Release Day! Composers at Westminster Recording

On Friday, October 25th, Westminster Choir College’s recording label, distributed by Naxos, will release “Composers at Westminster,” a digital recording of works by the composition faculty. It includes music by Stefan Young, Joel Phillips, Jay Kawarsky, Ronald Hemmel, and Christian Carey.

Three of the college’s choirs, conducted by Joe Miller, James Jordan, and Amanda Quist, as well as Victoria Browers, a member of the voice faculty, accompanied by pianist J.J. Penna, are among the performers on the recording.

You may listen to a stream or download the music via this link.

Westminster Choir Premieres New Carey work

This past summer, Joe Miller, Director of Choral Activities at Westminster Choir College, commissioned a piece from me to celebrate the centenary of both the college and Westminster Choir. They will premiere my setting of Psalm 96 on November 9th in Massapequa, New York and November 10th in Princeton (Details below).

Appear and Inspire: 100 years of Singing
Westminster Choir
Joe Miller, conductor

Saturday, November 9, 2019, 7:00 PM
St. Rose of Lima, Massapequa, NY

Sunday, November 10, 2019, 3:00 PM
Bristol Chapel, Westminster Choir College

Program Note

This setting of Psalm 96, “Sing to the Lord a New Song,” was written to celebrate the centenary of Westminster Choir College and Westminster Choir. It seemed to be an especially appropriate text to celebrate the college’s rich tradition of music-making and express hope for its continued vitality. As a composer, I always wish that choirs will undertake “new songs” and am most pleased that Joe Miller and Westminster Choir have agreed to perform one of mine. It was composed in August and September 2019 in New Jersey and Tennessee.

Christian Carey has created over eighty musical works in a variety of genres and styles, performed throughout the United States and in England, Italy, and Japan. His compositions have been performed by ACME, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Atlantic Chamber Orchestra, C4, Cassatt String Quartet, Chamber Players of the League of Composers, Harvard Choral Fellows, loadbang, Locrian Chamber Players, Manhattan Choral Ensemble, New York New Music Ensemble, Righteous Girls, Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra, and Westminster Kantorei. Recordings of his work appear on New Focus, Perspectives of New Music/Open Space, and Westminster Choir College labels. GIA publishes his choral music and an edition of his organ music is currently in preparation for Zimbel. 

Carey is Associate Professor at Westminster Choir College. He holds degrees from the Juilliard School (B.Mus. in Voice Performance), Boston University (M.M. in Composition), and Rutgers University (Ph.D. in Music).

Review from 1999

Amazing what you uncover on Google Books. A review of Cassatt String Quartet, with guest cellist Christopher Finkel, premiering my String Quartet (1999) at June in Buffalo.

“Christian B. Carey’s String Quartet (1999) is a rare effort to draw from jazz’s rhythmic style while applying an apparent serial language. The general depiction of jazz as a traditional palette (swinging, improvised-like solos) with tongue-in-cheek titles (‘Bebop a Lulu,’ ‘Elegaicism’ and ‘Lulu Redux’) makes for easily enjoyable music. Certainly the resultant serial sonorities have their own oddly saucy flavor, but all the more teeth for one’s wit.” – New Music Connoisseur, Volume 7, pp. 49.

Je Suis Aime

Another recital recording, this one performed by Soprano Sara Noble with organ drone. It is a setting of a chanson by French poet Clement Marot, an anniversary present for Kay.

Carson Cooman commissioned and performed a set of variations on this piece for chamber organ.

Je suis aimé de la plus belle
Qui soit vivant dessous les cieux:
Encontre tous faux envieux
Je la soutiendrai être telle.

Si Cupido doux et rebelle
Avait débandé ses deux yeux,
Pour voir son maintien gracieux,
Je crois qu’amoureux serait d’elle.

Vénus, la Déesse immortelle,
Tu as fait mon coeur bien heureux,
De l’avoir fait être amoureux
D’une si noble Damoiselle.

Clément Marot

I am loved by the most beautiful lady
Who has ever lived beneath the heavens;
Against all false enviers
I will uphold her to be so.

If sweet and rebellious Cupid
Had taken off his blindfold
To see her graceful carriage,
I think he would have fallen in love with her.

Venus, the immortal Goddess,
You have made my heart very happy,
To have put me in love with
Such a noble maiden.

Translated by Fenton Groden

“3 Kenyon Songs” – “Psalm 103” (SoundCloud)

May 2016 recital photo - Noble - Carey - Ihnen

This week I am posting recordings from a May 2016 recital that was performed at All Saints’ Church in Princeton, New Jersey. Organized by soprano Sara Noble and the Contemporary Undercurrents of Song Project, it was given for me after I returned home last Spring from having cancer surgeries in Nashville. It was the most thoughtful musical homecoming a composer could experience.

Below are two live recordings from the event: You may check out my Soundcloud page for addition selections. The first is a duo version by Sara and mezzo-soprano Megan Ihnen of my Psalm 103 setting.

The second has often been performed but never before recorded in its entirety – the piano-vocal version of my Three Kenyon Settings, performed by Megan and pianist Graeme Burgan. (Singing cellist Jody Redhage commissioned the set for herself to perform and made a recording of one of the songs, “Otherwise,” that you can also hear on Soundcloud.

“O Emmanuel,” performed by the Wesley Singers (Soundcloud)

Cheekwood, Nashville, TN.
Cheekwood, Nashville, TN.

Last year, the Wesley Singers, conducted by Dr. Gareth Bond, recorded my set of Magnificat Antiphons for SSATB chorus.  To interested choir directors out there, I would say,”Advent is coming!”

“Dark Times”

Raritan Bay, South Amboy, New Jersey.
Raritan Bay, South Amboy, New Jersey.

Dark times: I’ve seen them aplenty and they no longer daunt me (for long). We will get through this dark time stronger, more alert, and more passionate than ever about how the arts matter to society. Move towards what you love: it will sustain you.