"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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War Eagle!

Just back from Auburn University (thus the heading's orange and blue battle cry!) where I conducted the Alabama ACDA Young Singers Festival Middle School Mixed Chorus Friday and Saturday.  The singers were well-prepared and a delight to work with.  Dedicated organizers have done this for the past 18 years or so -- a real committment to the children of Alabama.  While there I enjoyed gracious southern hospitality and real-home-squeezed-lemonade from Toomer's Drugstore.  Feel like an alum!


Rainstick Debut

Rehearsal last night with the Frederick Children's Choir in Frederick, Maryland.  Conductor Judy Dubose commissioned RAINSTICK for their 25th anniversary which they'll celebrate in a culminating concert on Sunday.  RAINSTICK is a setting of Heaney Seamus' delightful poem which describes the sounds and sensations of this natural music-maker.  For SSA chorus, piano and 8 (count 'em!) rainsticks.  A terrific time with Judy, daughter/assistants Lee and Ann, and their talented singers.  Best wishes on this significant anniversary!


My Kind Of Town

Just back from Chicago where I spent the last several days with colleagues Henry Leck and Judith Willoughby and children from California, Nebraska, Iowa, Nevada and Maryland at the Heritage Children's Choir Festival.  Rehearsals and closing service at the iconic Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago made all the more memorable by the chapel's renovated organ, now fully functional and the largest in Illinois.  Magnificent!  I conducted my SONG TO END ALL WAR as part of the morning service.  Great  to see my friend Paul Caldwell for Indian dinner at Hema's Kitchen Friday night and the fresh organic 'shroom pizza with spinach and goat cheese at Crust on Saturday -- fantastic!  A beautiful afternoon in Millennium Park and world famous Garrett's carmelcorn made the trip complete!


BBQ, Blues and....Elvis

Just back from the Southern Division ACDA convention in Memphis, which was a huge success.  Congratulations and thanks to Brad Almquist and his convention dreamers and planners.  I was so pleased to hear ISN’T THAT SOMETHING performed with great effervescence and style by Jeff Clayton’s Chorale women from the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts on Friday.  Brava! 

Sandra Snow’s Children’s Honor Choir sang A LIVING SONG as part of their concert, a well-crafted program which highlighted their voices brilliantly.

Paul Caldwell’s work with the Junior High School Honor Choir was awesome -- adventuresome programming, engaged and joyful singing.  A model for all of us.

Jonathan Reed conducted the premiere of BROTHERS OF THE SINGING VOID, the ACDA commissioned work for the High School Men’s Honor Choir.  My time with them in rehearsal on Friday was a highlight of the week.  They were eager and engaged and brought the music to life in a convincing and honest way.

 James Broughton’s wonderful words evoke the music of the spheres, of “star music”.  There are unusual juxtapositions of seeming opposites:  “percussive silences”, “the intimate roar”, “the singing void” and joyful phrases flung from across time and space.  Jonathan said this is the perfect men’s choir text and I agree. The music moves in broad, majestic phrases, with harmonic clusters, a slightly modal feel and echoing refrains of “Brothers!  Brothers!” The high school men sang with power and conviction, intimacy and sensitivity.  A stunning first performance that will be hard to beat!  Congrats to all the singers, conductor Jon Reed and men’s choir coordinator Vic Oakes.

The most unusual musical experience of the week surely came on my birthday night.  Dinner with friends at PIG With An Attitude BBQ came complete with an Elvis impersonator who led the room in a southern style “Happy Birthday to Me”!  Where else but Memphis!


Bernstein, Bach and Brunner!

Just back from a memorable weekend with the singers of Glenbrook North and South high schools, culminating in two concerts yesterday in the stunning Divine Word Chapel at Techny, Illinois.   Bernstein, Bach and Brunner! (and Mulholland, Biebl, Vivaldi, Whitacre, Lauridsen and others…)  The chapel is the predominant building of a surprising prairie seminary established in the 1920s by the Society of the Divine Word, with magnificent stained glass, a unique gallery that circles the entire church and a sumptuous acoustic.  Bravo to the singers and players, their inspiring and dedicated directors, and all who contribute to the thriving arts environment at the Glenbrook schools!