SATB/SATB S Solo, a cappella. Published by Carus-Verlag. Release May 2011. CV 09.920/00.
John Milton. Duration: 6 minutes

Lyrics

YouTube

sample pages
 

"Hail, Holy Light" was commissioned by the University of Utah Singers, directed by Brady Allred, and premiered by them at the 2009 International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf, Germany,  where it won first prize and subsequently published by Carus-Verlag.

"Hail Holy Light" is a depiction of the contrast between the darkness and void of nothingness without God and the motion and richness of life in God's light.

 

The piece begins extremely softly, as if the music is coming forth out of another realm and is barely reaching our ears.  Text: first words of Genesis: "In the beginning . . . and darkness was upon the face of the earth."  Out of this darkness and gloom we hear a brilliant high solo voice announcing the coming of God "on the face of the waters."  Immediately the chorus bursts forth with the activity of God's presence.

 

At this point we become aware of two separate choirs carrying partial phrases back and forth between them, almost as if there is so much to tell that they have to interrupt each other.

 

As Choir I releases a full chord we hear the intimate sound of Choir II rendering one hushed and simple line of the Latin Gregorian chant text "Veni sancte spiritus" (come holy spirit).  This happens quietly and unobtrusively as befits the aspect of God which is the holy spirit.  The two choirs now invoke the holy spirit and as they are doing so, the voices of the men in Choir II protrude from the texture, singing, "And God said, let there be light."

 

We have now reached the central focus of the piece.  The remainder describes, in Latin and the beautiful flowery English of John Milton, the radiance that is God.

 

The last phrase invokes, in the Gregorian Latin text, the aspect of God's light that is the holy spirit.  It is more subdued because to me the light of the holy spirit is more a glow than a bright light.

 
SATB, a cappella. Published by G. Schirmer. HL 50486712, ISBN: 1423435664, UPC: 88408821961.
Psalm 42:1-3. Duration: 4 minutes.

Story

sample pages.  

 

 

Sicut Cervus was written for the Kiitos Vocal Ensemble who premiered it on a concert at St. John’s Church in Greenwich Village in New York City.

 

The text is the much beloved “So pants the hart…” from Psalm 42 in the Bible, the central theme within these beautiful words being the longing of the soul to unite with God and the age old feeling of restlessness - a longing for that which will fulfill.

 

I chose to set this in Latin because the simple flow of that language prescribes a particular kind of music to me, helping me to express this longing in a clear concise and unflowery way.

 

The unsettled harmonies in my piece help to propel it forward in restless sections, some times murmuring and sometimes loudly stating the unrest. The rhythmic moving passage in the bass starting in measure 44 indicates more urgency in the emotional context of the conflict ie. “WHEN shall I be united with God?”

 

The final recapitulation is a bit quieter and slower indicating a certain resignation toward the lack of wholeness and a willingness to wait for that moment when we will find the fullness that we seek.

 




Lyrics

Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum:

ita desiderat anima mea ad te, Deus.

Sitivit anima mea ad Deum vivum:

quando veniam et apparebo ante faciem Dei mei?

Fuerunt mihi lacrymae meae panes die ac nocte,

dum dicitur mihi quotidie:

Ubi est Deus tuus?

As the hart yearns for the water springs

so longs my soul for Thee, O God.

My soul has thirsted for the living God,

When shall I come and appear before his presence?

My tears have been my bread by day and also by night,

while it is said to me daily:

Where is your God?

SATB (div), a cappella. Published by G. Schirmer. HL 50486217 ISBN: 142341053X UPC: 884088063009
William Shakespeare (1564-1616). Duration: 7-8 minutes.

Story

Sample pages.  

Shakespeare Suite was premiered in the spring of 1996 by the New York Virtuoso Singers in Merkin Concert Hall, New York City. The three Shakespeare poems which I chose for this trilogy all reflect youth, love and springtime. The music is meant to evoke the amorous thoughts and feelings of young lovers in Shakespeare's England.

 

"It Was A Lover and His Lass" is a musical picture of a pair of happy young lovers meandering through the lush green countryside and enjoying the warmth of a spring day. It is obvious that these two are a part of the total flowering of spring.

 

"O Mistress Mine" is a tender appeal by the young lover imploring his beloved to stop roaming and come to him. He employs various arguments to convince her that love should happen now and not later. His ardent desire is reflected in the music. However, at the end of the piece his love remains unrequited.

