ann Howard Jones of Boston University. The composer will also be discussing the development of the commission at an earlier session the same day.

A cenotaph is defined as a monument to someone buried elsewhere.  The cenotaphs found in America—and indeed across the world—have inspired Argento’s writing.  This newly-commissioned work uses a collage of textual sources, and employs the composer’s signature harmonic language and melodic beauty.  According to Philip Brunelle, conductor of the Minneapolis-based choral ensemble VocalEssence, "This is a composer who knows his instruments and uses them with great color and beauty. Many composers can write for chorus or orchestra; few have the skill to compose equally for both."

Also hot off the press is David L. Brunner’s “All I Was Doing Was Breathing”, the first movement in a planned multi-movement work called Ecstatic Songs, based on the writings of Mirabai, an Indian woman who experiences an overwhelming spiritual connection with the god Krishna.

Says the composer, “These texts are mystical and sacred, and at the same time sensual and earthy.”  Brunner was drawn to them because they are “honest and raw in their power” and also because they affirm the strength of the female spirit.

“All I Was Doing Was Breathing” will receive its premiere by the Michigan State University Women’s Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Sandra Snow.  The performance is to take place on March 4.

On the same program by the Michigan State University Women’s Chamber Ensemble will be Daniel Brewbaker’s A Little Innocence.  With text by E.E. Cummings, this stunning setting for treble voices was commissioned and premiered by the Children’s Aid Society Chorus of New York, and will be published by Boosey & Hawkes.

On Wednesday, March 4, Jonathan Griffith of Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) will moderate a session on the music of Karl Jenkins. The session will feature multi-media commentary by the composer, live musical demonstration by a choir from Oklahoma City University, music packets, and complimentary CDs.  Musical demonstrations will be taken from choral/orchestral triumphs Requiem, The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace, and Stabat Mater.

> Further information on Work: All I was Doing is Breathing

>  Further information on Work: Cenotaph

Photo: Tom Berthiaume

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