Farewell to Provo

I’ve finally made the move out of Provo and now live in the city of angels “ready” to start my DMA program at USC (I use the term “ready” very loosely here).  A friend of mine asked me what some of my favorite moments at BYU were, and it got me thinking.  It might be the best way to talk about this transition.  There’s been a quote going around attributed to Dr. Suess (don’t know if it was him, and I don’t feel like taking the time to verify right now) that says “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Here are some of my favorite moments/times that I had at BYU in no particular order:

  • Being at the inauguration of President Samuelson as the President of BYU by Gordon B. Hinckley.  It was the first time I had been in the same room as the prophet.  It was electrifying.
  • My very first day in Concert Choir with Professor Hall.  Completely changed my life.
  • Singing the premiere of “Midnight Clear.”
  • The premiere of “In Paradisum.”
  • Our study abroad in London learning about English choral music.
  • Returning to Ireland on tour.
  • The first time I conducted BYU Singers in performance.  Will Todd’s “Ave verum corpus” in the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake.
  • Singing “Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine” in the Provo Tabernacle.  I’ll never forget the audience reaction.
  • Taking Counterpoint and Independent Readings (Renaissance Music) with Dr. Bush.
  • Conducting the Men’s Chorus in the MTC.  “Choose the Right,” arranged by Rosalind Hall.
  • Climbing to the top of Squaw Peak, Y Mountain, Cascade, Timpanogas and Nebo.

As you can see, most of these best times involved the choirs in some way. That’s how important they have been in my life.  As a final gesture, I want to post one of my favorite choral pieces.  These last several years have shaped my life in a way that few other things have.  I usually can’t listen to this without tearing up . . . a lot.

Announcement – “In Paradisum” Sheet Music Now For Sale

Good news, I’ve decided to self-publish “In Paradisum.”  After some testing, tinkering and help from my brother, I’ve finally got it working.  You can purchase an electronic copy through PayPal (and all the convenience that comes with that) from this page.  I think that this is the easiest option for most people now.  I hope to hear a lot of you singing it in the future!  Thanks!

Some Clips from Radio Interview

My friend Igor Marques passed along some clips from the interview I did Classical 89 a few months ago.  I’m glad they turned out a little more coherent than I remember.  That’s good editing for you.

Here’s the introduction:

Responding to a question about BYU Concert Choir:

Talking about writing for various ensembles:

Talking about William Byrd:

What else have I been up to lately?  More to come soon.

Interview + In Paradisum

This is just a reminder about the interview I did with Igor Marques on Classical 89.  It’s just a short little interview about “In Paradisum” which should be aired along side it.  It will be September 28th at 1:00 PM and 8:30 PM (aprox.)  If you’re in the Provo/Salt Lake Area, you can tune in at 89.1 or 89.5 FM or just get the stream from this website.

I’ll be in rehearsal at 1:00 and I teach class at 8:30, so I might not be able to catch either of them, but you should!  Tune in and let me know if I sounded somewhat coherent.

P.S. This is also my 150th post (or so the blog tells me).  Hooray!

Radio Interview at Classical 89

I just finished doing a radio interview at Classical 89 here at BYU.  My friend Igor Marques from my 16th century counterpoint class, who works there, invited me to come and talk about “In Paradisum” in connection with a broadcast in late September.  I’m thrilled that he remembered my piece from it’s premiere back in February and that they would consider broadcasting it on the radio.

The interview went well.  I felt a little more flustered than usual and for some reason had a hard time coming up with good eloquent answers.  I don’t know what my problem was.  Thank goodness it wasn’t a live broadcast.  I did make one flub that I wish I could go back and change:  I was asked about composers I look up to and said something like “Byrd, Poulenc, Barber . . .”  I totally forgot to say BACH!  I’ve been studying the Bach motets for the past month and totally forgot to say anything!  I also forgot to say Vaughan Williams, Pärt, Debussy and Palestina.  And of course there are many, many other composers that I look up to.

Anyway, I’m really glad to have that opportunity.  “In Paradisum” and the interview should air September 28th sometime that day, I think it’ll be at 1 PM and 8 PM, but I’m not sure.  I’ll have more solid information later.  Make sure you tune in!

Full Recording of “In Paradisum”

I just got back from the Mastering session with Troy Sales.  Brought the dynamic up, noise floor down, added a little reverb, attenuated some unwanted sounds (like a falling drumstick) and faded the heads and tails.  This is one of the most rewarding parts of working with a recording, putting on that last little bit of polish.

Here it is!  Another huge “I love you” to Concert Choir and Rosalind Hall for this magnificent performance.  It’s so thrilling to hear them sing this so beautifully from their hearts.  I could listen to them all day (oh wait, I’ve already done that).