A Year of God’s Favor

AYearofGodsFavorCoverOriginally written for the Diocesan Youth Choir formed to sing for the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany, NY in 2005, This setting of Delores Dufner’s text “A Year of God’s Favor” is scored for SAB choir, piano and optional flute, oboe and violoncello. The audio below was generated by the Finale music notation program.

1. Listen now     

God Is Gone Up

God is gone up with a merry shout.

Written on April 29, 2014 for Dr. Carl MaultsBy and the St. Richard’s Schola of St. Richard’s Episcopal Church in Winter Park, Florida, this piece in Baroque style is written for two-part choir. It could be done by women alone, a mixed adult choir, or even a children’s choir. The harmonic language is simple with very few accidentals. The accompaniment is a simple three-part texture that could be played on organ or piano.

The Chariot

Written on April 16, 2014 for Chris Barletta and the Women’s Choir of Gateway High School in Kissimmee, Florida, with an expected first performance in May 2014. The students selected a poem by Emily Dickinson as the text that they wanted me to set for them. The Chariot begins “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” and is a somber piece that suggested a chromatic language to me. While there is four-part divisi, the piece remains homophonic and there are many passages in only two parts. The choir is supported by the piano with a brief unaccompanied passage. A video of the first performance can be seen here.

It is finish-ed!

ColorLogoRGBLogo chosen!

It was a tough choice, but I awarded a winner in the competition at 99designs.com for a logo for Audubon Park Music. Thanks to everyone who voted or offered their opinions on the submissions! Net up will be a website redesign to incorporate the new logo and start moving my catalog of music for sale from wmglennosborne.com over to audubonparkmusic.com. I hope to have the site fully functional by the time the bishops grant me permission to publish my psalter.


Any musician at a reasonably large church is familiar with the difficulties of having to be in two different places at the same time. While science may have advanced enough to provide clones of certain animals, I’m still waiting for the technology that allows us to bi-locate. How much more practice time could I get if I could actually be on the organ bench AND at the staff meeting? If you could be in two places at once, where would you choose to go?

Sadly, we can’t divide ourselves yet, and as the sound system in the social hall at Holy Redeemer was my most stressful part of this past week, I am extremely grateful that my choir was willing to change venues and move from their traditional location of the church to serve the overflow crowd in the social hall. While I normally like to have everything well-planned in advance, I am still an improviser and will go with the flow when necessary. Thank you to all the singers and musicians at Holy Redeemer for a wonderful week of liturgies and for going along with the flow when change was needed!

Because I Could Not Stop for Death

Death seems to be the theme of this week. Not only at church, but in real life. One of my colleagues from Westminster Choir College passed away just over a week ago from cancer. While sad, this was expected. The unexpected event was the sudden death of one of my classmates at a rehearsal at Disney Hall in Los Angeles. Jeff Dinsmore and I graduated from Westminster twenty years ago this May. I still feel young enough that learning of the death of someone my own age creates a pause for reflection: am I spending my limited time here on earth doing the best that I can? How about you?

The students at Gateway High School chose a text by Emily Dickinson for me to set for them titled The Chariot. Because I Could Not Stop for Death is the first line, and it seems very fitting that I managed to set this text during this week surrounded by death. We are still working on the potential performance date. There will also likely be another piece written for Gateway this year to be sung at their baccalaureate service at the end of May. No one wants to hear about death at a graduation ceremony, so I’ll be looking for a happier topic….

The next performance I do have scheduled is the Classical Choir Concert of the Central Florida Community Arts on May 3 and 4. The program includes The Seven Last Words of Christ by Theodore Dubois (referenced by today’s subject line). Luckily, this concert also includes some happier tunes by Mozart, Rossini, Thompson and others. I’m hoping this week of death is now finish-ed and more pleasant times will arrive in this Easter season.

May you live long and prosper!


Newsletter Issue 20 – 2014 04 22
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Birds, Birds and More Birds

NewsletterBirdSeeking Singing Birds

As you may remember, I registered with ASCAP just a few months ago. In order to do so, I needed to choose a name for my publishing company. After exploring a few possibilities (some of which had already been taken), I settled upon Audubon Park Music. The neighborhood where I live in Orlando is called Audubon Park and the working title for my psalter has been the Audubon Park Psalter, so it made sense to me to go ahead and make something like that the name of my publishing company as well.

Logo Competition

What’s one of the first things you need when starting up a business? Nowadays, that would be a website and business cards, of course! The website – audubonparkmusic.com – I set up the day I chose the name using a simple WordPress template, but I didn’t want to print simple plain business cards. Every good business has some sort of identifiable mark or logo that is instantly recognizable. Take McDonalds, Nike, or AT&T for example. I wanted a nice clean logo for my company, so I turned to 99designs.com.

At 99designs, there are over 200,000 designers competing on various projects. I presented a design brief outlining what sort of logo I would be looking for and some of my thoughts about what the logo could or should look like. One week later, I have had 32 people submit 152 designs for my consideration. I have been very impressed by the creativity of several of the designers, and now it is time for me to make my final choice. Because I have always had a difficult time making choices, I would love to invite you to participate in a poll and rate the designs that I have selected as finalists. You may see the choices and provide your feedback here:
http://99designs.com/logo-design/vote-nxe1j0. I expect to wrap this up quickly, so please vote in the next 24 hours to have your opinion count.

