New Music Prize Winners

 

 

Eli Hooker Reese (MN) – Winner of category 1 for composers aged under 18 /SATB

Parker Kitterman (PA) – Winner of category 2 for composers aged 18 or over/SATB

Jeremy Beck  (KY) – Winner of category 3 for children’s choir/high voices

Geert D’hollander (FL) – Winner of category 4 for The King’s Singers

 

ELI HOOKER REESE (MN) 

 

 

WINNER, CATEGORY 1 (SATB, u18)
When All Falls Silent


Jury comment: Eli Hooker Reese wins first place in this category for 18 and under with a gem of lyricism and open voicings that truly allow for its beautiful harmonies to shine. Bravo!

“I never would have expected to win any recognition for my first attempt at composing choral music, much less this Prize from one of the groups that began my fascination with its beauty! Since I have been creating music for quite a long while now, it means a lot that I’ve been given the chance to share a piece of mine with the world. Having won the Prize, I feel more confident in continuing to diversify and share my work, and I am excited to keep learning about choral composition. Thanks to The King’s Singers, the judges, and everyone involved in making this possible.”  Eli Hooker Reese

BIOGRAPHY: I’ve grown up on an educational farm at the western edge of Minneapolis, Minnesota, surrounded by traditional music. I started taking violin lessons at age seven, but I’ve been teaching myself piano for as long as I can remember. My experience with the piano has recently led me to more creative outlets for musical expression, namely songwriting, composing, and music production. These interests have yielded several creative products, including a solo album as “eli orion”, an album with my band “SEDONA”, and various acoustic pieces. For the last seven years, I’ve played in youth symphony orchestra groups and sung in choir at school, experiences which have both been very satisfying. My love for choral singing can be attributed to the wonderful musical community of Minnetonka Choirs where we’ve explored fascinating pieces ranging from Eric Whitacre’s Sleep to Paul Rudoi’s Miniyama Nayo. In May of 2019, I was introduced to the King’s Singers when I studied and sang their arrangement of “And So It Goes” by Billy Joel with Minnetonka’s extracurricular Chamber Singers. Silvestri’s poem is ripe with musical opportunities: the very first time I read “When All Falls Silent,” I knew the melody that would anchor this piece. The harmony in my piece was heavily inspired by both Whitacre and another of my musical heroes, Jacob Collier. Writing for voice is still something relatively new to me, so I feel tremendously honored to be one of the Prize’s four winners.

 


PARKER KITTERMAN (PA)

 

 

WINNER, CATEGORY 2 (SATB, 18+)
The Singing Bowl


Jury comment: It is a pleasure to award first place in the category of SATB works for composers over 18 to Parker Kitterman.  His winning composition, unafraid of vocal movement, exhibits an effortless mastery of natural-sounding text-setting amidst quickly shifting harmonies and a wholly satisfying sense of embarking on a journey.  This would be a joy for any choir to sing. 

“It is a tremendous honor to be awarded this prize. As someone who writes most often for my own enjoyment, it is rewarding to know that, through this recognition, my music can provide some small pleasure and comfort for others as well.” Parker Kitterman

BIOGRAPHY: Parker Kitterman is a composer, keyboardist, conductor and collaborative musician. Since 2010 he has served as Director of Music and Organist at Christ Church, Philadelphia, where he recently oversaw the installation and dedication of a splendid new organ, C.B. Fisk’s Op. 150. As soloist and accompanist, Parker has performed with a wide range of artists including the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and Singing City Choir. He holds degrees from Duke University, the Yale School of Music/Institute of Sacred Music, and the Brussels Conservatory, where he studied on a Fulbright Fellowship.

