The Bridge Ensemble premieres Psalm.

Bridge Ensemble

For the 2016-2017 season, I am honored to serve as the composer-in-residence for The Bridge Ensemble, an extraordinary vocal ensemble specializing in new music and pre-Baroque music. This past Saturday and Sunday, The Bridge Ensemble premiered my setting of Paul Celan's Psalm. The programs, presented at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Harrisburg, PA and the Maryland Boychoir Center for the Arts in Baltimore also included Orlando di Lassus' Lagrime di San Pietro and James MacMillan's Strathclyde Motets.

Born as Paul Antschel to a Jewish family in Czernowitz, Romania (now a part of Ukraine), Paul Celan became one of the major German-language poets of the post-World War II era. Much of Celan's writings are autobiographical, reflecting the personal anguish and turmoil inflicted upon Celan and his family during the years of Nazi occupation. Celan's Psalm, translated from German into English by Michael Hamberger, is less a reflection of his experiences during the war and more of a realization of the effects of those events on one's relationship with God. On the surface, Celan's Psalm is anti-creator—"No one moulds one conjures our dust...Praised be your name, no one." Celan even represents God as a villainous "thorn" ravaging the heaven-gazing stamen of our rose. Celan's words, however, do not attempt to negate the existence of an almighty from an atheist perspective. Celan instead reflects an understandable bitterness towards a God who seemingly abandoned so many during a time when they pleaded for His mercy. Celan's Psalm, therefore, is not anti-creator, but a powerful insight into the struggles of individual faith when juxtaposed against a reality of persistent vitriol.

Composer-in-Residence at St. David's Episcopal Church-Baltimore

St. David's

For the 2016-2017 season, I am honored to serve as the composer-in-residence for St. David's Episcopal Church in Baltimore. Several works have already been presented including my Preces and Responses during the September 18 service of evensong alongside the music of Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and my arrangement of Come thou fount... during the October 2 service. Other works will be presented throughout the season including the world premiere of Into the Darkest Hour, an advent poem by Madeleine L'Engle (author of A Wrinkle in Time) for St. David's Festival of Lessons and Carols.

Broadcast of Nocturne for solo piano

David Finney

Baltimore's WBJC (91.5 fm) recently broadcast David Finney's recording of my Nocturne for solo piano alongside works of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Carl Maria von Weber. You can hear an excerpt of Finney's expressive recording here.

Reprise of 21-Thirty-1

Invisible Cities

The SONAR New Music Ensemble presented my 21-Thirty-1 for clarinet, percussion and electronics as a part of their Invisible Cities programs on April 29 and May 1 at the Baltimore Theater Project. 21-Thirty-1 is a part of SONAR's "Baltimore Portraits" works and draws on sounds recorded at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. This diverse program also featured music by Christopher Cerrone, Kevin Puts, Andrew Norman, Andy Akiho, Evan Ziporyn, Keeril Makan, James Chu, Natalie Draper, Alexa Rinn and Christopher Ciampoli.

Pre-concert review of The Bridge Ensemble and my Rage against the dying of the light

Bridge Ensemble

Check out Douglas Buchanan's review of The Bridge Ensemble before their appearance at the inaugural Light City Baltimore festival. Very kind words about my Rage against the dying of the light as well as Melissa Dunphy's O Oriens.

Premiere Performance of How sweet the moonlight

Chester River Chorale

Led by director Douglas Cox, the Chester River Chorale gave the world premiere performance of my setting of Shakespeare's "How Sweet the Moonlight" on Saturday and Sunday (April 2-3) at Washington College in Chestertown, MD. The program also featured Shore Shakespeare Company and soloists Molly Young and Jason Rylander.

Premiere Performance of Rage against the dying of the light to take place at the inaugural Light City Baltimore Festival.

Light City

The Bridge Ensemble will premiere my Rage against the dying of the light, a setting of Dylan Thomas's Do not go gentle into that good night at the inaugural Light City Baltimore festival on Friday April 1st at 7PM at the Harbor East Performance Stage (corner of Lancaster St. and Central Ave.).

