Composing Projects

Birding in Winter for Triad Choral Collective

This summer I revisited my favorite poem by Susan Edwards Richmond about birdwatching, a favorite hobby. A while ago, I had sketched out some text-setting for it. In August, I finished Birding in Winter for the November 2019 Triad concerts.

Music for Henning Ensemble

In 2019, I've written three pieces our semi-annual Henning Ensemble concerts in King's Chapel in downtown Boston. For May, I wrote Conversations, with Cascades and Chasing Ghosts for 2 flutes and horn, with optional bell part. I arranged Whisper Music too, a chamber adaptation of Whisper Solos. For October, Karl Henning created an operatic scena from Macbeth; I found a poem by Sarah Getty about restless sleep that was a perfect complement. The ensemble for Sleep, Why Dost Thou Leave Me? is two speaker-singers, violin, flute, alto flute, and horn.

Memorial Concert for Martin Luther King

Soprano Alexandra Whitfield and a string trio from the Lexington Symphony Chamber Players asked 5 local composers to compose pieces for the ensemble for concerts in April 2018. My contribution is Sweet Princesses (Birmingham 1963). Concert information

Boston Music Viva 14-Day Composition Competition 2017

In yet another two-week press, I wrote floating on a sea of love for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion. This piece is a tribute to my mother, as well as reflecting the joys and sadness of caring for her.

Arlington-Belmont Chamber Chorus

I worked with Lexington poet Marian Kaplun Shapiro to create the 5 songs of Songs from a Quaker Heart Concerts of this commissioned work took place in December 2016 and May 2017.

Rapido 14-Day Composition Competition 2015

In another two-week press, I wrote Anthropology Variations for clarinet, violin and piano. I also made alternate parts for flute and viola.

Parma Recordings

Ravello Records, a Parma label, released Through the Mist, a CD of my chamber music. Since I am also a recording engineer, I recorded several pieces myself and I worked with their team on another one.

International Horn Society Symposium #45

In 2013, the International Horn Society and Symposium host Dan Phillips commissioned Walden at Evening for solo horn, chorus and percussion for their 45th Symposium. Featured artist, Jonathan Boen, was the brilliant horn soloist and Dr. Lawrence Edwards of the Memphis Symphony Chorus conducted.

Rapido 14-Day Composition Competition 2012

For this 2-week competition, I wrote Dance of the Hoodoos for oboe, violin, cello, piano. Specifications arrived June 11; it was finished and delivered June 25. It didn't win, but it has had several performances: Miami, Indiana Univ of Pensylvania. Lexington Symphony Chamber Players recorded it on my Through the Mist CD on the Ravello Records label. Rapido info.

Duo & Trio: Chamber music with flute

This Spindrift Commissioning Guild 2012 project resulted in Examinate Variations for flute and cello. The Addington-Barringer Duo recorded it for my Through the Mist CD on the Ravello Records label. Many thanks to everyone who supported my RocketHub fundraiser.

Play Book, music book and CD for piano students

After composition and improvisation workshops in 2007 with a Lexington, MA piano teacher, I've published the music written for that project, in a volume called Play Book with a companion Play Book CD.

Zoa for "2", the duo of Peter Bloom, flute and Mary Jane Rupert, harp

Peter and Mary Jane premiered Zoa on the Advent Library concert series, hosted by Matt Samolis, in September 2011. Then "2" recorded it for my Through the Mist CD on Ravello Records.

Minute Music

In 2010-2012, I've written several short pieces for Vox Novus and Composer's Voice projects, including:

Waves, computer-synthesized, included in the Athena Mix

Double for soprano Beth Griffith, performed September 25, 2011 Jan Hus Church, NYC, featuring singing, whistling, clicking and tapping

Turbulient for clarinet, which ended up being too long for the 1-minute requirement

Examinate for flute, violo and doublebass. Not chosen but became the seed for the Duo in the 2012 Guild project

Altered for horn, for Michelle McQuade Dewhirst. Performance March 11, 2012 Jan Hus Church, NYC

Cloud for harp, for Jasmin Cowin. Performance January 13, 2013 Jan Hus Church, NYC

Download free Minute Music scores!