Kitterman’s compositional output includes choral anthems and masses, art songs and congregational hymns, solo keyboard and chamber works, and arrangements and transcriptions. His writing is born out of a studied approach to improvisation, a literary sensitivity, and an ongoing commitment to providing fresh, relevant material for musicians and audiences alike. One large-scale work, Requiem for the Charleston Nine—scored for piano, organ, bass, drums, choir and soloists—was described as “producing a seamless fabric in which plainchant, modern classical, and jazz styles not merely co-exist but come together to proffer a whole greater than the sum of their individual parts.” (Chestnut Hill Local)

 

JEREMY BECK (KY)

 


WINNER, CATEGORY 3 (Children’s Choir)
Invitation to Love


Jury comment: Jeremy Beck deservedly wins first place for a challenging, and yet harmonically inviting a cappella composition that several members of the jury wanted to take straight to their youth choirs.

“The King’s Singers New Music Prize provides a welcome opportunity for new music to inspire hope and joy in challenging times – I am thrilled for my work to be a part of this good cause.” Jeremy Beck

BIOGRAPHY: In a review of his CD String Quartets, Gramophone declared that American composer Jeremy Beck “knows the importance of embracing the past while also going his own way. … [In] Beck’s forceful and expressive sound world … the writing is concise in structure and generous in tonal language, savouring both the dramatic and the poetic.”

Jeremy’s music has been presented by New York City Opera, American Composers Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra, Center for Contemporary Opera, and the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, among others. Recordings of his compositions are available on the Ablaze and Innova labels, the most recent of which is a March 2020 release, by moonlight, a collection of his chamber, orchestral, and vocal music. A graduate of Duke University and the Yale School of Music, he previously was a tenured associate professor of composition and music theory. Jeremy now practices entertainment and art law in Louisville, Kentucky. www.BeckMusic.org

 

GEERT D’HOLLANDER (FL)

 

© Michael Potthast


WINNER, CATEGORY 4 (The King’s Singers)

When All Falls Silent


Jury comment: It’s a great pleasure to name Geert D’hollander the winner in this category. The jury all agreed that the closeness and lushness of the chording would suit The King’s Singers very well, and the rhythmic and metrical variations within the music and text-setting gave it a freshness not often seen in this kind of modern writing. Congratulations.

“The King’s Singers have inspired me since I was a child.  I have followed them and listened to their music for decades.  Winning this competition is an incredible honor as a musician and one of their biggest fans.  To me, it’s like standing in front of Picasso with hundreds of other people holding a little painting, and he picks yours.  How awesome is that!” Geert D’hollander

BIOGRAPHY: Belgian-American composer Geert D’hollander graduated with honors from the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp, Belgium, with degrees in piano, chamber music, choral conducting, harmony, counterpoint, fugue, composition, and he graduated with honors from the Royal Carillon School. He has written more than 80 compositions, mostly commissions for carillon and was first prize winner in more than 30 international competitions.

In 1997, D’hollander was appointed as University Carillonneur and Professor of Carillon at the University of California at Berkeley. In 2008 he was awarded the Berkeley Medal for “Distinguished Service to the Carillon.” Before moving to Florida in 2012, D’hollander taught carillon and carillon composition at the Royal Carillon School, and he was the city carillonneur of the historical instruments of Antwerp Cathedral, the belfry of Ghent, and the Basilica of Lier, Belgium.

Today, Geert D’hollander is the carillonneur at Bok Tower Gardens, a National Historic Landmark in Lake Wales, Florida, one of the most unique and prestigious carillon positions in the world. He frequently gives master classes in Europe and the U.S., and performs all over the world.

 


 

Spencer Robert Sanders (UT) – Category 1 (SATB, composers u18)

Eric T Knechtges (OH) – Category 2 (SATB, composers 18+)

Marianne Forman (CA) – Category 3 (Children’s Choir)

Yizhang Liu (MO) – Category 4 (The King’s Singers)


SPENCER ROBERT SANDERS (MN)

 

 

Honourable Mention, category 1 (SATB, u18)
Invitation to Love

Jury comment: Spencer Robert Sanders is to be enthusiastically commended for creating a work that is surely a blast for the choir to sing!