Led by Artistic Director Gilbert Spencer, The Bridge Ensemble will perform with a fully automated light show including works by Joby Talbot, Vytautas Miskinis, Melissa Dunphy, Tallis, Byrd, Victoria, Palestrina and Dufay. Lighting Designer Brett Angstadt has created a visually stunning show using cutting edge LED light fixtures, tuned to complement the intricacies and subtleties of the Ensemble's repertoire and signature sound.

Listed by CNN as one of the 16 intriguing things to see and do in the U.S. in 2016", this event is sure to be exciting. For more information about the festival, visit

The Bridge Ensemble is a wonderful new addition to the vibrant mid-Atlantic choral scene. The ensemble is dedicated to performing choral music from the Renaissance and Medieval eras, and pairing it contextually with music written in the last 20 years. For more about The Bridge Ensemble visit

Premiere Performance of 21-Thirty-1

New Music Gathering

The second annual New Music Gathering, this year hosted by The Peabody Conservatory, will take place January 7-9. Last year's conference in San Francisco was a huge success and this is an event not to be missed by anyone involved in composing, performing or listening to new music. On Saturday evening (Jan. 9 - 7:30 p.m.) the conference will conclude with a performance by the SONAR New Music Ensemble who will give the premiere performance of my 21-Thirty-1 for clarinet, percussion and electronics. 21-Thirty-1 is a part of SONAR's "Baltimore Portraits" works and draws on sounds recorded at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Tickets for the conference are available at the door or for a reduced amount, order ahead from the conference website



Thank you to all those who have been so generous in their support of my Time and Memory recording project. Your support of this project is greatly appreciated. Please consider helping us spread the word to others who may be interested in supporting new music. recording project

Supporters Judah Adashi, Anonymous, Ann and Sandy Apgar, Mike Barrett, Sandra Boyd, Britt and Brandi Bartley, Tom Benjamin, Hugh Bethell, Jeannie and Fred Blackwelder, Jean Shaffer Blair, Bozena Brown, Chester River Chorale, Ellen Clayton, Anna Coffey, Maggie Curtis, Chris Dias, Mark Dal Porto, Elizabet Elliott, David Finney, Frederick Chorale, Ah Young Hong, Ken Johansen, Richard Kidd, Tatevik Khoja-Eynatyan, Lipscomb University, Bethany McAndrew, Molly and Kevin McGoff, Darcy and Ryan Meadows, Jonathan Mirsky, Betsy Nelson, Linda Nisonoff, Peabody Conservatory, Lisa Perry, Joff and Bibi Pincher, Paul Prill, David and Aleda Rickelton, Patrick and Erin Rickelton, Adam Rosenblatt, Pam and Rolland Schneller, Howard Scott, Karen Shivley, Ross Tamaccio, Towson University, Rob Williams, Laura Wolf, Lynn Wolf, Elaine Woodlief, Troy Young

Accolade for Dana Gioia


I am very excited to share the news that Dana Gioia has been named the new California Poet Laureate. Dana is the author of the four poems that make up my Impossible Season. This work along with Battle Songs and Time and Memory are all a part of a new recording project of my music for solo voice and piano. I invite you to check out the information about this project and consider supporting the creation and recording of new music. recording project

Performance of In Flander's Fields

In Flanders Fields

On Wednesday, November 11 tenor Corey Dalton Hart presented my setting of John McCrae's "In Flanders Fields" at Lifebridge Sanctuary in Rosendale, NY. This special Veterans Day recital of American music included a panel discussion exploring music and depictions of war and hope for peace. Distinguished Hudson Valley soloists Adanya Dunn, Kelly Newberry, Corey Dalton Hart, and Andrew Robert Munn, alongside pianist Wei Zhou, are currently in their final year of their master degrees in the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program headed by world-renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw.

