Thursday: Pictures 2013 Concert


Tomorrow, soprano Sara Noble premieres a new art song I’ve written for her at Montclair Art Museum. 

Sara and Carl Patrick Bolleia (pictured above) both served with me as jurors to select the other works on the concert from submissions by NJ middle school, high school, and college composers. The works by these students are quite impressive!

Free concert at 7 PM. Sponsored by the museum and by NJ Arts Collective.

More Performances in June

Today, I got news of two more performances taking place in June.  Last year, Haddonfield Memorial High School commissioned an SATB setting of Stephen John Kalinich’s poem “Ballet of the Soul.” It will be premiered June 16th at their Baccalaureate Service at Haddonfield United Methodist Church.

In a concert open to the public on June 11, Joseph Arndt will be performing some of my organ music as part of a lunchtime series he’s instituted at Grace Church in Newark. Details for these and other June events are below.

Event Details – June 

June 6 – From “Blue Symphony” … Sara Noble, soprano; Carl Patrick Bolleia, piano; Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ, 7 PM (6:15 pre-concert talk). Free event (more info here).

11 – Spiritual Variations, Joseph Arndt, organ; Grace Church Newark, 12:30 PM.

11 – My Kiss is a Journey …, C4 Choral Ensemble; St. Peter’s Church, NYC, 8 PM. Ticket info here.

16 – Ballet of the Soul (premiere), Haddonfield Memorial High School Madrigal Singers, Daniel Grayberg, conductor; Haddonfield United Methodist Church,  7:30 PM.


Performances in June

My new vocal work Poems from 1913 will be premiered at Montclair Art Museum on June 6th. It has been commissioned by the museum and by NJ Arts Collective and is based on Manniere Dawson’s painting Wharf Under Mountain (1913, pictured above). C4 reprises “My Kiss is a Journey …” on June 11 at St. Peter’s Church in Manhattan.

Event details

June 6 – Poems from 1913 … Sara Noble, soprano; Carl Patrick Bolleia, piano; Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ, 7 PM (6:15 pre-concert talk). Free event (more info here).

11 – My Kiss is a Journey …, C4 Choral Ensemble; St. Peter’s Church, NYC, 8 PM. Ticket info here.


Friday: Righteous Girls visit WCC

On Friday, March 8th, the first presenters for the orchestration class that I’m teaching at Westminster Choir College, flutist Gina Izzo and pianist Erika Dohi, will be reading student projects at 10:20 in Talbott classroom 2 and giving a lecture/recital on a program of 20th/21st century American music in Talbott classroom 4/5 at 1:00 PM (works below). If you are free for either or both events, you are most welcome to join us.


Syrinx Double, Paul Brantley
A Moment of Clarity, Judd Greenstein
Two, John Cage
For Milton, Christian Carey
Righteous Babe, Randy Woolf

3/9: Manhattan Choral Ensemble Premieres Psalm 100

My Psalm 100 setting is being premiered on Saturday, March 9 by Manhattan Choral Ensemble on a program of “New York Psalms.” To learn more about the interesting program that MCE has prepared, I asked one of its members, Sacha Evans, to supply a guest  post for File Under ?. 

 Century of New York Psalms

A Century of New York Psalms

by Sacha Evans


The Hebrew psalms are inextricably linked to music. King David is said to have composed nearly half of the 150 psalms we know today, to serve as songs of praise accompanied by his harp. This link is apparent even in the etymology of the word “psalms,” which derives from the Greek term psalmos, meaning “songs sung to a harp.”

The psalm texts have captivated the likes of Bach, Stravinsky, Brubeck, and so many other brilliant musical minds that it is difficult to think of a major classical composer who has not set a psalm to music. And, over the past century, New Yorkers have contributed in no small measure to this tradition. The Manhattan Choral Ensemble (MCE) has arranged a new program highlighting these local contributions, titled A Century of New York Psalms, which will be performed this Saturday, March 9 at The Church of the Holy Trinity (316 East 88th Street, NYC).

Through seven works—three of them world premieres—the MCE has selected musical settings of psalms that express themes of unity, refuge, humility, and jubilation. The familiar Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein is paired with lesser-known psalm-inspired works by New Yorkers John Corigliano, Virgil Thomson, and Bobby McFerrin. Jim Bassi, Martha Sullivan, and Christian Carey will add their voices to the genre with three new works that were composed especially for this event (settings of Psalm 117, Psalms 121, and Psalms 100, respectively). As an added visual component, illustrations by New York artist Brett Helquist (best known for the children’s book cycle Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events) will be premiered as stage projections during each of the three new commissions, harkening back to a rich history of psalm illustration.

The concert is part of the MCE’s extensive new music program, through which the ensemble has commissioned more than 30 new works from established and up-and-coming local composers. An active and ambitious avocational choir, the MCE presents engaging, historically-varied repertoire, with a particular commitment to fostering new choral works by New York City-based composers.

For more information about this program, tickets, and the Manhattan Choral Ensemble’s commissioning programs, visit


“Are you getting played more often?”

Thanks to Peter Jarvis for programming my drum set piece Monday on the New Music Series at WPUNJ.

One of my former students asked yesterday whether I’m getting played more or whether he just was noticing more performances of my work. Thanks to Pete and others (Gina Izzo, Erika Dohi, John McMurtery, Ashlee Mack, Jay Campbell, Mak Grgic, Stephen Gosling, C4, Joseph Arndt, Manhattan Choral Ensemble, ISCM, etc.), I’m getting played more. I am very grateful to them for their advocacy for and dedicated preparation of my work. Composers don’t exist if their music isn’t heard.