Having moved to New York just about seven months ago, I’ve been slowly adjusting to life both in a new place and with a new occupation, having previously been a continuous student since age 4. In addition to composing, I’ve been working as the producing associate for both Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group. Working for the two organizations and being around so many working artists are proving to be a great learning experience, which in turn have spurred some new music.
In the fall, I wrote a 7-minute (really slow) orchestra piece called Draw Close, But Speak Not, as my entry to this year’s American Composers Orchestra reading sessions competition. After that, I was commissioned by Steven Pilkington and Christ Church United Methodist for a new anthem for Transfiguration Sunday, which this year falls on February 19. The story of Transfiguration sees Jesus and three companions going on a hiking trip up a mountain, wherein Jesus’s visage becomes radiant. Moses and Elijah appears by his side (as was foretold), and God’s voice rings out, “This Is My Beloved Son; Hear Him!” I like drama, and I’d say this story is pret-ty dramatic. For the text, I mashed up bits of the Transfiguration story as found in the synoptic gospels, in the KJV.
The new piece, Transfiguration Sunday, is scored for mixed chorus, handbell choir (because Christ Church has a wonderful handbell ensemble directed by Mr. Cory Davis), string quartet and organ, and will be performed as a part of the March 25 service, at 11am.
Photo of Christchurch Cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand, taken in 1963. The Cathedral suffered a lot of damage from the recent earthquake in 2011. Photograph by christchurchcitylibraries