BYU Men’s Chorus Concert Tickets Now Available

Hey! This is my 200th post!  Yay!

Here’s the poster for the BYU Men’s Chorus Concert where they will perform two of my new arrangements.  I’m very excited to attend this. If you are planning on attending, you should buy tickets now, the Men’s Chorus shows almost ALWAYS sell out.  Click here to buy tickets.
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New Project with the BYU Men’s Chorus

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Just before Christmas break I got an email from Rosalind Hall who conducts the BYU Men’s Chorus with a proposition.  In light of the recent change of ages for missionaries in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Prof. Hall wanted to record a new album of missionary hymns and wanted to commission 8 composers to write new arrangements.  The entire album would be recorded during the four months of winter semester and released in time for General Conference weekend in April 2013.

I was lucky enough to be asked to participate in writing two new arrangements for the BYU Men’s Chorus.  The hymns I chose were “Press Forward, Saints” (one of my absolute favorites) and “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go.”  The first will be accompanied by organ and brass while the second will be accompanied by piano and cello.

I’m very excited to have the opportunity to be involved is such a noble project.  It has brought back a lot of memories for me of my own mission to Ireland.  It was a life-changing experience and one of the best decisions I ever made.

The most serendipitous part of this entire project is that they’re going to record my arrangements and premiere them live during the same week I’ll be on spring break from USC!  How amazing is that?!  They will be premiered March 22nd and 23rd. This also happens to be the weekend after “The Pure River” is premiered in Dallas at St. Andrew United Methodist Church by Chris Crook.  That is going to be a GREAT week.


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Brahms Rediscovered

Here in America, we have a certain way that we sing German, Romantic music of Mendelssohn, Mahler and Brahms. From my observations, it’s full, rich, warm, dark, and with generous vibrato. Occasionally this can even get swallowed with very soloistic tendencies. It’s the way I’ve done this music for as long as I can remember.

I’m not sure I’ll follow that ideal anymore. I just purchased a recording of the Brahms motets by the RIAS Kammerchor (from Berlin) that is shifting my entire “Romantic” paradigm. The singing is strong and rich, but there’s a balance in the sound between bright and dark and there’s a clarity to it I don’t find in other singing of the same music (especially with the double choir motets). Also, for the most part, vibrato is minimal if present at all. There are times when it really shimmers, and other times when it’s completely straight tone!

It’s a fresh approach that really opened my ears to this exquisite repertoire in a completely new way. I’m beginning to understand Brahms more because of it. This is, of course, in addition to these knock-out interpretations by Marcus Creed.

Fest Und Gedenksprüche, Op. 109, No. 2 – “Wenn Ein Starker Gewappneter”

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