"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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Festival of Lights

The Mississippi College Singers, under the direction of James Meaders, sang an exquisite first performance of SHALL I SILENT BE at the 25th anniversary of the Festival of Lights in Provine Chapel this weekend.  The commission honored founding director Richard Joiner, who was also in attendance for the premiere. This lovely Neo-Grecian chapel was finished in 1860 and was used during the Civil War by General Ulysses Grant who quartered his horses on the ground floor, while his wounded soldiers were treated in the "hospital" upstairs.  It is beautifully preserved and in frequent use.  My short visit with the singers in rehearsal was gratifying, as I witnessed joyful singing, full of strength and spirit.  Thanks and appreciation to all for a wonderful evening and memorable first performance.



Songs in Waiting

Just home from snowy Spokane after a memorable weekend with my new friends in the Spokane Choral Project.  The project sprang from the imagination of Tamara Schupman, after having read Paul-Gordon Chandler's exquisite little book on the four canticles.  Songs in Waiting brings to life the Magnificat, Benedictus, Gloria, and Nunc Dimittis in the context of their middle eastern roots.  Reverend Chandler, Rector of the Episcopal St. John's Church/Maadi in Cairo, part of the Episcopal Diocese of Egypt and North Africa, introduced each section of the program with a reflection on the canticle and artwork by the American artist Daniel Bonnell visually amplified the meditation.  Each part of the program was crafted around the Latin texted canticle -- Part's Magnificat, Vaughan Williams' Benedictus, Argento's Gloria and Tarik O'Regan's Nunc Dimittis -- and additional pieces on texts that reflected the spirit of each surrounded the canticle.  This was one of those unique experiences that united the spoken, sung and visual elements in a profoundly meaningful way.  There was an ease and comfort from the first moment of rehearsal -- truly a community of gifted, committed and connected singers -- and the performance in the elegant Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist was stunning.  Thank you all for a wonderful experience!


The Incomparable Spivey Hall

I'm just back to Orlando after having spent the past three days with110 bright, eager and talented young singers from eighteen Georgia counties at the Spivey Hall Treble Honor Choir at Clayton State University.  Bravo to the organizers for providing a wonderful educational and artistic experience that began sixteen years ago under the artistic direction of Robert Shaw.  A highlight of the weekend was a phone call with artist friend Bill Worrell in Sedona, Arizona.  My A SONG TO END ALL WAR on his exquisite poem Lullaby For War was part of the program and in addition to singing it for him via iphone, we were able to ask questions about his work and hear him talk about the inspiration for the poem and all of his art. The hall itself is elegant, intimate and an acoustic gem.  And the splendid Fratelli Ruffatti organ -- which is gorgeous to look at -- really rang out on JUBILATE DEO.  A great weekend with the young singers of Georgia!


Congrats Dr. Miller!

Kelly Miller has completed her DMA at Michigan State University and has begun her college teaching career in choral music education at Western Illinois University.  Her dissertation on David Brunner's Music for Women's Choirs focuses on three of my treble works that are musically, textually and emotional appropriate for more advanced women’s choirs.  ALL I WAS DOING WAS BREATHING, I THANK YOU GOD FOR MOST THIS AMAZING and PAINTED MEMORIES are discussed in detail with regard to text, emotional content, stylistic features and vocal challenges, and her thorough examination of all of the treble works brought an informed perspective to the study.  I spent enjoyable hours with Kelly in person, on the phone and via email about this music and my composing life and found it interesting, informative and enlightening – especially having to name aspects of the process that are intuitive for me.  It’s a bit odd to read about myself in this scholarly context, but a distinct honor.  Thank you and congrats Dr. Miller!


New Launch of Simple Boat

Ron Ellis' new transcription of SIMPLE BOAT is simply stunning!  It was premiered today, under his direction,  by the University of Central Florida Symphonic Wind Ensemble, at the national convention of the American School Band Directors Association in Orlando.  Since my music (I thought) is inseparable from the words and emotional intent of the text, I was curious to see if it would translate as a purely instrumental work.  The colors that Ron coaxed from the ensemble in his exquisite scoring convince me that emotional content is inherent in the melodies, rhythms and harmonic language themselves; that form and architecture, gestures and turns of phrase, inevitability of harmonic rhythm all contribute to what we "feel" from the music.  I still know that the initial musical impulse, for me, comes directly from my response to the words (and thank Ron for including the texts in the players scores as they unfold).  I think and write poetically.   But I am also aware that emotion thus embedded in the musical language remains, whether or not the text is present.  I am honored by this transcription and the artistry our UCF students brought to the performance.