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"Time and Memory is at turns haunting and mystical, powerful and provocative.
This is a fine, confident performance of music that is engrossing, engaging,
and consistently compelling. Rickelton writes with a distinctive and expansive voice."

(Tom Hall - Music Director Emeritus - Baltimore Choral Arts Society)

"A beautiful voice - honest, vulnerable, and selfless...
This is music of such beautiful sadness."

(Soprano Ah Young Hong)


Hsiao-Ying Lin piano | James Reese tenor | Matt Sullivan baritone
Ta Wei Tsai piano | Molly Young soprano


Judah Adashi, Anonymous, Ann and Sandy Apgar, Kay and Al Austelle, Mike Barrett, Zac and Ashley Blum, Britt and Brandi Bartley, Tom Benjamin, Hugh Bethell, Jeannie and Fred Blackwelder, Jean Shaffer Blair, Sandy Boyd, 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, Alan Lane, Lipscomb University, Maryland Choral Society, 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, Brian Rickelton, David and Aleda Rickelton, Patrick and Erin Rickelton, Adam Rosenblatt, Saint David's Episcopal Church, Pam and Rolland Schneller, Howard Scott, Karen Shivley, Ross Tamaccio, Towson University, Mike Trammell, Rob Williams, Laura Wolf, Lynn Wolf, Elaine Woodlief, Troy Young, Tery Zeller

I am excited to announce that my Time and Memory recording has been released by Albany Records! Time and Memory is a new recording of my music for solo voice and piano. The pieces in this recording celebrate the works of five American poets, including California Poet Laureate and former NEA chairman Dana Gioia, Pennsylvania native William S. Trout, and 19th-century masters Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville and Theodore O'Hara. Battle Songs, a set of war poems includes the popular In Flanders Fields by Canadian poet John McCrae.

Assembled for this project are five extraordinary musicians who dedicate so much of their work to the performance of new music. Recording sessions took place in the Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall of The Peabody Institute in Baltimore, MD, and I am very excited to have had Ed Tetreault on board as the audio engineer for this project.

The recording is available on the Albany website, Amazon, iTunes, and other outlets. In the days leading up to the release, I posted a series of "Artist Profiles" on Facebook, highlighting each individual artist on the recording. You can read those here.

I invite you to explore the information below and I hope you'll consider adding this CD to your library.



Texts by Dana Gioia

The four poems of Impossible Season offer earnest images of love and intimacy. Former Chairman of the NEA, Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet. His poetry collection, Interrogations at Noon, won the 2002 American Book Award. In 2011, Gioia returned to California and assumed a distinguished faculty position at the University of Southern California.

Learn more about Impossible Season


Texts by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Theodore O'Hara, Herman Melville and John McCrae

Battle Songs are settings of poems representing four specific battles from American wars-the battles of Concord, Buena Vista, Shiloh and the Second Battle of Ypres.

Learn more about Battle Songs

TIME AND MEMORY: suite for voice and piano on poems of William S. Trout

Texts by William S. Trout

Time and Memory is a suite containing five pieces for voice and two for solo piano. These solo intermezzi are reflections on excerpts of William S. Trout's poems. Trout (1909-1980) lived most of his life amongst the rolling farmland of Lancaster County, and was a beloved English professor at Millersville University. He produced some 750 poems, but never sought publication. Trout's biographer notes the poems in Time and Memory "record specific times of day, the changing seasons and the physical changes in objects brought on by the passage of time."

Learn more about Time and Memory



Pianist Hsiao-Ying Lin, holds a master's degree from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where she is now a DMA candidate in Piano Performance, under the tutelage of Ellen Mack. Lin was the Coordinator of the Conservatory's accompanying program and a graduate assistant in accompanying on full scholarship. Lin is a recipient of the 2013 Taiwanese American Education Association Scholarship, 2013 Peabody Preparatory's Accompanist Award, Sidney Friedberg Prize in chamber music, and Clara Arschfeld Award in accompanying. Lin has been a top prize winner of many competitions throughout the United States and Taiwan. Most recently, Lin is the First prize winner of American Protege International Concerto Competition in 2013. Lin's performances have taken place at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Singapore Embassy in Washington D.C., Steinway Series at Smithsonian American Art Museum, and National Concert Hall in Taipei.


