“Stars Over Snow” Premiere + Recording

Last Friday night, I had the opportunity to hear BYU Singers perform the world premiere of “Stars Over Snow.” It was incredible. The performance was electric and the reception was very warm. I’m still buzzing from what a beautiful night it was.

by Sara Teasdale

Stars over snow,
And in the west a planet
Swinging below a star—
Look for a lovely thing and you will find it,
It is not far—
It never will be far.

Here is a recording:

Catching Up

1958372_10101432305575119_262272049425363395_n It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I figured that I should play catch up with what’s been happening, although to be honest, it’s not really all that exciting.

Apollo Men’s Chorus wrapped their two-week recording project. They spend the last four days of class working really hard, recording a bunch of their music from the last two semesters. It was great to see them all enduring to the end of the semester. It also happened to be my last time rehearsing with them as I’m not conducting them next year. Working with the men’s chorus at USC has been a great experience. They’ve worked so much and absolutely buoyed me up. I’m so proud of everything they have done. I’m going to miss working with them.

I finished my second year as a DMA student at USC. The last two weeks were pretty brutal, on top of all the other stuff to do during study days and finals week. I finished but didn’t feel much closure or satisfaction. I guess that’s how it works right? Right? On top of that, I’ve started summer classes. Not much of a break there. Oh well.

During all that, I used some frequent flyer miles to go up to Portland (the city of bridges) and hear a performance of “Pure Imagination” by BYU Singers. It was a really magical performance with lots of heart and testimony. It was also great to be able to take a bit of time off to visit with some of my best friends and explore Portland. I’ve been tremendously blessed.

10322793_10101432316952319_6422399334597777167_nMy parents came out to visit with my grandma and my aunts and uncles. They came and visited Santa Monica pier where we saw dolphins. Then we had lunch up in Palisades Park looking over the ocean. It was pretty awesome!

I flew out to Pittsburgh (also the city of bridges) to attend the wedding of another one of my best friends. It was my first time in Pennsylvania and everyone was so kind to me. The wedding was really special and touching. It was my first time in the wedding party as a groomsman. Lots of fun!

A friend invited me to Disneyland this last weekend. It was my first time in over 10 years! I forgot how much fun it is. I’m very much the person who can’t help but think about the corporation of Disney behind the whole theme park and media empire. It can sometimes ruin the experience. I tried to ignore that walking around and just let my imagination open up again. It kinda felt like being a little kid again. I’m pretty sure that I have that maturity level anyway, so it all worked out.

I’m working on some new commissions right now. Once I finish things up I’ll post them here. I’ve got about five pieces I’m working on right now, but having a difficult time finishing. Maybe if I just focus on one, the others will follow like dominos? Anyway, more to come.10374968_10101432305400469_2885089119599785029_n


“Pure Imagination” to be Published!

Okay! Contract signed, I can talk about it now! After working on getting it published for a year and a half, my arrangement of “Pure Imagination” is going to be published with Santa Barbara Music….sometime…soon (Update: “Pure Imagination” will be available August 2014). I’m actually not sure about when yet, but I’ll try and stay up to date. Once I find out, I’ll post it.

This week, both the USC Chamber Singers and the BYU Singers will be performing this piece in their respective concerts this coming weekend. USC at St. Matthew’s Church, Pacific Palasades, Friday, March 28th @ 7:30 PM; BYU Singers at the de Jong Concert Hall, Provo, Friday, March 28th @ 7:30 PM. Simultaneous concert premieres!

I’ve been enjoying my spring break away from Los Angeles, but that will be coming to an end soon as I drive back tomorrow.  All the best for now.

“Pure Imagination” Concert Premieres + Tours

Okay, I can finally talk about it now! This spring, both BYU Singers and the USC Chamber Singers will be performing “Pure Imagination” in concert. In addition, both of these ensembles will be taking this piece on their tours this year, BYU Singers to the northwest, and USC Chamber Singers to China and South Korea.

This is super exciting for me! Two world-class ensembles singing this on their tours is more than I could ask for. More news to come on this particular arrangement for sure. In the mean time, to celebrate, here’s YouTube clip of Benedict Cumberbatch singing a small snippet of “Pure Imagination.”

BYU Singers Alumni Hymn Project

I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to be in BYU Singers for 4 years, and during that time with the ensemble I had many life changing experiences both on and off stage. I’ve participated in some electrifying performances which have stirred the hearts of those listening and helped to change lives. It’s an experience I will always remember and cherish.

I feel very strongly about this ensemble’s long-term life and want to see it continue to grow and perform for even more people. There’s a really wonderful recording project going on right now with the alumni of the choir. We are recording hymns of all sorts to give away for free and to help spread our influence even further. We’ve also started a fund raiser to contribute to the BYU Singers Endowment.

The BYU Singers Endowment Fund helps to support the touring of BYU Singers, as well as financial aid to students who would qualify for BYU Singers but might not be able to afford tour costs, among other things. I would very much like to see this endowment grow and support future generations of singers.

If you can, please visit their fund-raising page and contribute something; anything that you are able to. Even as a broke graduate student, I’ve felt very fulfilled to have contributed to this cause, even in a small way.

Need New Music? Hire Me!

School is finally out here at SC, and now that task of looking for summer work is in full swing. I’ve been looking around at some interesting jobs, but really, I’d rather be writing music for your choir.

I’ve been commissioned before by the BYU Singers, BYU Men’s Chorus, and the Chancel Choir of St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas. I’ve loved working on each of these ensembles and these recipients have been very pleased with the resulting pieces. I’ve been able to write more complicated works that are challenging (in a good way) as well as pieces that are accessible for  less-experienced singers. By the way, these four commissions were all delivered earlier than their proposed date of delivery.

These commissioned pieces include:

“Everyone Sang” 

“I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go”

“Press Forward, Saints,” 

and “The Pure River Flows” 

By the way, you don’t have to direct a choir in order to commission a new piece of music. There are plenty of cases of people commissioning new music as a birthday present or anniversary gift for a loved one or spouse. I can then get it recorded with the gracious help of the USC Chamber Singers. It’s a one of a kind gift that no one else has. Now that’s romantic.

So, if you are in need of any new music, feel free to contact me and we can get a conversation started.