"I have been delighted to conduct several of David Brunner's compositions in recent years. These works have been very well crafted and musically engaging for both the performers and the audience.  His works are quality additions to the modern choral repertory!"

Anton Armstrong
Director of the St. Olaf Choir
St. Olaf College


June 2018GREEN MAN.  I picked up Make Harding's A Little Book of The Green Man in a cathedral bookshop in England quite a few years ago and have loved his poem on one of the opening pages.  There's a mysterious quality about this face in the leaves, this laughter in the forest, this king in the wood.  Who is this man hidden in the rafters of so many cathedrals and civic buildings of long ago?  He's usually interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, representing the cycle of new growth each springtime.  He's secretive, curious, playful, enigmatic.  The music is rhythmic and angular, impish, darting here and there, with a bit of fanfare each time his name is announced. SSA chorus with piano.  Boosey & Hawkes 48024247

June 2018MIRA HAS FINISHED WITH WAITING.  The third and final movement of the three Ecstatic Songs, on texts by Mirabai, was written for the inaugural performance of the women's ensemble mirabai, conducted by Sandra Snow.  All three movements were recorded by the ensemble as the centerpiece of their premier recording.  This movement has musical material that seems familiar, melodic gestures similar to those of the previous movements, and the reappearance of the solo cello as the longing in Mira's voice.  There is a sense of resolve in her words, a steadfastness and determination, culminating in the repeated phrase "Mira belongs to Giridhara", (Sanskrit for "holds the mountain") the One Who Lifts All. Mira's matter-of-fact final statement reflects her awareness of, and unconcern for, others' opinion: "And everyone says she is mad." SSAA chorus, soprano solo, cello, tabla and jangle stick.  Boosey & Hawkes 48024248

February 2018: UNNAMABLE GOD.   This interpretation of Psalm 148 by Stephen Mitchell has been “on my list” as a text I’d like to set for a long time.  The 25th anniversary of my friend Ben Lane as Cathedral Musician at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke in Orlando seemed like the right time. The angular nature of the asymmetrical rhythms and constantly changing meters bring vibrancy and momentum, shifting harmonic centers create unpredictability and surprise, and the bold, declamatory nature of th" text a power and strength.  I like the imagery of so many things offering praise: bodhisattvas and angels, electrons and galaxies, weather and landscapes, creatures of all kinds – all made in the image, goodness and light of the Unnamable God.  SATB chorus with piano. Boosey & Hawkes 48024153

January 2018HIGH FLIGHT. John Gillespie Magee, Jr. lived just 19 years.  He was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force when the Spitfire VZ-H he was flying was descending at high speed through a break in the clouds and collided mid-air with an Airspeed Oxford trainer, just below the cloud base at 1,400 feet over the hamlet of Roxholme, Lincolnshire, England,  His popular poem High Flight describes the delirious feeling of wheeling and soaring, and an intimate connection with the divine. SATB chorus with piano.  Boosey & Hawkes 48024254

November 2017PHOENIX SONG. On June 12, 2016, everything changed in Orlando.  The tragedy at the Pulse nightclub affected everyone overnight.  Five days later, tens of thousands of people gathered at Lake Eola downtown for a remembrance.  The mood, though somber, had a festive air as neighbors, friends, and strangers, gay and straight, young and old, Sikhs, Muslims and Christians, gathered together to bear witness.  There were improvised memorials, flowers, and rainbows everywhere.  And there was a very profound awareness that we all belonged to each other.  My friend and muse Scott Lounsbury wrote an exquisite poem that expresses everything I had hoped for.  This is not a song of sadness, but comfort; not of despair, but hopefulness; not of loneliness, but of community. SATB chorus with piano.  Boosey & Hawkes 48024152

February 2017:  THE APPLE TREE.  There is a charming quality about these old words that I connect with.  i like reading and hearing them.  And I must confess that I have always felt that Elizabeth Poston's setting of this text was one that could not be improved upon.  It is loveliest of all.  I have, however, long thought of composing something new on these words. This is my humble offering. SATB chorus with piano.
Boosey & Hawkes 48023940

February 2017:  I DO NOT SLEEP.  This well-known text attributed to Mary Elizabeth Frye has been an inspiration for a number of composers and a consolation to those that sing and hear it.  As a reader, I am attracted to the lines that speak of what I am, rather than what I am not.  I am... diamond glints on snow, sunlight on ripened grain, gentle autumn rain, the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds, the soft star that shines.  There is a comfort in this inter-being, in knowing that all things are only one.  SSA chorus with piano.
Boosey & Hawkes 48023941