Praised for his "dazzling clarity of tone and eloquence of phrasing" (Chestnut Hill Local), James Reese, tenor, is an avid ensemble, chamber, and solo musician. He will continue his studies this fall with James Taylor at Yale University's Early Music Voice program as part of the Yale Voxtet. James frequently appears with The Crossing, Chicago Bach Project, Choral Arts Philadelphia, The Thirteen, The Bridge Ensemble, and Music of the Baroque. In addition, James has appeared as a soloist with Lyric Fest, Choral Arts Philadelphia's Bach@7 series, the Cantatas and Chamber Music series at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, and the Green Lake Music Festival.

This season, James will perform as a soloist in Mozart's Vespers, Lang's little match girl passion, and a recording project of music by Baltimore composer Michael Rickelton. Earlier this year, James premiered a new Joel Puckett setting of Edgar Allan Poe with Laura Ward, piano. He also joined the Philadelphia Orchestra for their 2015 Messiah concert series under Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and performed with the inaugural Dallas Choral Festival.

An advocate for new music, James has premiered works by Ted Hearne, John Luther Adams, Judd Greenstein, Joel Puckett, Gabriel Jackson, Stratis Minakakis, Joshua Bornfield, Michael Rickelton, and others. He looks forward to presenting over fifteen world premieres in the summer of 2016 with The Crossing. James is a founding member of Philadelphia vocal sextet Variant 6, which performs virtuosic vocal chamber music (


Praised by Washington Life as a "consistent standout", baritone Matt Sullivan is an accomplished interpreter of Renaissance and Baroque repertoire. In recent seasons, he has had the pleasure of performing with the Folger Consort in their 2014 Christmas Concert, Mountainside Baroque, as the bass soloist in Telemann's Der Tod Jesu, the Friends of St. Bartholomew as the bass soloist in Bach's cantatas Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben and Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten!, and as the baritone soloist in St. Martin's-in-the-Field's performance of Faure's Requiem.

As a recording artist, Matt has been recorded both on the Naxos label in Opera Lafayette's Lalla Roukh and by Firaxis Games for the Civilization V: Gods and Kings soundtrack with the Prague Filharmonic Orchestra. Additionally, he is featured on various recordings of solo and chamber ensemble work with the Peabody Consort and Renaissance Ensemble. Notable stage credits include the title role of Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse with Accademia Europea Dell'Opera at Opera Studio Nederland, Achilla in Händel's Giulio Cesare with American Opera Theatre, Frank in Strauss' Die Fledermaus with Peabody Opera Theatre, and Lucas in Gluck's L'ivrogne Corrige.

Matt's musical education began at The Peabody Conservatory, where he earned a B.M. in early vocal music. At Peabody, his primary teachers were John Shirley-Quirk and William Sharp, and his coursework included coachings and classes with Adam Pearl, Mark Cudek, and Richard Stone. Matt is continuing his studies at the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music as a member of the Voxtet and student of James Taylor.


Award-winning pianist Ta Wei Tsai maintains a well-balanced performance schedule in all disciplines: solo, chamber and collaborative. Giving an average of more than forty performances per season, Tsai has performed across the East Coast with repertoire ranging from Baroque to 21st century works.

As a soloist, he most recently repeated his appearance in the Evolution Contemporary Music Series (Baltimore, MD), working with composer John Luther Adams on his works Among Red Mountains (solo piano) and Red Arc/Blue Veil (piano/percussion/electronics). Additional highlight of recent seasons included appearance with the Peabody Concert Orchestra under the baton of Hajime Teri Murai, performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in d minor, K. 466, with cadenzas written by himself.

Tsai earned his Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where he was awarded a full-tuition fellowship as a Graduate Assistant in Accompanying. The 2010-2011 Evergreen House Foundation Scholarship (a $10,000 scholarship awarded each year to a senior) highlights his Bachelor of Music degree of the same major from the Peabody Conservatory. Tsai was a student of Boris Slutsky and Marian Hahn during his studies at the Peabody Conservatory.


