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"The choral music of David Brunner resonates with imagination, lyricism and vitality.  He is America's next Ned Rorem."

Doreen Rao
Director of Choral Programmes
University of Toronto 

MUSIC FOR MEN'S CHOIRS

At the Round Earth's Imagined Corners
(from Three Sonnets of John Donne)

Boosey & Hawkes 48004979 (2001)
For the Michigan State University Men's Glee Club, Jonathan Reed, conductor
 
Voicing: TTBB chorus a cappella
Text: John Donne (1572-1631)
Duration: c. 5'30'
First Performance: March 2001, National ACDA convention, San Antonio, TX, Michigan
     State University Men's Glee Club,  Jonathan Reed, conductor
 
See listing under Mixed Choirs for additional annotation.

The guys absolutely love the power of this piece. The contrast between fanfare-like sections and very tender moments like the "amen" make it challenging and fulfilling in performance.

Jonathan Reed, conductor
Michigan State University Men's Glee Club

Born of the Sun
Boosey & Hawkes 48019658 (2009)
For the 25th Anniversary of the Mu Eta Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, University of Central Florida

 Voicing: TBB with French horn and piano
Text: Stephen Spender (1909-1995)
Duration: c. 4'15"
First Performance: November 12, 2004, Mu Eta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia,
     25th anniversary Gala, Orlando, FL, Anthony Rivera, conductor

Stephen Spender’s poem “I Think Continually of Those Who Were Truly Great” reminds us of those qualities of ambition and striving, passion and spirit that seem particularly appropriate for this commission in honor of the Mu Eta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia’s 25th anniversary. It speaks in larger context, however, to all of us about those who wear at their hearts the fire’s center , whose passion leaves the “vivid air signed with their honor”.

Brothers of the Singing Void
Boosey & Hawkes  48021117 (2011)
Commissioned by the Southern Division of the American Choral Directors Association for the 2010 ACDA Southern Division Convention Men's Honor Chorus, Jonathan Reed, conductor
 
Voicing: TTBB chorus with piano
Text: James Broughton (1913-1999)
Duration: c. 4'30"
First Performance: The 2010 ACDA Southern Divisiion Convention Men's Honor Chorus, Jonathan Reed, conductor, March 2010

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Brothers of the Singing Void is a significant addition to the male chorus repertory.  Textually, it takes the theme of fraternity, a universal theme in men's music, and extends it beyond earthly boundaries.  There is also the textual juxtaposition of opposites . . . singing and void, orgiastic and concord...  that causes one to think deeply about the text.  Lastly, the musical setting is so well paced... Every phrase is structured in a way that it is simply a joy to sing.

      Jonathan Reed
  Associate Director of Choral Programs
                                                    Michigan State University

I became familiar with James Broughton's writings when I set his exquisite poem This Magicker for treble voices several years back.  On the very first reading I knew that "Brothers of the Singing Void" was a text I would set and had only to wait for the right occasion and right choir.  The opportunity came from an invitation to write a commissioned work for the 2010 Southern Division ACDA High School Men's Honor Choir.  It premiered in Memphis on March 13, 2010, conducted by Jonathan Reed.

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:  "The shining fellowship of heaven", "spacious glee", "my harmonious brothers'.  Jonathan Reed said this is the perfect men's choir text and I agree.  There is a strong bond of brotherhood in these words, "thriving on affection", "closer to me than my own children".

The music reflects space in broad, majestic phrases, harmonic clusters, a slightly modal feel with an altered raised 4th, and echoing refrains of "Brothers! Brothers!"

Use vocal color and sensitivity to text and language to make the songs of the sky brothers come alive.  Let your ears ring with "the sound the stars make".

The Circles of Our Lives
Boosey & Hawkes 48019111 (2006)
For the Turtle Creek Chorale, Timothy Seelig, conductor
 
Voicing: TTBB chorus with piano
     Instrumental version full score and parts (fl, ob, cl, bsn, st qt and piano) and string
     orchestra version available on rental from the composer
Text: Wendell Berry (b. 1934)
Duration: c. 4'
First Performance: Turtle Creek Chorale, Timothy Seelig, Artistic Director,
     Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas, Texas, March 21 and 24, 2004.

     String orchestra version premiered at Carnegie Hall May 28, 2011, conducted by David
     Brunner.


 
See listing under Treble Choirs for annotation.

Grand Is the Seen
Boosey & Hawkes (TBA)
For the Koninklijke Zangvereeniging Nijmeegs Mannenkoor, Dion Ritten, conductor, on their 150th Anniversary
 
Voicing: TTBB chorus with piano.  Orchestral version by Ron Ellis. 
     Full score and parts available on rental from the composer.
Text: Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
Duration: c. 4'
First Performance: Koninklijke Zangvereeniging Nijmeegs Mannenkoor, Dion Ritten,
     conductor,  Concertgebouw De Varrenigning, Beuningen, Netherlands,
     November 30, 2008

 

I Am in Need of Music     
Boosey & Hawkes 48019728
(2008)  
For the Turtle Creek Chorale, Jonathan Palant, Artistic Director     
            
Voicing: TTBB chorus with piano. Chamber orchestra version full score and parts available
     from the publisher 48019973    
Text: Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), Sonnet     
Duration: c. 4'     
First Performance: The Turtle Creek Chorale, Jonathan Palant, Artistic Director,
     October 7, 2007, Myerson Symphony Hall, Dallas, TX     

Every once in a while, a conductor finds a piece of music that has the ability to reach the deepest part of one’s soul. It is even more rare to find a work that does so for singer and audience member alike. Dr. Brunner has created such a composition in I Am In Need Of Music. Elizabeth Bishop’s text is duly touching and suitable for any aged ensemble. While the notes and rhythms are not complex, this work requires all the musicality one chorus can muster. I, along with the Turtle Creek Chorale, am honored to have commissioned and premiered the TTBB arrangement of this stunning choral work.     

Jonathan Palant, Artistic Director
Turtle Creek Chorale

See listing under Mixed Choirs for additional annotation.

The Us of Me     
Boosey & Hawkes 48004665 (1996)     
For the Orlando Gay Chorus, Aubrey Connelly, director     
            
Voicing: TTBB chorus with piano     
Text: David L. Brunner     
Duration: c. 3'     
First Performance: 5 July 1996, Bob Carr Center for the Performing Arts, Orlando, Florida,
     Orlando Gay Chorus, David Brunner, guest conductor.     

... I was instantly drawn to the lyrics of the piece and I knew it would be a great choice for the Orlando Gay Chorus to sing. OGC performed The Us of Me in three separate concerts, each time to much critical praise. However, the most interesting experience was after the first printing... I was in a choral reading clinic with about 100 other music directors. The clinician led us through the piece and the room went wild. The other directors all loved the piece with its simple yet captivating melody, and the words spoke to everyone there. There was a real "buzz" in the room after our first read through. So much so that later in the day the group demanded to read through it again and spend more time discussing it.     

Aubrey Conelly, Director
Orlando Gay Chorus
 

See listing under Mixed Choirs for additional annotation.

Yo le Canto todo el Dia
Boosey & Hawkes 48021243 (2012)
TTB version for the Grand Prarie Boys' Choir, Jeannie Vanwynsberghe Pernal, Founer/Director
J. W. Pepper Editor's Choice
 
Voicing: TTB chorus with piano
Text: Jackeline Rago
Duration: c. 3’
First Performance: December 11, 2010, The Grande Prairie Boys' Choir, Jeannie Pernal, Director, Grande Prarie, Alberta, Canada.

See listing under Treble Choirs for additional annotation.