New Choral commission, recently completed

IN THESE TIMES (SING LA LAis a new SSAATTB choral work  commissioned by The Downtown Minneapolis churches: Basilica of Saint Mary, the Cathedral Church of St. Mark, Central Lutheran Church, Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church, Plymouth Congregational Church, St. Olaf Catholic Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church for their Choral Festival, 27 February 2011 

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After the 2009 Grammy Award-winning Simple Gifts and a world premiere recording of Pachelbel Vespers in March 2010, internationally-acclaimed vocal group The King's Singers return to the studio to record Swimming Over London.

Featuring a diverse array of songs, this latest release captures jazz classics, current hits, and more, all arranged, performed, and recorded with the meticulous attention to detail and artistry that has established The King's Singers as one of the finest vocal ensembles throughout their history. Swimming Over London includes five original songs, commissioned specifically for the disc and written by Mia Makaroff, composer and arranger for Finnish vocal ensemble Rajaton; Ysaye M. Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock; Roger Treece, arranger and performer in Bobby McFerrin's Voicestra ensemble; Alexander L'Estrange, composer and arranger for the Swingle Singers; and Bob Chilcott, a former King's Singer. Chilcott, a respected composer of vocal music, wrote the title track for the album, an evocative tale of a woman stretching her way over London to the coast based on a poem by Charles Bennett. Roger Treece, renowned arranger for groups including Manhattan Transfer and New York Voices, composed an original song ("Keeper of the Seasons") and arranged two contrasting songs: Sarah McLachlan’s beautiful "Angel" and Pat Metheny’s "September 15th."

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Many of you have heard me talk about “The Requiem” for the bones of the slave, Fortune, who died in Waterbury, CT in 1798 and whose skeleton was preserved intact for generations until given to the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury in 1930.   Marilyn Nelson’s masterfully written poem recounts Fortune’s story with profound eloquence and it is this poem that I was commissioned to set for the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, chorus and 7 soloists.  The REQUIEM premiered in Waterbury, CT on May 9, 2009  with one performance only. The role of Fortune was sung by baritone Stephen Salters and the role of Dinah, Fortune’s wife, was sung by contralto Shannon Finney.

This project is being discussed in several cities around the country. Direct any inquires regarding Fortune's Bones: The Manumission Requiem to or 202-494-5699.