Spencer Sanders is 15 years old and lives in Utah. He reluctantly started piano at age eight but surprisingly loved it. He began composing music when he was nine. His inspiration came from movie scores like “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Lord of the Rings.” He’s continued with music for the past 7 years and is studying at Utah State University with Dr. Kevin Olson. In the past he wrote mostly piano and symphony orchestra music. As time went on his teacher kept recommending a choral piece. Eventually he decided to try it out. He started writing choral music just this year and has really loved it. He started submitting pieces to composition competitions in 2018. He won the UMTA composition competition the last two years. He won the state level of the MTNA composition competition in 2018 and in 2020. He also plays the French horn in his school marching band and in the symphonic band. He is the pianist in the jazz band at his school. Writing a piece for this competition has been a great opportunity for him, and having his music reviewed by such amazing judges is a huge honor.

 

ERIC T KNECHTGES (OH)

 

Honourable Mention, category 2 (SATB, 18+)
The Singing Bowl

Jury comment: An enthusiastic Honorable Mention goes to Eric T Knechtges for a meticulously crafted composition with a lovely sense of asymmetrical groove, a playful handling of text, and a climactic moment that builds slowly yet inexorably, feeling truly earned.

Eric Knechtges is currently the staff arranger and composer-in-residence for the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus, and has worked with the London Gay Men’s Chorus, the New York Gay Men’s Chorus, the Seattle Men’s Chorus, and many other choral ensembles around the world. He has taught music theory and composition at Xavier University, Thomas More University, and Northern Kentucky University. He holds a doctorate in music composition from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He is Principal Keyboard for the Springfield (OH) Symphony Orchestra, and (in non-COVID times) regularly performs on keyboard with local theatre productions in the greater Cincinnati area.

 

MARIANNE FORMAN (CA)

 

Honourable Mention, category 3 (Children’s Choir)
The Gift to Sing

Jury comment: Marianne Forman rightly deserves this honor for writing such a lush, well-structured and moving piece for children’s choir that caught the attention of the entire jury.

A native of Greenville, South Carolina, Marianne Forman has been arranging and composing since childhood. She attained a B.S. in Music Education with concentrations in piano and choral music. Because of her extensive background in church music in both large and small congregations, Marianne is passionate about creating music that is both beautiful and accessible. She is a three-time attendee of the John Ness Beck Foundation Composers’ Workshop, studying composition under Craig Courtney, Dan Forrest, and Howard Helvey. Her pieces are published with Beckenhorst Press, and her submission piece (“The Gift to Sing”) for this contest is newly published (for SSAA or SATB choir) in the Beckenhorst Press Concert Series, January 2021. An active church musician, Marianne arranges and composes pieces for the congregation, the choir, and for instrumentalists on a regular basis. She also teaches private piano lessons from her home in sunny San Diego, where she resides with her husband and four children.

 

YIZHANG LIU (MO)

 

 

Honourable Mention, category 4  (The King’s Singers)
When All Falls Silent

Jury comment: Yizhang Liu is clearly an accomplished composer. There were elements of this writing that reminded the jury of Ligeti, with a strong sense of harmonic integrity underpinning what is ostensibly frenetic writing. The jury questioned how possible it would be to perform this piece accurately with voices at the suggested speed, but loved all of the vocal characterization, as well as the uniqueness of the approach to the poetry.

As a composer who crosses cultural barriers through combining Chinese and Western musical traditions, United States-based Chinese composer Liu Yizhang started pursuing his Doctoral of Musical Arts in Composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory in Fall 2020.

Born in 1995 in China, Liu Yizhang has been flourished in positions where western and eastern cultures blend. After exploration across different genres and various principles, Liu Yizhang’s musical style mixes traditional Chinese philosophies, poetry, and folk tunes with contemporary compositional techniques in the Western tradition. His music is performed internationally in countries including United States, China, Italy, and Brazil.

