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Medium difficulty
SSAATTBB a cappella choir

Love is a universal feeling, and music is the universal language through which to express it. The loss of a loved one is something we all experience, whether it be a lover, a relative, a parent or a true friend. So many madrigals are expressions of love or grief, as are most pop songs, folk tunes, jazz standards, and other genres. It’s interesting to note that John Bennet was inspired by John Downland’s “Flow my Tears” when he wrote his madrigal for four voices, “Weep O Mine Eyes,” and the same text inspired John Wilbye to write one for three voices as well. Centuries later, composers and musicians continue inspire one another when expressing these universal feelings of love and sadness, across many different kinds of musical styles and genres.

The original text is truly inspiring. Words such as “to swell so high that I may drown me in you” are rich with imagery; a phrase that is as powerful as it is ironic, describing both love and death simultaneously in one beautiful sentence. I’ve endeavored to capture melancholy and irony in this work for 8 voices. Additionally, I’ve tried to add a sense of mystery and gravitas as a personal expression of my own unrequited love. The work opens with a sparse texture featuring two solo sopranos, gradually becoming richer and darker in color as the music unfolds. Naturally, the music swells during the words to swell so high, but as it falls (or “drowns”), jazz harmonies offer intimacy and warmth, a kind of musical escapism from the pains of love and loss, before returning the mystery of the opening.

 

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Trad. Spiritual, Arr. Twist
Medium difficulty
SATB dvisi a cappella with soloist

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Franz Gruber, arr. Twist
Medium difficulty
a cappella with soloists

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Medium Difficulty
SATB divisi, a cappella

A colourful work which celebrates Christmas with a touch of humour. Part of Charles Anthony Silvestri’s ‘I Wonder’ series.Featured on the Joseph Ohrt ICON Series.

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Medium SSAATTBB divisi a cappella, soprano solo
Commissioned by the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge

Hymn of Ancient Lands is a setting of a short text known as “Caedmon’s Hymn.” Caedmon is believed to have been the earliest English poet and his poem (or hymn) is believed to be one of the oldest recorded poems written in the “Old English” dialect of the Anglo-Saxons. The Hymn exists in several vernacular translations, including Old English, Latin and modern English, and the use of these three vernacular versions provided the inspiration for this new musical setting for Trinity College Cambridge. The juxtaposition of these three languages expresses my fascination with viewing history and spirituality through a modern lens, fusing old with new by paying homage to the ancient poem and reflecting its significance with my own musical ideas.

“Caedmon’s Hymn” is a universal song which praises God’s creation of Heaven and Earth, which he calls “Middangeard” (Middle-Earth), a name for inhabited lands in ancient mythology of the time. Extending upon this, Hymn of Ancient Lands expresses adoration of land and nature through a ritualistic musical journey which progresses from sparse and plaintive to energetic and joyful. From a modern point of view, Hymn of Ancient Lands expresses Australia’s passion for traveling overseas and exploring many different lands, combined with a deep sense of belonging and respect for our own unique and magnificent landscape.

 

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Medium Difficulty
SATB choir with optional percussion

Jubilate Deo is an engaging, rhythmic vocal work which sets a celebratory sacred text with syncopated rhythms and pentatonic modal writing inspired by world music from Africa and Latin America..
LA Choral Lab (2016), Directed by Michael Alfera

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Medium Difficulty
Treble choir, SSAA choir, SATB choir, percussion (vibraphone, xylophone), optional handbells.

Gondwana Choirs, Directed by Lyn Williams

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Medium Difficulty
SATB divisi choir, a cappella
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On The Night Train sets the scene of a train dashing through the Australian bush at dusk, as described by Henry Lawson’s graceful poetry.The emptiness of the Australian outback is represented by long, sustained pitches in the opening and closing sections of the work, above which a simple, folk-like melody is sung. This melody is also used throughout a rhythmic contrasting section where the singers create the impression of a moving train with “scat-like” nonsense syllables and whispered vocal effects.

Commissioned by The St Peters’ Lutheran Chorale, performed by Gondwana Chorale


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