The nation’s largest music distributor, J. W. Pepper, has chosen my composition, O ABSALOM (TTBB chorus, ECS Publishing #7.0696), for inclusion in their reading session booklets for the American Choral Directors Association’s 2017 National Convention. For the last conference, they printed over 16,000 booklets between all of the reading sessions. To say that I am honored and thrilled at this level of coverage is an understatement. Thank you, J. W. Pepper. 
http://www.canticledistributing.com/o-absalom.html

Completed 10/24/2016, NIGHTSCAPES, a three-minute work for mixed chorus and piano, a setting of seven poems by the late Jacqueline Tuffnell, mother of the great painter, and my friend, Malcolm Tuffnell. http://www.malcolmtuffnellarts.com The words appear below.—

1. my heart is empty

of feelings, like love and joy

can I regain them?

2. twilight is longer

the day does not want

to end

the night seems hopeful

3. the moon among clouds

like footprints in 

the deep snow

frosty winter moon

4. you’re free of clouds, moon

now you can move more

swiftly

through the night sky

5. moonlight bathes the street

the air is sweet with

fragrance

from nature’s garden

6. I dream, when it’s still

images float before me

like a bird, I fly

7. when the night is full

of stars, like diamonds

and pearls

my joy is complete
Words: © Copyright by the Estate of Jacqueline Tuffnell.

All rights reserved.

Used by permission of Malcolm Tuffnell.

The Penn State Glee Club will be performing my setting of Psalm 117 on their Fall Concert.

Settings of this emotionally charged text abound in the repertoire, and this addition successfully employs the sonorous richness that typifies many previous versions. A solo line (either section or single singer) introduces the piece with the contextualizing preface “When David heard …” The languorous, meandering melody carefully sets up linear tritone relationships at pivotal moments in quasi-recitative. This introduction is marked “Dirge 1” and establishes the formal organization. The familiar quotation of David (“O my son Absalom, would I had died instead of you.”) appears as a refrain for full chorus. The tritones of the opening solo reappear first in stark harmonies then as an arresting stack of two juxtaposed tritones. The careful preparation of these intervals avoids an aural interpretation as a French augmented-6th chord, although it is voiced appropriately as such within the key of the piece. Following the refrain, “Dirge 2” repeats the opening text this time in a four-part texture with overlapping entrances that flirt with canonic operations. At the culmination, the French 6th chord reappears, and it begins to take on a role as the signature harmony of the setting. A repeat of the refrain is indicated to follow, then “Dirge 3” sets the opening text in four-part homophony. A final repetition of the refrain caps the piece. …

Completed tonight: TWILIGHT, GOODBYE, PEACE. three songs for low voice, low flutes (alto and bass), and piano, for low flutes virtuoso Peter Sheridan (www.lowflutes.com). Duration: 6:41. It feels like fate that it should be completed on the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

Completed tonight: “Twilight,”#1 from “Twilight, Goodbye, Peace” for low voice, low flutes (bass and alto), and piano. #2, “Goodbye,” was completed in 2013. I am hoping to complete #3, “Peace,” in the foreseeable future after a long hiatus, my muse willing. This trilogy will be dedicated to low flutes virtuoso Peter Sheridan, who has been championing my music for years. To say that I am grateful for his support is an understatement. 

http://www.lowflutes.com

I am honored to be ECS Publishing’s composer of the month for September. http://ecspublishing.com