 

In "Daffodils" there is so much youthful energy that it almost gets out of control. The key word here is "tumbling." The whole piece goes in spurts and stops, with duddlilly dum dum's and oo's containing little naughty thoughts here and there which one can't say in words. All the chaos seems to come under control for awhile until the pent up energy bursts forth in "tumbling, tumbling, tumbling" and gleefully ends "as we go tumbling in the hay."

Lyrics

 

1. It Was a Lover and His Lass

It was a lover and his lass,

With a hey and a ho, and a hey nonino!

That o'er the green cornfield did pass

In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,

When birds do sing hey ding a ding:

Sweet lovers love the Spring.

 

Between the acres of the rye

These pretty country folks would lie:

This carol they began that hour,

How that life was but a flower:

 

And therefore take the present time

With a hey and a ho, and a hey nonino!

For love is crownèd with the prime

In spring time, the only pretty ring time,

When birds do sing hey ding a ding:

Sweet lovers love the Spring.

(As You Like It 5.3.15-20)

 

2. Oh Mistress Mine

O Mistress mine, where are you roaming?

O, stay and hear; your true love's coming,

That can sing both high and low:

Trip no further, pretty sweeting;

Journeys end in lovers meeting,

Every wise man's son doth know.

What is love? 'Tis not hereafter;

Present mirth hath present laughter;

What's to come is still unsure:

In delay there lies not plenty;

Then, come kiss me, sweet and twenty,

Youth's a stuff will not endure.

(Twelfth Night)

 

3. Daffodils

When daffodils begin to peer,

With heigh! the doxy, over the dale,

Why, then comes in the sweet o’ the year;

For the red blood reigns in the winter’s pale.

 

The white sheet bleaching on the hedge,

With heigh! the sweet birds, O, how they sing!

Doth set my pugging tooth on edge;

For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.

(Winter's Tale 4.2.1-8)

SSATTB, A cappella. Published by Oxford University Press. Release August 2007. ISBN: 9780193870260
Phoeb Knapp. Duration: 4:15 minutes.

Story

sample pages

 

 

I was commissioned in 1993 by the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York City to write a virtuoso a cappella arrangement of “Blessed Assurance”. It was performed at the 2006 ACDA conventions both in NYC and in St. Louis, and is recorded on St. Ignatius’s CD “Wondrous Love." It was also featured by Voices of Ascension in its American Composers concert. NOTE: This is a different arrangement from "Blessed Assurance, Black Gospel".   

Lyrics

Text:

Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Text: Fanny J. Crosby (1820-1915)
Tune: Phoeb Knapp (1839-1908)

SATB, a cappella. Published by Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780193870277. Released February 2008.
African-American Spiritual. Duration: 2:30 minutes

Story

 

Sample pages.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lyrics

Text:

Didn’ my Lord deliver Daniel,
deliver Daniel, deliver Daniel.
Didn' my Lord deliver Daniel,
then'a why not every man.

He delivered Daniel from the lion’s den,
Jonah from the belly of the whale,
and the Hebrew children from the fiery furnace
an’ why not every man.

The wind blow east, the wind blow west
it blow like judgement day
an’ every poor soul that never did pray
be glad to pray that day.

I set my foot on the gospel ship
and the ship begin for to sail.
It landed me over on Canaan’s shore
an’ I’ll never come back no more.

SATB, a cappella. Published by Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780193870284. Released summer 2008.
African-American Spiritual. Duration: 2:30-3:00 minutes.

Story

Sample pages.  

Ride On, King Jesus was written for the Feast of Christ the King which concludes the liturgical year in the Roman Catholic Church. Composed for St. Joseph’s Church in Greenwich Village at which my husband Chris Creaghan was music director, Ride On is an expression of jubilation over the realization that Jesus, God of infinite goodness and love, is our only true master.

Recording: Ain't Got Time to Die
Choir of The First Presbyterian Church, NYC.

Lyrics

Text:

Ride on, King Jesus! 
No man can-a hinder me.
Ride on, King Jesus, Ride on!
No man can-a hinder me.

For He is King of kings, 
For He is Lord of lords, 
Jesus Christ the first and last, 
No man works like Him.

King Jesus rides a milk-white horse. 
The river of Jordan He did cross.

King Jesus rides in the middle of the air. 
He calls the saints from ev'rywhere. 

African-American Spiritual

"...With Peace In Mind"

 

 

       

Sample Tracks

NEW! Summer 2014

 

The Beatitudes SATB, organ

 

O Nata Lux SATB, a cappella

 

Songs of the Spirit  Four SATB a cappella settings of poems by William Blake.

Music When Soft Voices Die Two-part treble duet with piano accompaniment, poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Londonderry Air, arranged for organ solo.