Deepest Shade for Chorus

For this very personal project, I wrote my own text for Deepest Shade in 2010, expressing my frustration and love, when communication with my father gradually became impossible as he slipped deeper into dementia. Triad gave a moving performance of Deepest Shade in November 2016.

American Christmas Songs

Shepherds and Angels for SATB chorus, violin, harp, tambourine. It makes a good companion piece to Britten's Ceremony of Carols or Susa's Carols and Lullabies of the Southwest.

A Spindrift Commissioning Guild 2010 project: Premieres took place in 2011 at Geneva College in Pennsylvania and by the Master Singers in Lexington, MA

Returning for clarinet

Another installment in the Poetry-Inspired Solos series, based on "Natural History" by E.B.White

I offered the composition of this piece as part of a charity auction for the Concord Orchestra.
The high bidders were Grant and Betsy Anderson. Grant selected the poem and performed Returning at the Lexington Music Club in June 2010.

Quinteto sobre los Poemas de Carlos Pintado

4 movements for violin, viola, cello, doublebass and piano

Commissioned by the South Beach Chamber Ensemble in 2008, the four movements of Quinteto sobre los Poemas de Carlos Pintado are inspired by four poems, and their beautiful imagery, by Miami-based Cuban poet Carlos Pintado. South Beach Chamber Ensemble premiered Quinteto in Miami in May 2009. They also performed it in Wausau, WI as part of the South Beach Up North Festival in August.

The Future of Life

Commissioned by the Master Singers of Lexington in 2007, The Future of Life is big oratorio about the need to conserve biodiversity for SATB chorus, trombone, piano. Texts are by conservation biologist E.O. Wilson, and poets Anne Baring and Judy Grahn.

Project background

Art-Poem-Music Collaboration

About the project    concert photo gallery

The Art-Poem-Music collaboration between poet Elizabeth Kirschner, visual artist Sirarpi Heghinian Walzer and myself resulted many poems and poaintings and two volumes of songs: Body and Soul Vol.1 for mezzo and string trio and Body and Soul Vol.2 for soprano, flute, cello and piano. In June 2009, Volume 2 garnered an Honorable Mention in their composition contest.

Poetry-Inspired Solos & Duos

My poetry-inspired music project is a growing set of musical compositions connected with poems. Most are solos and express some aspect of the poem in the music.

About the project with a list of music, and an option to commission your own.

Triptoe Suite for the Green Mountain Youth Symphony

Triptoe Suite is a Spindrift Commissioning Guild project for 2006. They premiered the four movements in spring 2007.

Project supporters and history

Enchanted for Veronica Kenney and the Concord Ensemble

Spindrift Commissioning Guild 2006 project for oboe and chamber orchestra. Veronica Kenney and the Concord Ensemble, with Alan Yost conducting, played Enchanted in July 2006, and again in September as a benefit for the Concord Orchestra.

Project supporters and history

Black Bear Dance for Esprit de Cor

June 2006: Esprit de Cor premieres Black Bear Dance for horn ensemble and drums in Lexington, MA

Spring 2010: Indian Hill Clarinet Choir performs the new version of Black Bear Dance for clarinet choir that I arranged for them.

Project supporters and history

Weaving the World

Weaving the World for SATB chorus, oboe, piano, percussion sets to music a text adapted from an essay by Janisse Ray, on the subject of nature as a spiritual refuge in times of conflict.
&nbnsp;  "Each night spiders weave the world back together"
A consortium of choruses supported the project and the premiere was by the Assabet Valley Mastersingers, Robert Eaton conducting. A shorter version Weaving the World (anthem) for chorus with piano is also available.

Project supporters and history

Meditations for Carson P. Cooman

The first Spindrift Commissioning Guild project in 2004, each of these organ Meditations consider a specific natural phenomenon.

Supporters and project history