Premiere of Faithfully Yours, Virginia


Baltimore-based SONAR new music ensemble and soprano Christa Monokrousos recently gave the world premiere performances of my Faithfully Yours, Virginia. Scored for soprano, violin, cello, clarinet, english horn and percussion, Faithfully Yours, Virginia is a setting of Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe's valentine to Edgar Allan Poe on February 14, 1846, their last Valentine's Day before Virginia died of tuberculosis. SONAR and soprano Christa Monokrousos premiered my new chamber work Friday, May 8 and Sunday, May 10 at the Baltimore Theatre Project.

Valentine to Edgar Allan Poe

Ever with thee I wish to roam —
Dearest my life is thine.
Give me a cottage for my home
And a rich old cypress vine,
Removed from the world with its sin and care
And the tattling of many tongues.
Love alone shall guide us when we are there —
Love shall heal my weakened lungs;
And Oh, the tranquil hours we'll spend,
Never wishing that others may see!
Perfect ease we'll enjoy, without thinking to lend
Ourselves to the world and its glee —
Ever peaceful and blissful we'll be.         Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe (1822 – 1847)

Broadcast of Ubi Caritas


On Tuesday, April 28 Tom Hall presented the world premiere broadcast of my Ubi Caritas on WYPR's Choral Arts Classics. The broadcast featured performances of 5 new settings of the ubi caritas text sung by Baltimore's Canticum Novum. An archived recording of the broadcast can be found on WYPR's website.

Performance of Battle Songs

New England

This past Sunday (Jan. 18) Vox 3 Collective presented my Battle Songs in a concert featuring music with transcendentalist New England roots. Their program A Concord of Sounds was presented at the Skokie Public Library in Skokie, IL. The program also included sets by Steve Danyew, Amy Beach and Charles Griffes as well as selction from Foster, Ives, Billings and Chadwick.

Broadcast of Jesu, dulcis memoria


For those of you in the Baltimore area, I invite you to tune in to broadcasts of Baltimore Choral Arts Society's "Christmas with Choral Arts" concert which was performed at the Baltimore Basilica a few weeks ago. Tom Hall conducts the chorus and orchestra in a festive holiday concert including my setting of Jesu dulcis memoria.

WMAR-TV ABC2 will broadcast the concert on Christmas Eve at 11:35 p.m., and on Christmas Day at 12 noon.

WBJC Radio (91.5 FM) will broadcast the concert on Christmas Day at 2 pm. If you're not in the Baltimore area, you can listen online at

Jesu, dulcis memoria presented by Baltimore Choral Arts


The Baltimore Choral Arts Society will present my Jesu, dulcis memoria as part of its annual Christmas with Choral Arts program this Tuesday (Dec. 2) at 7:30 p.m. The concert will take place at the Baltimore Basilica. Tickets are available through The concert will be broadcast live on WYPR, 88.1 FM in the Baltimore area and online at Tom Hall, conductor.

O salutaris Hostia presented in recital


On Sunday, November 23, Danielle Buonaiuto, soprano, and Bethany Pietroniro, piano, presented a recital at St. David's Episcopal Church in Baltimore. The recital served as a prelude to the Evensong for Christ the King Sunday. Featured on the program were works by Argento, Barber, Buchanan, Strauss and my O salutaris hostia.

6:46 featured on French National Radio


On Saturday, November 15, an abstract of my 6:46 for pre-recorded electronics was presented on the french national radio, France Musique. The program, Lu cri du patchwork, which airs weekly at 4:00 p.m. Paris time (10:00 a.m. EST), celebrated the opening of l'Auditorium de la Maison de la Radio and the element of crowd noise in the acoustic space. 6:46 was presented alongside works by Gérard Grisey, Helmut Lachenmann, George Crumb, Alvin Lucier and The Beatles. An archive of the show is availble on the program's website.

World premiere recording of Pentecost to be released Tuesday, September 9


On Tuesday, September 9, Delos Productions released American Voices, the latest recording from the Pacific Chorale's John Alexander Singers. Included is the world premiere recording of my setting of Dana Gioia's Pentecost, alongside works by Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre, Norman Dello Joio, Dale Warland, John Muehleisen, Joseph Gregorio and John Orfe.