Additionally, Liu Yizhang has received fellowships and recognitions from organizations and institutions including Melody of Yangtze River: 2020 World Famous Music Institution Exchange Performance Season, the 2019 Lin Yao Ji International Competition for Solo Violin Composition in Chinese Style, Sao Paulo Contemporary Composers Festival, Atlantic Music Festival, International Music Festival of the Adriatic amongst many others.

He attained his Master of Music from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and bachelor’s degree in composition from Oberlin Conservatory. His principal composition teachers include Professors Stephen Hartke, Chen Yi, Zhou Long, Yotam Haber.

 

 


Emma Hennessy (NY)
– Category 1 (SATB, u18) – Chair’s Commendation
Benjamin Seonho Lee (IL) – Category 1 (SATB, u18)
Carol Barnett (MN) – Category 2 (SATB, 18+)
Saunder Choi (CA) – Category 2 (SATB, 18+)
Rob Dietz (CA) – Category 2 (SATB, 18+)
Sam C Henderson (CO) – Category 2 (SATB, 18+)
Andrew Jonathan Maxfield (UT) – Category 2 (SATB, 18+)
Jeffrey Newberry (Ontario) – Category 3 (Children’s Choir)
Emily Mason (VA) – Category 4 (The King’s Singers)
Till Meyn (TX) – Category 4 (The King’s Singers)
Chun Ting (Marco) Chan (MO) – Category 4 (The King’s Singers) – The King’s Singers Commendation

 

EMMA HENNESSY (NY)

 

Jury Commended, Chair’s Commendation, Category 1

 

When All Falls Silent

Jury comment: Emma Hennessy is to be commended for a strong and distinctive point of view, and a good sense of fun. 

I’m sixteen and a junior in high school. I live in Queens, New York, with my mom and my cat, but I grew up in Switzerland, and moved to the United States in 2013. When I was about twelve I became interested in learning to play piano, so I used a website to learn and after I’d begun to improve my mom signed me up for in-person lessons. I really loved it, and by the time high school started I was playing in the orchestra. Earlier this year, after buying an acoustic piano, I started composing. I started out writing just for the piano, but have tried my hand at other instruments as well as choral pieces. I’ve been a Soprano I in my school’s chamber choir for years, so I was excited to compose something for a choir. My favorite works have dark tones, a lot of dissonance, and a dramatic climax, and I wanted to write something like that- When All Falls Silent felt like the kind of grand poem that would go with it perfectly. I love music, and am amazed every day at how beautiful it can be. I’m sure it’s going to be a part of my life for years to come.

 

BENJAMIN SEONHO LEE (IL)


Jury Commended, Category 1

 

When All Falls Silent

Jury comment: Benjamin Seonho Lee receives a well-deserved commendation for a work of balanced harmonies and intriguing counterpoint that shows off the individual qualities of each voice. 

Benjamin Lee started playing music in 2nd grade. Like most people, his first instrument was the piano. He then began playing the viola in his school orchestra in 4th grade. His musical journey took an unexpected turn in 8th grade, when he tried his hand at arranging a piece for his unusual string quartet (1 violin, 2 violas, 1 cello) for a school ensemble competition, though he had no prior experience with music arrangement. Arranging the piece made him appreciative of the music-writing process and sparked a desire to write his own music. In 9th grade he succeeded in composing his first piece and he hasn’t looked back since. He feels there is something amazing about creating music that others enjoy, especially when it’s personal and you put a lot of time into it, because it means that people resonate with his own creative vision and decisions. Besides composing, he plays soccer, basketball, and video games. He also likes spending time with a pet rabbit who has been with the family for over 11 years.

 

CAROL BARNETT (MN)

 

Jury Commended, Category 2

 

When All Falls Silent

Jury comment: It is a privilege to commend Carol E Barnett on this poignantly lovely work filled with surprising lilts and contrapuntal movement between the voices. 

Carol Barnett’s music has been called audacious and engaging. Her varied catalog includes works for solo voice, piano, chorus, diverse chamber ensembles, orchestra, and wind ensemble.