June 2016:  MOMENTS.  I was inspired to write these tiny unison pieces for an elderly friend on some of his haiku.  Of his many poems I chose seven about the seasons to form a little set that I've called "moments"  I like the asymmetrical nature of this number and it's fortuitous "lucky" attributes!  They are little glimpses, written as single line melodies, short phrases with no text repetition, and only a bit of accompaniment.  Sparse, yet fully there.  Like haiku. trampled spring grass, spring green garden, summer heat, beach of white sand, drizzling rain, leaves of autumn, winter full moon.  Unison chorus with piano.
Boosey & Hawkes 48023696 

February 2016:  HOLD FAST YOUR DREAMS.  The SATB version!  The original treble version was written for the opening of Tampa Children's Chospital at St. Joseph's in Tampa, Florida, on a beautiful text by Louise Driscoll.  Within your heart keep one still, secret spot where dreams may go, and, sheltered so, may thrive and grow where doubt and fear are not.  O keep a place apart, within your heart, for little dreams to go!
Boosey & Hawkes 48023656

June 2015:  MY SONG.  The renowned Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore lived from 1861 to 1941 and was the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.  His elegant verse was the inspiration for this piece for mixed chorus.  The verse is lyrical and the music melodically oriented, with a prominent violin obligato and rich harmonic language.  SATB chorus with piano and violin.  Boosey & Hawkes 48023352.  

April 2015:  SONGS OF FAITH.  Songs of Faith was commissioned as a gift from Carla Neeld to celebrate the 50thanniversary of St. Mark Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California, and premiered there in 2012. The text is by Thomas H. Troeger, the J. Edward and Ruth Cox Lantz professor of Christian Communication in the Yale Divinity School, whose well-known poetry appears in the hymnals of most denominations.  Tuneful melodies of broad contours and long-breathed phrases characterize this setting. Though scored for piano, the accompaniment could be adapted for organ with  equal effect.  SATB chorus with piano. Boosey & Hawkes Cathedral Series 48023475.

March 2015:  NOW TOUCH THE AIR SOFTLY.  This work was written for the Contra Costa Children's Chorus, in celebration of Founder and Artistic Director Iris Lamanna on her retirement.  William Jay Smith's poem has a simple elegance that I found immediately attractive, and I was intrigued by the subtitle A Pavane for the Nursery. A pavane is, historically, a sedate and dignified couple dance in a slow duple meter, which I hoped to suggest in a broad feeling of two.  The 6/8 meter lends a gentle rocking feel, suggestive of a nursery lullaby, as do the accompaniment figures in the piano.  the repetition of the simple counting of "one, two... one, two..." and echoes of this figure in the oboe become a soft and tender lulling to sleep.  The message is simple "I'll love you forever." SSA chorus, oboe and piano. Walton Music HL00144547.

February 2015:   SWEET MELODY.  This commission for the Celebration (FL) Community Chorus was initiated by their conductor (and my student) Kristopher Schave, in memory of Paul Temple Patterson, long-time member of the chorus and friend to the Celebration community.  The text is by Bessie Rayner Parkes, poet, essayist and journalist, who was one of the most prominent English feminists and campaigner for women’s rights in Victorian times. For her, music is everywhere – in birds, flowers, winds and waves --  but mostly in earnest human voices raised in charity and for the cause of truth.  This “grateful incense” mingles together and floats, in one sacred chord, up to God.  The melodic phrases have gentle contours and the singing style is lyrical.  SATB chorus and piano.  Boosey & Hawkes 48023476.

O AULA NOBILIS.  This is a festive work, composed for the opening of the Natalie L. Haslam music center at the University of Tennessee.  The UT Chamber Singers, conducted by Angela Batey, sang the first performance in the Haslam hall on September 12, 2013.  After the opening unaccompanied chant in the women’s voices, the music, though clearly based on the chant melody, takes on a highly rhythmic, asymmetrical and angular character, with a bright and resonant quality.  The brass quintet is supportive of the singers and interjects with bright fanfare passages and rhythmic punctuation.  For SATB chorus, 2 trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba. Boosey & Hawkes 48023459.