Soprano Molly Grace Young is equally at home in stage, concert and recital repertoire. She is quickly building a presence in the Baltimore/DC region where she performs as a soloist and chamber musician.

Ms. Young is a professional chorister in the resident choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. under the direction of Dr. Peter Latona. She has been a featured soloist in international broadcasts through the Eternal Word Television Network in masses and concerts, and appears on many of the choir's albums.

In Baltimore, Ms. Young has sung with the Concert Artists of Baltimore and with the Peabody Singers and Peabody Concert Orchestra as the soprano soloist in Mozart's Requiem, Vivaldi's Gloria and Bernstein's Chichester Psalms. In 2011, Ms. Young performed the title role in Melissa Dunphy's Gonzales Cantata in the world premiere of the fully staged production, directed by Tim Nelson and produced by the American Opera Theatre. Other roles include Papagena (Die Zauberflöte) and First Witch (Dido and Aeneas).

With the Professional Choral Institute, an initiative of the University of South Florida and the professional ensemble Seraphic Fire, Ms. Young performed and recorded the Grammy-nominated album of Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem in 2011.

Ms. Young graduated Summa Cum Laude from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and earned Master of Music degrees in Vocal Performance and Early Music Performance from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD where she studied with sopranos Phyllis Bryn-Julson and Ah Young Hong.



Ed Tetreault is currently the manager of the Recording Arts & Sciences department of the Peabody Conservatory of Music and has extensive experience in the field of audio recording. As the studio manager, Ed is in charge of keeping all of the school's technical spaces on the cutting edge of technology as well as providing recording students with hands-on instruction in all aspects of the recording environment. As a freelance engineer, he has recorded, mixed, or mastered releases on labels such as Naxos, Centaur, Vangaurd Classics, Onyx, and also several Grammy-nominated releases for Tonar Records.


American writer and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in May 1803, in Boston, Massachusetts. After studying at Harvard and teaching for a while, Emerson was appointed minister of the Old Second Church in Boston. Overcome by the death of his nineteen-year-old wife of tuberculosis, Emerson resigned his position at Second Church in 1831.

The following year, Emerson traveled to Europe, meeting William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Thomas Carlyle. Carlyle was famous for his anti-democratic views, and his belief in the power of the individual. Emerson's friendship with Carlyle was both lasting and significant; Carlyle's influence helped Emerson formulate his own transcendentalist philosophy.

Returning to New England, Emerson became known for challenging conventional thought. After he married his second wife in 1835, he settled in Concord, Massachusetts. Emerson soon became the preeminent champion for the American Transcendentalist movement, and known in literary circles as "The Sage of Concord." It is in Concord where Emerson spent his final years, succumbing to pneumonia in April 1882. Emerson's "Concord Hymn," celebrates "the shot heard round the world" of the Battle of Concord, during the American Revolution.

Source: Academy of American Poets


Current California Poet Laureate and former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet. A native Californian of Italian and Mexican descent, Gioia (pronounced JOY-uh) received a B.A. and a M.B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. Gioia has published four full-length collections of poetry, as well as eight chapbooks. His poetry collection, Interrogations at Noon, won the 2002 American Book Award. An influential critic as well, Gioia's 1991 volume Can Poetry Matter?, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, is credited with helping to revive the role of poetry in American public culture.

Gioia's many literary anthologies include Twentieth-Century American Poetry, 100 Great Poets of the English Language, The Longman Anthology of Short Fiction, and Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. His poems, translations, essays, and reviews have appeared in many magazines including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Washington Post Book World, The New York Times Book Review, Slate, and The Hudson Review. Gioia has written two opera libretti and is an active translator of poetry from Latin, Italian, and German.

As Chairman of the NEA, Gioia succeeded in garnering enthusiastic bi-partisan support in the United States Congress for the mission of the Arts Endowment, as well as in strengthening the national consensus in favor of public funding for the arts and arts education. (Business Week Magazine referred to him as "The Man Who Saved the NEA."). Gioia left his position as Chairman on January 22, 2009. In 2011 Gioia became the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California. Gioia has been the recipient of ten honorary degrees. He has won numerous awards, including the 2010 Laetare Medal from Notre Dame. He and his wife, Mary, have two sons.

