"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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Summer is Over

Our summer at the “prairie house” near Chicago was full of trips into the city, favorite restaurants – new and old, visits to the Art Institute and Grant Park music festival, a performance of Bernstein’s MASS at Ravinia, conducted by Marin Alsop, a week of teaching as Composer-in-Residence at the Choral Music Experience institute at Michigan State University, and several weekends in a new favorite destination, the artsy village of Saugatuck, Michigan, on the shores of the Great Lake.  

Since the last posting I attended a weekend immersion in the poetry of Kabir and Dogen with scholars Linda Hess and Kazuaki Tanahashi at the Upaya zen retreat center in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  At the invitation of Doreen Rao, it was a profound weekend of zazen meditation, gorgeous vegetarian meals, the high desert, meaningful poetry and deep silence, in preparation for starting a large-scale work on the poetry of Kabir.

Later in the summer I wrote HALLELUJAH FROM THE HEART OF GOD for three colleagues’ choirs and our biennial ChorFest, and this fall CHANTONS, MES AMIS, for the finale of the Association for Music in International School (AMIS) 2019 Honor Choir festival in Beijing, and a mixed chorus version of SPIRITUAL MUSICK, on text by Christopher Smart (as used in Benjamin Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb).

Another highlight of the summer was a wheel-thrown pottery course at the Chicago Ceramic Center in the historic Bridgeport Art Center, the old Spiegel catalogue warehouse repurposed with gallery and studio spaces.  Fantastic! 


Endless Song 

Just finished ENDLESS SONG, a new melody on the text of "How Can I Keep From Singing?" for Josh Phelps and the Westminster Presbyterian Church of Oklahoma City.   OK, there are many, MANY arrangements of Robert Lowry's well-known tune and I never intended to create another.  But, for some reason, a new tune came to mind -- one that I liked a lot.  Josh wanted something different for this collaboration but was not expecting this at all.  Yet he trusted me on this.  The new melody and musical environment - with piano and string quartet - brings a freshness to the text that I rather like. Familiar, yet not.  (All right, Lowry's tune does make an appearance towards the end...)


Caminante at Strathmore

I was in the beautiful Strathmore Center May 29th with the Strathmore Children's Choruses for rehearsal of my new CAMINANTE, which they'll premiere June 10th. Bravo to conductors Michael Wu, Heather Fetrow, Mary Hochkeppel and accompanist Hei Jung Kim!  Love this text about walking your own path.


Miraculous premieres

Bravo to the choirs of Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville and their maestra Teresa Scoggins on their spring concert May 8th and the premiere of my MIRACULOUS, on another one of Scott Lounsbury's beautiful texts. Also met Teresa's daughter Payton for the first time, a little miracle of her own.  Oh, and discovered Duck Donuts while in Knoxville -- warm, wonderful -- slightly greasy -- donuts made to order.  I had maple bacon and keylime coconut. A little guilty...


The Great Smoky Mountains

A terrific day at the Smoky Mountain Music Festival in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, on May 4th with choirs from around the southeast and as far away as Indiana and Illinois. Always great fun to be with my dear friend Angie Batey and on the adjudication panel with her.