"David Brunner's music is lyrical, fresh-sounding and always creative.  His music is a favorite with the choir as well as the audience!"

Lynne Gackle
School of Music
Baylor University

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Handspeak with Singers and Signers

On April 21st Emily Ellsworth's Anima singers hosted a few hundred new friends from surrounding schools and students from North Elementary in Villa Park (who are part of the deaf and hard of hearing program) for SingFest, where they premiered my HANDSPEAK. It was a joyful experience to hear -- and see -- them sing and sign this wonderful text by Scott Lounsbury. Thanks, everyone -- Artistic Director Emily Ellsworth, pianist Bill Buhr and Lead ASL Interpreter Patti Kaden!



Last weekend we opened UCF Celebrates the Arts at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando with two performances of the Big Bernstein MASS.  It was something I've always wanted to conduct. Our fully staged production was a collaboration of students and faculty in literally every area of the School of Performing Arts.  The Mass is huge -- a large, liturgical choir, women's chorus, street chorus and children's chorus, large orchestra, rock band, four keyboards, marching band, dancers...  several hundred performers in all.  Jeremy Hunt, of the voice faculty was a powerful Celebrant and Jahdai Figueroa the perfect boy soprano. Robin Jensen prepared the children from the Orlando Opera Children's program.  Michael Wainstein's staging, the choreography, lighting...  It was all astounding, really, and a weekend I will not forget. 

Oh, and the following night the UCF choirs presented another concert of entirely different repertoire.  Journey to Justice (Singing the Journey) brought the civil unrest of the time when Bernstein was writing the Mass to our day.  The messages of the music focused on inequalities and injustices, prejudice and discrimination -- but also hopefulness and new beginnings, possibilities and change – the light of a clear blue morning.  There were also reading and archival recordings of singers from the 60’s:  Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul & Mary -- those who sang about injustice, civil rights, war and peace. Their messages are our messages.  We decided to forego tuxedos and formal dresses and sang as regular people, just like you, who have concerns about the needs of others. 


Mirabai Comes to Lubbock!

The Women's Chorale of Texas Tech University, conducted by Carolyn Cruse, performed my three ECSTATIC SONGS (All I Was Doing Was Breathing, Don't Go!, and Mira Has Finished With Waiting) choregie style -- staged -- in March.  What a great experience to be in residence with these singers for rehearsal and performance and to meet and work with the choirs and classes of the choral area.  Carolyn and stage director Greg Brookes brought the person of Mirabai and her words to life in a powerful way.  Brava to the women who sang her story!


A Busy Spring

It's obviously been a busy spring as there have been no posts for the last several months!  I enjoyed conducting the Oklahoma All-State Children's Chorus in January, where GREEN MAN premiered. attending the Southern Division ACDA conference in Louisville, Kentucky in February, and conducting the Alabama All-State Middle School Mixed Chorus in Birmingham.  In addition I delivered CAMINANTE to Michael Wu and the Strathmore Children's Chorus, and THE GIFT TO SING to the Binghampton Madrigal Choir in honor of their 40th anniversary. HIGH FLIGHT and UNNAMABLE GOD were both released by Boosey & Hawkes.


Choirs in the Cathedral

St. James Cathedral in downtown Orlando is a beautiful church with a gorgeous acoustic and many ways to use the space. We love to sing there!  Huge thanks to UCF faculty members Eladio Scharron, guitar, George Weremchuk, soprano saxophone, Jeremy Hunt, tenor, and Yun-Ling Hsu, piano, our collaborative pianist Robin Jensen and my colleague Kelly Miller for making last night's concert with the University of Central Florida's choirs such a memorable one. A beautiful evening!