New Pieces and Singers

While evaluating birds, I also received a request for an arrangement of HOLY ANTHEM for organ and brass quartet. I hope to have the Finale performance file of it uploaded today here if you’d like to give it a listen. My next composition task is to set a poem by Emily Dickinson for Gateway High School. The premier is scheduled for just about a month from now, so if the girls are going to have time to learn it, I need to get them a score soon!

In addition to looking for singing birds, I’m also looking for singing people. This summer (preferable sooner rather than later), I’d like to make a recording of some of my compositions to be released as an album. If you are in the Orlando area and would be interested in being part of this recording group, please let me know so that I can begin to figure out rehearsal dates and locations.

Hoping the birds are singing for you!


Newsletter Issue 19 – 2014 04 10
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From Mastery to a Master

Morten_Lauridsen72dpiA Master

This past week Morten Lauridsen was composer in residence at Rollins College. On Sunday afternoon, the Rollins College Choir and members of the Bach Festival Choir under the direction of Dr. John Sinclair presented some of Lauridsen’s most famous choral works: O Magnum Mysterium, “Dirait-on” from Les Chansons des Roses, Nocturnes, and Lux Aeterna. In addition, Dr. Julia Foster sang his song cycle A Winter Come. Aside from hearing the splendid music, one of the highlights of the afternoon was hearing the composer speak about the pieces and even sit at the piano to play for a couple of them. Following the concert presentation, Wall Street Journal drama critic Terry Teachout conducted a delightful conversation with Lauridsen that shed even more light on the works and Lauridsen’s compositional style and processes.


If you have never heard Morten Lauridsen’s setting of O Magnum Mysterium, then click here to listen to a performance by the Los Angeles Master Chorale with Paul Salamunovich as conductor. Lauridsen served as composer in residence for the ensemble for several years. About ten years ago, I had the pleasure to attend a rehearsal of the LA Master Chorale under Salamunovich while they rehearsed this piece and/or Lux Aeterna. Both pieces always leave me with a deep sense of calm when I listen to them. On Sunday, I found out part of the reason for that: Lauridsen lives and composes on an island off the northern coast of Washington State. Less than 100 people live on the island, and there is no electric service there. He had a $70 used piano brought over on a barge to the former general store that became his island residence. With such a quiet backdrop for composing, it becomes clear to me that the environment where he writes is represented in his output.

leafblowersNoise Pollution

Perhaps because of his island home, Lauridsen is highly sensitive to noise pollution. During his interview Sunday afternoon, he encouraged everyone to do what they can to eliminate extraneous noise from their life. At the University of Southern California, after several years of protesting, Lauridsen successfully convinced the school to no longer use gas-powered leaf blowers on campus! I remember back when I was in high school, as soon as I came home, the stereo was turned on and stayed on through the night until I left the next morning. How many of us do that with the radio or TV now? How about when we are driving? Are we really listening to the radio or is it just road noise?

We often pay attention to the food we give our body, but do we spend any time whatsoever considering what sounds we feed ourselves? We know our body feels and functions better when we give it proper nutrition and avoid the junk food. How much better might we feel if we cut out the junk noise?

One of the items on my to do list last year (that didn’t happen) was to spend a week on a silent retreat. After hearing Morten Lauridsen’s music and comments this week, I am recommitting to making that happen this year. What will you do to find some quiet time?

Wishing you peace and quiet,


Newsletter Issue 14 – 2014 01 30
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Merry Christmas!

ChristmasMallMerry Christmas!

Last night, we finally put up and decorated our Christmas tree. As my schedule keeps me out of the house for concerts and rehearsals quite often before Christmas, and then we have typically been traveling to visit family immediately afterwards, decorating a tree has not been a common occurrence since I left the parental household. In fact, last night, we almost didn’t get a tree either as the lots where we have bought trees before have been replaced by a Dunkin Donuts and a WaWa! It also appears that in this more temperate southern climate, people put up their trees earlier, so the selection was slim. But now that most of the concerts are over, and because I’ll be here for Christmas, I look forward to enjoying our tree.

Concerts Galore, Part 2

The last two weekends have been absolutely packed with wonderful events: the Christmas concert at the Basilica, Advent Lessons and Carols at the Cathedral of St. Luke, Messiah at North Orlando SDA Church, and a Carol Sing at Holy Redeemer. The most challenging part, however, was going from the Orlando half-marathon straight on to rehearsal for Lessons and Carols. Luckily, I was in much better shape at the end of this race than Nashville. Even so, I think I know why Ben Lane and the choir stayed at the other end of the building that morning:

The Angels Sing

The Basilica Choir is one of my favorite groups here in Orlando. In addition to playing and conducting for them, I’ve been very fortunate to be able to compose for them as well. Included on their latest CD, Christmas with the Basilica Choir, is my setting of the text by John Dalles, “God, We Would Hear the Angels Sing.” And if you’ve heard the Basilica Choir sing, I hope you’ll agree with me that they indeed sound like angels. If you haven’t heard them, then you’re in for a treat below. I was able to record the performance of my carol at the concert and put it up on YouTube for your listening pleasure. May the angels bring you lots of Christmas cheer!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Newsletter Issue 11 – 2013 12 17
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