© Dana Gioia,

Born on November 30, 1872, John McCrae began writing poetry while a student at the Guelph Collegiate Institute in Ontario, Canada. As a young boy, he was also interested in the military. He joined the Highfield Cadet Corps at 14 and at 17 enlisted in the Militia field battery commanded by his father. McCrae later attended the University of Toronto medical school. During this time, several poems and short stories were published in a variety of magazines.

He spent the summer of his third year as resident physician at the Garrett Hospital in Mount Airy outside Baltimore, a summer convalescent home for sick children. In 1899, he interned at the Johns Hopkins Hospital where his brother Thomas had worked as assistant resident since 1895.

When the South African War started in October 1899, McCrae felt it was his duty to fight. He was commissioned to lead an artillery battery from his home town. Following the war, McCrae held positions at various hospitals in Canada and England, and at the University of Vermont.

On August 4, 1914, Britain declared war on Germany. Citizens from all across Canada responded quickly. McCrae was appointed brigade-surgeon to the First Brigade of the Canadian Field Artillery with the rank of Major and second-in-command.

Before deployment, he wrote to a friend: It is a terrible state of affairs, and I am going because I think every bachelor, especially if he has experience of war, ought to go. I am really rather afraid, but more afraid to stay at home with my conscience.

In April 1915, John McCrae served in the trenches near Ypres, Belgium (in the area called Flanders). On April 22, the Germans used deadly chlorine gas against Allied troops. Despite the debilitating effects of the gas, Canadian troops held the line for another 16 days. In the trenches, John McCrae tended hundreds of wounded soldiers every day. He was surrounded by the dead and the dying.

The day before he wrote his famous poem, one of McCrae's closest friends was killed in the fighting and buried in a grave marked by a simple wooden cross. There, wild poppies began to bloom between the many crosses. Unable to help his friend or any of the others who had died, John McCrae gave them a voice through his poem "In Flanders Fields." It would be one of his final poems.

Source: Veterans Affairs Canada

Herman Melville was born in 1819 into a once-prominent New York family. After the death of his father, Melville supported his family by working various jobs, from banking to teaching school. It was his adventures as a seaman in 1845 that inspired Melville to write. On one voyage, he was captured and held for several months by the Typees; an experience recounted in his Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life. This was followed in 1851 by his seafaring masterpiece, Moby-Dick."

Relatively unsuccessful both critically and financially, Melville supported his family in the 1950s by farming and writing stories for magazines. By 1856 it was clear to Melville that his novel-writing career was finished. In 1857, after returning to New York still ignored by the literary public. Abandoning fiction and recognizing the realities of financial stability, he became a customs inspector, a job he held for twenty years. It was during this time that he began to write poetry.

Melville's first published book of poems was "Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War" (1866). The Civil War made a deep impression on Melville. The volume, dedicated "To the Memory of the Three Hundred Thousand Who in the War for the Maintenance of the Union Fell Devotedly Under the Flag of Their Country" was deeply influenced by Melville's personal connections to Civil War events. Many of Melville's family members participated in various aspects of the war. Melville himself sought out experiences of his own. He observed the Senate debating secession during a visit to Washington D.C. in 1861, and made a trip to the front with his brother in 1864. Melville's "Battle-Pieces" is regarded by many critics as a work as ambitious and rich as any of his novels.

Herman Melville died of a heart attack on September 28, 1891, at the age of 72. Aside from a few devoted followers, he was almost completely forgotten at the time of his death. During the week of his death, The New York Times wrote: "There has died and been buried in this city...a man who is so little known, even by name...that only one newspaper contained an obituary account of him, and this was but of three or four lines." It wasn't until the 1920s that the literary public began to recognize Melville as one of America's greatest writers.

