New Composition
Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It started with the OCCC/Meistersingers' concert in May.  As I've said previously, I was really inspired by Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass.  My first reaction was, "I need to be doing that."  Meaning, singing sacred music with a full chorus and orchestra.  But shortly thereafter, I was also researching liturgical music, and had it in mind that I wanted to write a mass.  I even started setting down some thoughts and ideas for it.

Fast-forward a few months.  I joined Chorale Bel Canto, mostly because OCCC wasn't going to start up until after the first of the year.  Our first concert was at the end of October.  The program was all sacred music, including Moteverdi's Beatus Vir and a lovely setting of Psalm 90 by Charles Ives.  Then, about a month ago, we had our OCCC "orientation" meeting (regular rehearsals start in February).  We got the music, and sang through everything.  I love the music, and got really enthusiastic.  Speaking to the director afterward, I made the comment, "I so want to write a mass!"

I think it was the day after that rehearsal.  I was at home, and the thought came to me that I could really see myself devoted to writing sacred choral music.  I didn't dwell on it too much at the time.  But in the next couple days, it dawned on me that this is the first time in many years that I have had any vision for my life whatsoever, that had any meaning for me.  For the first time, I had a sense that This is What I Want To Do With My Life.

Well.  I've finished my first choral piece.  It's a six-part a cappella setting of Psalm 13.  I finished writing the music late yesterday, and went back over the score today to add dynamic markings and articulations, and do some final minor editing.  I was excited to get this done, because on Saturday my brother is having a Meistersingers party at his house, and the chances are pretty good that I might be able to get some folks to sing it for me.

So, I emailed the score & MIDI file off to my brother, and his response was more than I could have ever hoped for.  I was thrilled to learn that he wants to make this a professional recording project.  Of course I'd wanted to get a recording of it, but he wants to do a really top, professional-quality job.  We plan to ask some great folks from Meistersingers to work on the recording with us.  And maybe this Saturday I'll get a preview.

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For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to make it obedient to Christ.
— 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
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