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
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.
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)
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
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.
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