Source: Academy of American Poets

Theodore O'Hara (1820-1867) was a poet and an officer for the United States Army in the Mexican-American War, and a Confederate colonel in the American Civil War. He is best known for the poem "The Bivouac of the Dead," which is quoted in many cemeteries throughout the United States. He was born in Danville, Kentucky in 1820. Soon after, his family settled in Frankfort, Kentucky. He returned to Danville as a student at Centre College and then continueed his education at St. Joseph Academy in Bardstown, Kentucky. He later studied law with future U.S. Vice President and Confederate Secretary of War John C. Breckinridge, and he was admitted to the bar in 1842.

As the Mexican-American War was beginning, O'Hara signed up for the U.S. Army in June, 1846. He held the positions of captain and quartermaster of volunteers under General Gideon J. Pillow as they advanced upon Mexico City. For excellent conduct in the Battle of Contreras and the Battle of Churubusco, O'Hara was honored with the rank of brevet-major on August 20, 1847. He was honorably discharged on October 15, 1848. After the war ended, O'Hara returned to Washington, D.C. to continue his law practices.

While O'Hara was editor of the Mobile Register in 1858, "Bivouac" was published in that newspaper in what is considered the original form; two years later it appeared in the Louisville Courier with the explanatory introduction: "Lines written at the tomb of the Kentuckians who fell at Buena Vista, buried in the cemetery at Frankfort." O'Hara apparently changed words throughout the verse quite frequently, and different versions of it appeared at different times. He removed the names of specific locations, for instance, to elevate the work as a more pure elegy. He died on an Alabama plantation in June, 1867.

Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - National Cemetery Administration. For more information on O'Hara, visit



William S. Trout (1909-1980) was born on the edge of Gap, a village of about a thousand souls in the rolling farmland of eastern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where he lived for much of his life. His trips beyond the county line were few. He was the son of a carpenter and general handyman who died in the 1918-1919 influenza epidemic when Bill was ten years old. His mother taught in the local elementary school, supporting her four sons on a meager salary and the produce and livestock on a small plot of land. Trout attended the local public schools, and following graduation in 1928 went to Millersville State Normal School, where he earned a two-year rural teaching certificate in 1931 and a B.S. in Education in 1947. He began his teaching career in a rural one-room school and later taught both junior and senior high school before joining the English Department at Millersville State College in 1958, where he remained until retiring in 1968. He lived with and cared for his mother until her death at the age of 91 in 1967.

Trout was a very private and self-effacing man who wrote more than 750 poems but never sought to publish any of them. We may never know when he began writing poetry, though the first mention of it is in a letter to a friend in the mid-1940s. His intellectual interests were eclectic and included history, classical music and opera, visual art, and philosophy, as well as literature. He was steeped in the writings of Carl Jung, the "father" of analytical psychology, and interested in magic, the occult, and the Tarot. He was a keen observer of nature and a master of diction. The richness of his imagery makes him as much a poet of the eye as of the ear. He is a contemplative poet, one of solitude and reflection. Though he wrote verse in a variety of forms, Trout was essentially a lyric poet who numbered among his favorite poets Shakespeare, John Donne, Emily Dickinson, Thomas Hardy, A. E. Housman, E. A. Robinson, Walter de la Mare, and Edna St. Vincent Millay. His poems are about the natural world; about place and time; about family and friends, about people who doubt or suffer or are on the margins of conventional society; about illness, age, and death; and about exploring the landscapes of the mind.

© J. Terry Zeller

Thank you to all those who supported this project



The music of award-winning composer Michael Rickelton "seizes the ear" (Gramophone). An experienced composer of solo, chamber, and orchestral works, Michael has a particularly strong and critically-acclaimed affinity for the voice. "There is a quality that distinguishes his music, catching one's ar in beauty and style" (soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson). Michael's choral, solo, chamber, and orchestra works have been performed throughout the United States and abroad. His works have been played by the Nashville Symphony, Baltimore Symphony and Peabody Symphony, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, the Pacific Chorale's John Alexander Singers, and the Choir of the Washington National Cathedral. Michael is also an active performer and educator, serving on the music faculties of The Peabody Conservatory, The Johns Hopkins University, and Towson University.