In 2010, for a Marian celebration when William Picher hired 2 trumpets, strings, flute and timpani for a Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe, he asked me for an arrangement of Immaculate Mary. As this is a popular hymn for many Marian feasts, I eventually prepared a solo organ accompaniment version of the score. This reduced arrangement is included in their most recent CD of Marian Music: Ave Maria. It was always a pleasure to work with and write music for the Basilica Choir while I was in Orlando, and I am delighted that they continue to sing (and record) compositions and arrangements that I did for them.
When I composed the Audubon Park Psalter, my intention was that most all of the settings would be flexible enough to work in a traditional setting with organ and choir as well as a more contemporary setting with piano and guitar. While I have attempted to make recordings of the Contemporary Group at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen before, because I have been the one at the piano, it has been difficult to capture anything remotely balanced. This week, I was able to be out in the congregation, so captured the psalm while standing next to a pillar. Here’s the resulting video:
What I really appreciate is being able to hear the people sing, even though this is a new piece for them.
I also captured the psalm at the 11:00 Mass with the choir and organ:
Psalm 47 – Ascension of the Lord
One of the refrains that has survived from my first set of psalms written in 1995 with psalm tone and verses from the new Revised Grail Psalter. The choir is in a new location for this Mass, just over my right shoulder in the front area of the upper sanctuary. We have previously been in the back area of the upper sanctuary much closer to the organ.
The music for this piece is found in Audubon Park Psalter – Solemnities, Feasts and Holidays.
Psalm 145 – Fifth Sunday of Easter Year C
Recorded 24 April 2016 (iPhone) at the 11am Mass
Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Baltimore MD
Psalm 145 – I Will Praise Your Name Forever
for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C
The music for this piece is found in Audubon Park Psalter – Year C.
On Sunday, April 26th, at 5 PM, The Cathedral of Mary Our Queen of Baltimore presents Solemn Choral Vespers. The Cathedral Choir will sing solemn Vespers for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday. All music (hymn, anthems and organ pieces) will be by Charles V. Stanford. This concert is open to the public, no tickets required.
God Is Gone Up
Last Thursday, it was my pleasure to attend the festival choral Eucharist at St. Richard’s Episcopal Church in Winter Park where the St. Richard’s Schola under the direction of Dr. Carl MaultsBy gave the premier performance of my composition God Is Gone Up. I was very fortunate to be accompanied by a classmate from Westminster Choir College who blogs about her church visits. You can read her write up about the experience at Some Disagree with Mom. As it seems few churches actually celebrate on Ascension on Thursday in this area, there were several other musicians in attendance, and probably the best compliment I received was when one of the other musicians made a request to purchase copies of the score after the service was over! I want to express my gratitude to Carl for requesting this piece and giving me the opportunity to add another useful composition to my output.
Premiers and Classical
Both the Bel Canto Choir of Gateway High School and the Holy Redeemer School Choir did admirably with the other premier performances last week. I am sad that I was not able to capture audio for the performance of God, Your Golden Doorway Beckons, but hopefully I will be able to post audio or video for the other two pieces sometime soon.
After a three premiers last week, this week ushers in a return of my accompanying and directing responsibilities with the kick off to the summer season of the CFCArts Classical Choir. We are still looking for singers for the Mass in C Minor (K. 427) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Rehearsals will be on Thursday evenings with one concert performance on Friday, August 8, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Winter Park, FL. If you are in the area, I encourage you to come and join the group!
In addition to creating music for people such as the premiers or with people like the Classical Choir, I have been fascinated by the skills necessary to create music on the spot, especially at the organ. For that reason, I started a website a few months ago organimprovisation.com. I am pleased to announce that the site has been greatly expanded and that there is now a lesson handout on how to improvise a French toccata available when you sign up to receive the newsletter. I also just completed a newsletter series on the Four C’s of Improvisation that include a few helpful hints on becoming a better improviser. Even if you believe learning to improvise might be out of your reach, you could check out all the videos or recordings for some inspiration. I believe every musician should be able to improvise and can learn to do so if willing to practice.
One of the events I always look forward to attending is the AGO national convention. This year it will take place in Boston, one of my favorite cities. While there are many different events to attend, you can be sure to find me at the events where improvisation will be the focus. I compiled a list of them here if you will be at the convention and wish to find me.
This year will be the first year that I attend the conference of the Association of Anglican Musicians. Last summer, I was able to attend the RSCM Course in Tulsa, so I am looking forward to attending a conference with more people who run RSCM programs. As an extra bonus, I’ll get to stop by New York City in between the two conferences and play for the Orlando Deanery Choir at St. Thomas. While I would not normally be excited about two weeks on the road, the music making and chance to see many friends make me look forward to this extended trip. If you will be at either of these conferences, I hope we can find each other and at least say hello!
Hoping you have a fun and adventuresome summer!
Newsletter Issue 23 – 2014 06 02
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Explore the World of Romance
Extending their Summer Classical Season into a year-round entity, non profit arts organization Central Florida Community Arts (CFCArts) is proud to present their inaugural Spring Classical Season concert, Exploring the World of Romance! Revealing the mystery of romantic composers, the CFCArts Classical Choir will sing selections such as Mozart’s Regina Coeli, Rossini’s I Gondoieri and Schubert’s Gloria. To be further guided through the musical foundations of the Romantic Period, the audience will also experience works of Neo-Romantic composers such as Randall Thompson and Jean Belmont in a beautiful concert that will feature the 75-voice choir and a feature chamber orchestra.
Exploring the World of Romance will be held at 7:30pm on Saturday, May 3 and at 2:30pm on Sunday, May 4, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 1600 S. Orlando Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789. General Admission tickets are $10 each, and children age 12 and under will be admitted for free. Ticketing problems or questions? Contact Sarah.Mattingly@cfcommunityarts.com
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.
Ave Maria – Giulio Caccini
arr. for SATB choir, strings and solo instrument