MUSIC CAME AND STARTLED ME.  My friendship with and admiration of Lori Lovell, choral director at Maitland Middle School, was the inspiration for this work.  She came to me with (yet another!) idea for a grand collaboration, this time involving singers from her choirs, along with instrumentalists from her colleagues' band and orchestra groups, for a performance scheduled at Riverside Church in New York City.  In addition, her poet friend Stacy Barton had written words that I found imaginative and full of wonder.  The text, excerpted from Stacy’s larger poem, forgotten dreams, beautifully describes yearning, dreaming, and the sensation of flying, a childhood dream I had on more than one occasion and can still feel.  “When I was small I think I flew; as a child I’m sure I knew of ancient myths, forgotten dreams, all flown on wings of song it seems”.  My attention kept returning to the initial phrase “music came and startled me” , which seemed the perfect title.  The full orchestration for strings, winds, piano and light percussion, is colorful and of moderate challenge, though the piano version works nicely, as well.  There is a gentle lyricism and a dance-like quality throughout, with buoyant, lifted phrases and a sense of wonder and possibility.  For two part treble chorus with piano. (chamber orchestra version also available).  Boosey & Hakwes 48023353.

I DREAM A WORLD.  All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California is a vital and dynamic parish and a congregation called to social responsibility and action.  When the opportunity arose to write a piece for the Trouvères youth choir, in commemoration of the 125th anniversary of the church, the words of Langston Hughes came immediately to mind, as an appropriate text for the occasion and the people of All Saints.  For SAB chorus with piano.  Boosey & Hawkes 48023334

EVERYTHING IS MUSIC.  An invitation from Tim Sharp to write a piece for his Miami Children's Chorus, players from the New World Symphony and Dance Now! Miami --a young and innovative contemporary dance troupe -- to be performed in the magnificent Frank Gehry designed New World Symphony Center in Miami Beach, was too good to be true.  I knew this choir and had written for them before (Yo le Canto todo el DiaPsalm 150Sir Brother Sun) but did not know the dancers and what they might create with, and because of, my music.  Their elegant and nuanced choreography satisfied me in every way.  It was gorgeous.  The texts by Tagore and Rumi resonate with vibrancy and have attracted me for a number of years.  Though excerpts from longer poems, they seem to belong with each other.  "The sky full of sun and stars, the world full of life, and in the midst of this, I find myself.  So, surprised, my song awakens... Stop the words now, open the window in the center of your chest, and let the spirits fly in and out!  We have fallen into the place where everything is music."  I particularly like the last line.  What good fortune!  For SSA chorus with piano.  (chamber orchestra version also available). Boosey & Hawkes 48023332.

THE CIRCLES OF OUR LIVES.  At last, the mixed chorus version! My love for Wendell Berry’s poetry dates back ten years when I chose this text for the 2000 ACDA Brock Commission for children’s chorus.  Since then it has been rescored for four part men’s chorus, premiered by the Turtle Creek Chorale, Timothy Seelig, conductor, and this mixed chorus version, which was suggested by Mike Grant and written for his choir, the Symphonic Choir of Smoky Hill High School in Aurora, Colorado.  It premiered in January 2010 at the Colorado Music Educators Association conference. There is also an instrumental arrangement for solo winds, string quartet and piano, which was written for the Young Women’s Chorus of Kentucky, Rob Paugh, director, and premiered by them at the Kentucky Music Educators association conference in Louisville in 2002.  I am touched by Berry’s contemplative voice and the inspirational nature and reverence in each and every word, a profound sincerity and respect for the wonder of life and the circles that bring it round.  For SATB chorus with piano.  Boosey & Hakwes 48023331.

BLESSED BY LIGHT.  Rumi was a 13th century Persian poet, theologian and mystic, whose words speak often of union with the beloved from whom he has been cut off and the longing to restore it.  His universal messages of love and spiritual journey have an appeal across time and cultures and this text seemed perfect for this work in celebration of the wedding anniversary of Kyla and John Gulliver.  The original version was for solo soprano, but the addition of the alto voice adds color, while maintaining a delicate texture.  Each phrase is a simple presentation of the text, fairly short and syllabic, with a buoyancy and gentle lyricism.  Highly impressionistic harmonies and frequently shifting key centers provide a floating quality.  The text is full of lovely sensations: carving gems, dressing the earth, feeling the breeze, scattering gold dust, lighting our path to love.  For two part treble chorus with piano.  Boosey & Hawkes 48023326

November 2014:  I AM IN NEED OF MUSIC.  The SSA version! The original mixed chorus setting has been popular with choirs and audiences across the country and this new treble version has a beautiful resonance for women's voices. David Rayl, who initiated the original project in memory of David Nott, says this is an "extremely sensitive setting of an extraordinarily beautiful poem.  This is the sort of piece that speaks directly to the heart of the singer and the listener."  Boosey & Hawkes #48023319  