She was awarded the 2003 Nancy Van de Vate International Prize for Opera for her chamber opera, Snow, and her music theater work Meeting at Seneca Falls was featured at the 2006 Diversity Festival in Red Wing, MN. The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass, commissioned in 2006 by VocalEssence and written with Marisha Chamberlain, had its Carnegie Hall debut in February 2013, and has become a favorite across the country. Recent works include My People Are Rising, for Elektra Women’s Choir; Longing for Home, a song cycle for Source Song Festival; and Will’s Ladies, a Shakespeare cycle for mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski and the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.

Barnett is a charter member of the American Composers Forum and a graduate of the University of Minnesota, where she studied composition with Dominick Argento and Paul Fetler. She was composer-in-residence with the Dale Warland Singers from 1992 to 2001, and a member of the adjunct faculty at Augsburg College from 2000 to 2015.

Further information is available at www.carolbarnett.net

 

SAUNDER CHOI (CA)

 

Jury Commended, Category 2

 

Invitation to Love

Jury comment: A distinctive melodic style and an adroit use of the full ensemble with soloistic lines are the hallmarks of the entry by Saunder Choi, earning a well-deserved commendation.

Saunder Choi is a Los Angeles-based Filipino composer and choral artist. He has been commissioned and performed by the Philippine Madrigal Singers, Los Angeles Master Chorale Chamber Singers, L.A. Choral Lab, Sacra/Profana, Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, World Youth Choir, Asia Pacific Youth Choir, and many others. As an arranger and orchestrator, Saunder has written for Tony-Award winner Lea Salonga, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Filarmónica Portuguesa, ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, New York Gay Men’s Chorus, Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, and many others.

As a choral artist, he regularly sings with the L.A. Choral Lab, Pacific Chorale, C3LA, Tonality and HEX Vocal Ensemble. He is a SAG-AFTRSAUA singer and recorded in the soundtrack of Disney’s The Lion King (2019), Mulan (2020) live action remake, The Call of the Wild (2020), etc. He is currently Director of Music at Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica and a teaching artist with the Los Angeles Master Chorale Voices Within and Oratorio Project.

Born in Manila, Philippines, Saunder holds degrees from De La Salle University – Manila, Berklee College of Music, and the USC Thornton School of Music. His works are published and distributed by MusicSpoke, Earthsongs, MuzikSea and See-A-Dot Music Publishing. www.saunderchoi.com

 

ROB DIETZ (CA)


Jury Commended, Category 2

 

The Gift to Sing

Jury comment: Rob Dietz is to be commended for a work that is classic and pleasing to the ear, yet with a strong contemporary feel in its ever-rising lines and open harmonies.

Rob Dietz is a multiple CARA winning producer who has been arranging, composing, teaching, and performing contemporary a cappella music for over fifteen years. Based in Los Angeles, Rob is best known for his work as an arranger and group coach for NBC’s The Sing-Off. As a performer he is an award-winning vocal percussionist, and his distinctive sound has been featured on several TV shows, including FOX’s Glee and The Late Late Show with James Corden.

Rob has a deep passion for education, and is a founding co-director of A Cappella Academy. In addition to his work with Academy, Rob is also the director of Legacy – an auditioned, community youth a cappella group based in Los Angeles. Rob led the group to win the International Championship of High School A Cappella in 2018.

Alongside his work in contemporary a cappella, Rob is also an avid choral composer, with work published by Alfred Music Publishing. His compositions have been performed by choirs all over the world, and are recognized for their distinct fusion of traditional choral writing and an exciting, modern pop aesthetic.

Rob’s setting can be seen and heard here: www.robdietzmusic.com.
Twitter and Instagram: @rdietz55

 

SAM C HENDERSON (CO)


Jury Commended, Category 2

 

Invitation to Love

Jury comment: A rich and lush tapestry of layered rhythms between the voices and a skilled balance between controlled homophony and strikingly freer sections earns an enthusiastic commendation for Sam C Henderson.

