6 Tips for Young Composers

Someone recently reached out to me on Instagram and asked if I had any advice for young, emerging composers.  After responding, I realized that this might be a topic that could help other students of music theory that are trying to transition into composing.  Here are a few tips to help you take your first…

Lullaby (SATB divisi or SSA)

Written as a lullaby by the composer for his soon-to-be-born son, this is a beautiful, simple and transparent piece. This is written to be sung a cappella with an optional piano accompaniment so that any choir can perform this beautiful music. Available for both SATB and SSA choirs Andrea Ramsey Choral Series – Hal Leonard…

There is a River (SATB divisi)

Dramatic divisi choral writing treats Psalm 46 with significance and reverence. A contrasting middle section creates a sense of darkness before unfolding with hopefulness and returning to a gloriously developed A section. Expressive changes of tempo and dynamics provide an invitation for artistic communication between choir, director, and audience. Equally effective in performance or worship….

Anvil Chorus (from Il trovatore) (SATB or TBB)

This operatic gem from Il Trovatore is often referred to as “The Gypsy Chorus.” The drama and playfulness of the original orchestration are well preserved in the piano writing, and Verdi’s glorious melody and substantial harmony remain intact in both voicings. As a special touch, the arranger has included parts for two percussive anvils. An IPA guide…

Festival Gloria (SATB divisi)

JW Pepper Editors’ Choice!  Compelling rhythms set in shifting asymmetric meters are the focus of this thrilling and challenging a cappella setting of the traditional mass text. Cluster chords slowly amass before morphing through different contemporary harmonic colors. A fantastic piece for festival or competition. Lawson-Gould Choral Series – Alfred Music Publishing (47618) Purchase Link

Jubilate Deo (SATB divisi)

“Jubilate Deo” is a Latin setting of Psalm 100:1-3a.  Its atypical time signature and unique mode create an exciting rhythmic energy that drives the piece all the way to its unexpected final chord. Recording provided by the Slippery Rock University Concert Choir, directed by Dr. Stephen Barr. Murphy Music Press Purchase Link

Big News!!!

I’m excited to announce that I am officially published with Hal Leonard!  This spring has seen the debut of “I Will Lift My Eyes,” an accompanied setting of Psalm 121 with voicings for SSA and TBB.  I am humbled by the vast audience that may be reached as a result of being published by the…

I Will Lift My Eyes (SSA or TBB)

“I Will lift my eyes to the mountains; from where comes my help?” These words from Psalm 121 have inspired countless composers and they have been sung by choirs of every kind. Here they are beautifully set for high school SSA or TBB. Andrea Ramsey Choral Series – Hal Leonard (00254274 and 00254278) Purchase Link

Stille Nacht (SATB divisi)

JW Pepper Editors’ Choice!  A stunning contemporary a cappella take on one of the most beloved Christmas carols of all time. Preserving Joseph Mohr’s original German text, thick cluster chords and carefully balanced dissonances combine with skillful vocal counterpoint to produce a distinctly expressive performance. An IPA pronunciation guide is included. Not to be missed….

Better Late Than Never (Stille Nacht)

Last week, I received the wonderful news that Alfred will be publishing my arrangement of Stille Nacht with next year’s choral releases!  This is particularly fulfilling because I composed this arrangement in 2011 and have desperately wanted to see it in print.  Once you hear the sonorities on the first verse, you will understand why…