Lotus Flower, commissioned by Ruth Ballenger and dedicated to The Ramona Convent Secondary School Chamber Singers, sets the beautiful poem by Analisa Vanegas (Ramona Convent Secondary School, ’18) for SA Choir and Piano. The use of body percussion and rhythmic vocal lines bring out the anthemic nature of the text, which calls the younger generation to “value the oppressed” and “influence inspirations” as they grow into adults.

This piece is suitable for any treble voiced ensemble, high school choir, or choir looking to explore body percussion and syncopated rhythms.

Premiere: April 28th, 2018 at San Marino Community Church

 

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As Time Stops To Rest is a three-movement song cycle for SSAATTBB Choir and Piano, with featured soprano and tenor soloists. The cycle is dedicated to the composer’s late aunt Susan Jordan. The works sets three poems from a larger set of poetry entitled As Time Stops To Rest, also written by Susan Jordan. The song cycle has an overall arch form of peace followed by tragedy and loss, ultimately giving way to a final sense of peace.

The first movement, Two Friends, paints a peaceful scene of two friends losing track of time as they sit by the ocean enjoying their time together. The piece opens with serene rolled chords in the piano, which continue throughout almost the entirety of the movement. The constant rolling of the piano creates a sense of ocean waves continuously ebbing and flowing. The opening tenor solo describes the tranquil setting and is then joined by the full choir as “warmth and happiness intermix to form an afternoon shared by two close friends”. The movement features lush harmonies and detailed ensemble interplay. The movement concludes with the continued rolled chords in the piano and a final soft low cluster, as if the texture is sinking into the ocean.

The second movement, Storm’s End, opens with violent and flurried storm-like arpeggios in the piano, in stark contrast to the peaceful character of Two Friends. The tenors and basses open with a rigid imitative texture asserting how “the storm raged across the bliss field”. The piano then mimics raindrops falling more and more violently before finally giving way to a calmer texture. After the “storm” has ended, the full choir enters in a mostly homophonic, hymn-like texture describing an overwhelming peace that sometimes follows after an intense tragedy or loss. The piece climaxes on the words “day” and “fire”, alluding to the feeling of being in love with one’s life despite (and perhaps because of) the pain and suffering one has endured.

The third and final movement, Magic, describes how the narrator senses the closeness of “the spirit kingdom” all around him or her, but only has fleeting glimpses of it. The piece opens with an a cappella dialogue between the altos and tenors, who are then joined by the sopranos and basses. The a cappella opening features lush and tightly packed harmonies that lead to a soprano soloist cueing in a lyrical piano arpeggio. The piece then builds to the joyous climax of the whole song cycle: “But oh, for a moment I grow flowers with my hands!”, alluding to how powerful and wondrous these brief glimpses of the spirit kingdom are. The texture then drops down to lulling a cappella chords in the lower voices as two featured soprano soloists “dance on wings uplifted”. The narrator then finally enters “the kingdom of all” he or she has been sensing, possibly through death. The movement concludes peacefully as the narrator “enter[s] the kingdom of all and AM”. The piano concludes with a peaceful postlude recalling motives used throughout the movement.

This song cycle would be suitable for an advanced high school, college, or professional choir. The movements may be performed as stand-alone pieces or as part of the full cycle.

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NEW SUMMER SHOWS! Here are a few highlights of my upcoming summer performances: Sat July 22nd at 7pm at The Coffee House Gallery in Altadena: The Los Angeles Belles will be performing a few of my pieces, including “Shadows“. More info here.   Sunday July 30th at 4pm at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glendale: The Los … Continue reading July 19th, 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Welcome to my brand new website, beautifully designed by Patrick Hassani, founder and owner of Business Website Builders. The new website features: A brand-new Choral and Chamber Music Catalog Individual Pages for each of my music compositions, such as my latest arrangement of “What Child Is This” A new tagging system for … Continue reading January 1st, 2017

My arrangement of “What Child is This“, commissioned by Jonathan Bautista and Nova Vocal Ensemble, will be performed Nova Vocal Ensemble’s holiday concert: Go Tell It on the Mountain: A Concert for Christmas.Nova will be premiering my arrangement, as well as world premieres by composers Saunder Choi and David Conley. Please come and join us … Continue reading November 18th, 2016

I am singing in Southeast Symphony’s fantastic production of Carmina Burana, Carl Orff’s epic piece for double choir, children’s choir, and orchestra. Led by virtuoso conductor Anthony Parnther, this concert is going to be an invigorating and exciting experience. The concert is May 22, 2016 at 4pm at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. Tickets can be … Continue reading May 20th, 2016

The fabulous Nova Vocal Ensemble will be performing my a cappella arrangement of “Coventry Carol”, commissioned by director and conductor Jonathan Bautista. Tickets are $10 (+service fee) online and $12 at the door. I will be singing in the choir as well. There are breath-taking a cappella choral pieces on this program, so I hope … Continue reading November 25th, 2015

I am very excited to announce that my a cappella piece “A Boat Beneath A Sunny Sky” will be performed at Disney California Adventure on Monday, August 17th 2015 by the wonderful Nova Vocal Ensemble! You can listen to the piece before the fun begins at Disneyland!

I am very excited to announce that my a cappella piece “A Boat Beneath A Sunny Sky” will be performed at Disney California Adventure on Monday, August 17th 2015 by the wonderful Nova Vocal Ensemble! You can listen to the piece before the fun begins at Disneyland!  

My new arrangement of “In the Bleak Midwinter” is now available on iTunes and CDBaby! A huge thank you to my Mom for the beautiful cover art!