With a Bachelor of Music in both Composition and Vocal Performance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, Sam C Henderson exhibits a fervent passion for making music in both senses of the phrase. Henderson’s history with choral music – starting in 2005 with the then-named Conspirare Children’s Choir – has introduced him to the worlds of singing, composing, arranging, and even beatboxing!

Inspired by the versatility of vocal production, Henderson’s compositional voice emphasizes timbral interaction and textured sonority within and between individual voices. This is most prevalent in his dense yet intimate choral works Quarantine Bagatelle and Twofold Silence, his playfully ambient two-piano piece Interstices of Moonlit Trees, and his ventures into electro-acoustic music, including his operetta Coming to This. Henderson supplements his work with arranging and transcription services, primarily assisting choirs, chamber ensembles, and vocalists over the years. To contact Sam C Henderson or peruse his scores, recordings, and other projects, visit samchenderson.com.

Presently, Sam lives in Colorado pursuing a Master of Music in Composition at University of Colorado Boulder. Unable to escape music even in his extramusical ventures, Sam C Henderson also works for the Grammy® award-winning choral ensemble Conspirare as Gift Processing and Database Coordinator.

 

ANDREW JONATHAN MAXFIELD (UT)


Jury Commended, Category 2

 

The Singing Bowl

Jury comment: Andrew Jonathan Maxfield is to be commended for a commanding sense of harmonies and spatial voices particularly beautiful in the SATB medium.

The compositions of ANDREW MAXFIELD—hailed as “rhythmically vital … superbly judged … [and] tender” by Fanfare Magazine—have been performed throughout the U.S. and Europe. Andrew has been a Composer Fellow of the National Collegiate Choral Organization and Composer-in-Residence for Newburyport Choral Society. Recent commissions include choral works for the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, Hillsdale College, and Salem Hills High School; an orchestral adaptation of the Caldecott honor book, They All Saw A Cat, for the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts in New York City; and a concert-length score for SALT Contemporary Dance, showcased at Lincoln Center. His album, Celebrating Wendell Berry in Music, was released by Tantara Records and his “well-crafted, approachable” works (Dr. George Case, The Boston Cecilia) are published by Walton, Santa Barbara, and Yalecrest. Ensembles which have performed Andrew’s music recently include USC Thornton Chamber Singers, Emporia Symphony Orchestra, Carroll University Symphonic Band and Choir, Wingate University Singers, Utah Philharmonic, The Piedmont Singers, University of Pennsylvania Chamber Choir, and Choral Arts Initiative. For more info, visit andrewmaxfield.org.

 

JEFFREY NEWBERRY (Ontario)


Jury Commended, Category 3

 

The Singing Bowl

Jury comment: Jeffrey Newberry has written a piece that would be a joy for children to learn and perform, embracing percussion and playing with rhythms in a way that was really engaging.

Jeffrey Newberry is a musician and educator with a reputation for his engaging and energetic style. As a composer and arranger, Jeff’s work draws from his diverse background in classical, pop, and theatre resulting in music that is dynamic and layered.

At the Toronto District School Board, Jeff is the Music Curriculum Leader for the Virtual Secondary School, home to some 18,000 students from across the city. He teaches vocal music and drama, and his choirs have won top honours at local and national competitions. In 2018, Jeff and his students launched an in-house record label to showcase student song-writing.

As music director, Jeff has worked on dozens of productions at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Stratford Springworks Festival, Summerworks Performance Festival, Toronto Fringe Festival, and Next Stage Theatre Festival. Jeff has led workshops and professional development sessions for the teacher education programs at OISE, Queen’s, and York University, and at provincial conferences for music and drama educators.

Jeff holds a Bachelor of Music (University of Toronto), a Bachelor of Education (Queen’s University, Artist In Community Education), an Honours Specialist in Vocal Music (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree (York University).