VIVA LA MUSICA!  The SSA version of this popular piece.  The old round Viva la Musica is the source of the text and the syle was inspired by Viva Tutti and other, similar well-known, robust songs.  Vigorous singing with a dance-like quality and energetic feeling of rhythm.  Boosey & Hawkes #48023333

May 2014:  GRACE.  Grace was commissioned by the Sloan Creek Middle School A Cappella Treble Choir and their director Christina Chapman, in memory of Daniel Phillips and premiered at the 2013 national ACDA convention in Dallas, Texas.  Of the several texts I sent, this one immediately resonated with Christina and her singers.  Oliver Wendell Holmes’ poem is a sturdy hymn-like text, each verse melodically different though similar in lyricism. Despite references to “brief, bright moments fading fast”, “sorrowing hours” and “all we mourn, all we keep”, the poetic and musical mood is not dark, but warm and hopeful. Boosey & Hawkes #48023074.

January 2014:  IF I COULD FLY.  I have, on a number of occasions, set the words of Bill Worrell, a Texas sculptor, poet, and in his words "Texas' most unknown songwriter."  A few years ago Worrell sent me a home recording of him singing If I Could Fly, accompanying himself on the guitar, with a pinon fire crackling in the background.  On every other occasion, I have newly composed music to his words, but was moved by the honesty of this gentle melody and so, offer this arrangement of his musical ideas.  Two part treble chorus with piano.   Boosey & Hawkes #48023042 

October 2013DON'T GO (Ecstatic Songs).  The long-awaited second work in the Ecstatic Songs cycle, Don't Go is a companion piece to All I Was Doing Was Breathing, which premiered at the national ACDA convention in Oklahoma City, sung memorably by Sandra Snow's Michigan State University Women's Chamber Ensemble.  Mira's voice is given to a soloist who expresses longing through sinuous, spinning melodic material.  The choir is a rich landscape setting the modal framework and shaping moments of intensity and longing to support the vivid text.   SSAA chorus with mezzo soprano solo, pakhawaj, Tibetan finger cymbals, brass bowls and elephant bells.  Boosey & Hawkes #48022954

BRAINSTORM.  I take delight in Scott Lounsbury’s poems, so turned to him with a request for this commission for the 2013 Mississippi ACDA All-State Honor Choir.  I wanted something about creativity and in a few short days he delivered Brainstorm – a tour de force of whirling images, imaginative turns of phrase and a rhythmic insistency that doesn’t stop.  Everything I wanted!  On first reading, bits of rhythm suggested themselves and I rushed to scribble them down.  There’s an angularity about this, an urgency, a playfulness, an electricity, a propulsion, and a vocal enthusiasm for the way these words roll off the tongue. 
SATB divisi chorus with piano.  Boosey & Hawkes #48022971

February 2013SEA FEVER.  My friend Eric Wilkinson and his fantastic singers at Wando High School live in an area which has a close connection to the sea.  Charleston, South Carolina is a charming city that I’ve visited a number of times and I’m always aware of the air and atmosphere, the proximity of the water -- its sound and smell – and the city’s wonderful seafood.  When Eric suggested looking at texts that had to do with water and living near the water, this well-known poem of John Masefield came immediately to mind. There’s a rocking nature in the gently undulating melodic gestures and recurring rhythmic ideas that will inform your performance with regard to tempo, articulation, dynamic shading and expression. For SATB chorus with piano.  Walton Music # 00116958. 

JABBERWOCKY.  The commissioned work for the 2012 Sing-A-Mile-High Children's Choir Festival in Denver.  Lewis Carrol's text is filled with curious words which evoke fantastic images.  The music is all about dramatic story-telling -- angular melody, strongly defined rhythm, and some quirky bits of harmony combine to provide singers the opportunity to use text and tone to bring the spectacle to life. It was a special joy to collaborate with Yvonne Farrow, whose creative choralography brought a fanciful theatricality to the premiere, as the chorus of 290 singers took on the character of the townspeople, the mayor, and the young hero, and took flight en masse as the dreaded Jabberwock!  It was highly imaginative and great fun!  For SSA chorus with piano.  Walton Music # 00116954. 

January 2013SHALL I SILENT BE.  George Herbert's text from the poem Christmas, also used in Vaughan Williams' Hodie, has a pastoral quality (flocks, shepherds, pastures, streams) and a personal association ("My soul's a shepherd too"), the concluding stanza culminating in strong and joyful conviction ("Then we will sing, and shine all our own day...").  Lyrical solo phrases, homophonic and animated passages all serve to illuminate the text and there are many tempo related opportunities for expressive singing. The Mississippi College Singers premiere was conducted by James Meaders. For SATB chorus with piano.  Boosey & Hawkes # 48022757. 