The recording is available for purchase through the Delos Records website,, iTunes and other major outlets.

Canticum Novum premieres Ubi Caritas


On Wednesday, May 7, Canticum Novum gave the public premiere of my new setting of Ubi Caritas in a program titled Where there is love... The concert featured 5 new setting of Ubi Caritas along side works by Hildegard von Bingen, Dunstable, Dowland, Monteverdi and Duruflé.

Canticum Novum is Baltimore's newest chamber choir, specializing in early and new music. Founded in 2013, Canticum Novum has already appeared in the opening performance for the 2014 American Choral Directors Eastern Division conference, where they gave the world premiere performance of my Ubi Caritas.

The Frederick Chorale Performances


The Frederick Chorale recently presented my setting of Robert Burns' O My Luve's Like a Red, Red Rose

in concerts celebrating works by Maryland composers, lyricists, and arrangers, including Francis Scott Key, Dominic Argento, Pete Seeger, Elanore Epstein, Tom Keesecker, C. Harry Causey, Wayne Wold, James Bingham, Tadd Russo, and more. The concerts were presented the first week of May at Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ in Frederick, MD.

Here is a recording of the work by the Vanderbilt Community Chorus who gave the premiere back in February of 2009.



I am very excited to announce a new recording project of my music for solo voice and piano. This project, tentatively titled Time and Memory will consist of my three sets of songs by American poets (and one Canadian): Impossible Season, Battle Songs and Time and Memory. Assembled for this project are some incredible musicians (listed below). I am very much looking forward to working with them on this project. Recording is scheduled to begin in late August. More details about this project will be posted soon.

Molly Young, soprano: Singing on Impossible Season - Texts by Dana Gioia

Nathan Wyatt, baritone: Singing on Battle Songs - Texts by Emerson, Melville, Theodore O'Hara and John McCrae

Stephen Campbell, tenor: Singing on Time and Memroy: Suite for voice and piano on poems of William S. Trout

Ta-Wei Tsai, piano: Playing on Impossible Season and Battle Songs

Hsiao-Ying Lin, piano: Playing on Time and Memory

No Balm in Gilead featured at the Southern and Mid-Atlantic CMS conference


My chamber opera, No Balm in Gilead will be featured in the 2014 joint conference of the College Music Society Southern Chapter, CMS Mid-Atlantic Chapter and the Association for Technology in Music Education this week in Knoxville, TN. The opera will be presented in the Grand Opening performance this Thursday (Feb. 13) at 12:40 p.m. in the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center on the UT campus by members of the UT voice and piano faculty. Daniel Hartis's wonderful libretto is a fantastical account of the last night of Edgar Allan Poe's life.

On October 7, 1849, Edgar Allan Poe died outside a bar in Baltimore. This opera imagines his last moments. Drinking absinthe and barely lucid, he imagines that the barmaid is his wife Virginia, who died of tuberculosis only two years earlier, at the age of 25. Two other women appear, who introduce themselves as Lenore and Annabel Lee, figures from his poems who accuse him of depriving them of life and love, creating them only to have them die. Tormented between tragic reality and fierce illusion, Poe staggers out into the night.

Marjorie Bennett Stephens, soprano: Lenore

Cecily Nall, soprano: Annabel Lee

Lorraine DiSimone, mezzosoprano: Eliza (barmaid)

Andrew Skoog, tenor: Poe

Andrew Wentzel, baritone: Narrator

Kevin Class, piano

Premiere of Ubi Caritas at ACDA convention


Baltimore's Canticum Novum gave the premiere performance of my setting of Ubi caritas at the 2014 Eastern Divsion ACDA conference in Baltimore. Ubi caritas was presented in a concert opening this years festival. Canticum Novum will present the public premiere at Old St. Paul's church in Baltimore this March.






New Recording Project


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Photo Photo: Amber Dawkins