CHUN TING (MARCO) CHAN (MO)


King’s Singers Commended, Category 4

 

When All Falls Silent

King’s Singers comment: This piece caught the attention of The King’s Singers particularly because of the way it explores what’s possible with the human voice in the course of a performance. There seem to be no limitations on tone or colour, and there was a strong sense of the meaning of the poem coming through in the composition. We would be very keen to observe this composer’s trajectory, and to see how else he could write for voices in such a captivating way.

Born in 1999, Chun Ting (Marco) Chan’s music can be heard in Hong Kong and the United States. His music is demanded by performers, with recent commissions from CANTUS12 (Hong Kong) and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (USA). His work Soar for Chinese orchestra was recently selected into the Net Festival call for scores organized by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. A passionate advocate for choral music, he has performed, conducted, or assisted several choruses in Hong Kong and United States. As a Hong Kong native, he promotes Cantonese, his mother tongue, by writing Cantonese texts for his compositions and setting them to his choral works. His upcoming projects include commissions from Eric Brennan and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, as well as an evening-long recital of his music. He is currently pursuing his B.M. in Composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City under the tutelage of Chen Yi, Zhou Long, and Yotam Haber.

 

EMILY MASON (VA)


Jury Commended, Category 4

 

Invitation to Love

Jury comment: Emily Mason deserves this commendation for, quite simply, writing something truly beautiful, that the jury would love to hear The King’s Singers sing. The harmonies are predominantly simple yet effective, and the setting of the text was both sympathetic and evocation. A job very well done.

Emily C. Mason is a multi-instrumentalist and composer residing in Northern Virginia. Her compositions have enchanted audiences in the DC area and across the United States. In December 2019, her setting of Robert Frost’s famous poem, “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” for string orchestra and tenor was premiered by Marco Panuccio and the Cincinnati Conservatory Strings in Panuccio’s Emmy® Nominated O Holy Night national concert tour. Several of Emily’s art songs have been premiered at concerts in the DC area in the last two years.

Emily started out as an instrumentalist, performing on harp, piano, and organ for twelve years before discovering a love for composing in 2017. Since then, she has been tirelessly writing for individual artists and concerts, as well as for two choirs and two youth orchestras which she directed until July 2020. Among her proudest and most challenging accomplishments was The Bach Project, a personal study modelled after J.S. Bach’s practice of composing new music weekly for an entire liturgical year. She hopes to have the opportunity to formally study composition and further hone her skills.

 

TILL MEYN (TX)


Jury Commended, Category 4

 

Invitation to Love

Jury comment: Till Meyn has written a piece that would be a joy both to programme and to hear. The textural variations in the piece provide strong senses of journey and intrigue, and the part-writing is exemplary, taking full advantage of what each singer can do best.

Till MacIvor Meyn is Professor of Theory and Composition at Texas Christian University. He earned degrees from U.C. San Diego, Indiana University, and USC’s Thornton School of Music. Till’s music has had international performances in Switzerland, France, Italy, Cuba, China, Spain, Ukraine, and Slovenia. Performances of his music in the United States include those at Carnegie Hall, Bass Performance Hall, Clarinet Fest, the Biennial Saxophone Congress, The Florida State University Festival of New Music, the Society for Composers, Inc. National and Regional Conventions, National Flute Association Conventions, the College Music Society National Convention, at the Manhattan School of Music, and at the Intercollegiate Men’s Choruses National Seminar at Harvard, among others. Till is often commissioned to compose new works, most recently to open the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s 2019 – 2020 season.

He was a featured composer at the Cliburn at the Modern series, a finalist in the NFA Newly Published Music Competition for ‘Urban Ragas,’ and earned first prize in the NACUSA Texas Composition Contest for ‘Celestial Mechanics.’ Till’s music is published by Muse Worthy Music, Alliance Music Publications, GIA Publications, ECS Publishing, C. Alan Publications, and ALRY Publications.

For further information about Till’s music, please visit tillmeyn.squarespace.com.

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