October 2012:  Conducting Women's Choirs: Strategies for Success, ed. Debra Spurgeon, GIA Publications, 2012. (interview with Nancy Menk for the chapter "Composing For Women's Choirs").

October 2012:
  VIVA LA MUSICA!  The old round Viva la Musica is the source of the text and the style was inspired by Viva Tutti and other, similar well-known, robust songs. SATB a cappella chorus.  Boosey & Hawkes # 48022619

September 2012:
  THE MUSIC SINGS IN THEM. The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts commissioned this as the second work in the Lloyd Pfautsch memorial anthem series, for premiere at their 2009 national convocation.  On a text by Guillaume de Machaut ("For the saints can only sing when the music sings in them.") and Charles Wesley's sturdy O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing.  SATB chorus with organ.  Boosey & Hawkes #48022583

June 2012:  Finally the men's chorus version of YO LE CANTO TODO EL DIA! The treble and mixed chorus versions of this popular piece have long been best sellers and this has a distinctive color that fits perfectly!  TTB chorus with piano.  Boosey & Hawkes #48021243.

June 2012:  VOICE OF MY SONG, SAB chorus with piano.  For the Newham Young People's Chorus of East London, who premiered it at Royal Festival Hall.  Boosey & Hawkes #48021259.

April 2012:  WELL SUNG SONG, SATB chorus with piano.  Scott Lounsbury's beautifully musical words describe our shared journey, destiny and closure.  Boosey & Hawkes #48021244.

 January 2012E PLURIBUS CANTUS, SATB chorus with piano on Scott Lounsbury's text.  The virtual choir piece for singers from Maitland Middle School, Winter Park High School, and the University of Central Florida.  Boosey & Hawkes #48021223.

June 2011:  BROTHERS OF THE SINGING VOID, for TTBB chorus with piano on James Broughton's text.  The Southern Division ACDA Commission for the 2010 Men's Honor Choir.  Boosey & Hawkes #48021117

February 2011:  GRAND IS THE SEEN, for mixed chorus with piano on Walt Whitman's text.  Boosey & Hawkes #48020952.  Orchestral version on rental from the composer.

December 2010SPIRITUAL MUSICK, for treble chorus with piano, snare drum, bass drum and triangle, on Christopher Smart's quirky text from Jubilate Agno.   The Chorus America commission for a consortium of thirteen choirs from across the U.S., Canada and Scotland.  Boosey & Hawkes #48020980

May 2010:  the new arrangement of Alma Androzzo's IF I CAN HELP SOMEBODY, a gospel style piece with a great message!  For SATB chorus and piano.  Boosey & Hawkes #48020821

January 2010: The brass and timpani version of CANTATE DOMINO is now available from Boosey & Hawkes # 48020640 

Summer 2009: Finally, the SATB version of EARTHSONGS!  This popular treble piece is in three movements, on texts by 19th century American geologist James Gates Percival, the Buddhist Sutta Nipata and the United Nation's Environment Sabbath Program.  Scored for mixed chorus with piano and oboe, a full orchestra version is also available on rental.  #48019685

BORN OF THE SUN, for TBB chorus, piano and French horn on Stephen Spender's striking themes of ambition and striving, passion and spirit.  #48019658

SUN, MOON, STARS, RAIN, on E. E. Cumming's intriguing and remarkable verse, for SATB chorus with piano.  An affirmation of individuality and a call for willingness to acknowledge and accept all who are "different"  -- perhaps even us.  #48020620

PSALM OF PRAISE is a vocal jazz inspired setting of Psalm 104, the melody reminiscent of an early hymn tune, but with a contemporary style, for SATB chorus with piano.  Not difficult for singers just beginning to explore jazz harmonies.  #48019989

The SATB version of ALL THY GIFTS OF LOVE.  "For food in a world where many walk in hunger, peace in a world where many walk in fear, friends in a world where many walk alone, we give you thanks, O God."  #48020618

THE LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE, for SAB chorus with piano and oboe, is a gentle setting of William Butler Yeats' memories of the idyllic, tranquil area of the English countryside.  #48019990

ALL I WAS DOING WAS BREATHING (Ecstatic Songs), for soprano solo, SSAA chorus, cello, tabla, Tibetan finger cymbals, brass bowls, jangle stick, elephant bells and ankle bells.  A remarkable and powerful text by Indian mystic Mirabai. #48019949


Let me know if you'd like a sample copy of any title!