Tag Archives: composers

Composers in concert with Vancouver Peace Choir

Some rehearsals make me especially glad to have written some music. This was one of those times.

On Sunday I joined Vancouver Peace Choir to rehearse for their Canadian Landscapes concerts – two shows devoted to Canadian choral music and led by artistic director Brian Wismath. At those concerts, I’ll be at the piano to collaborate on pieces by fellow Vancouverites Stephen Chatman and Amy Stephen, and also my “Grant Us Peace” (SATB + piano, score available from Cypress Choral Music).

This was not the first time I’ve enjoyed hearing and working with “Grant Us Peace” since its 2014 premiere, but it was a privilege and a joy to have 30 or 40 people sing this music back to me at the piano in true surround sound.

Amazing sounds or not, I’m convinced that the satisfaction stemming from releasing a work into the world is one of the strange, rewarding sensations that keeps composers alive. We’re happy that our ideas are out there. We believe that they’re interesting, no matter what happens to them. Sometimes we are simply glad to have written something, anything. But when the music results in beauty beyond the page, when people are engaged and expressive and musical, it is wonderful. That’s what happened here.

I’m not sure which of us was happiest to be at rehearsal. It was probably a draw. (L-R: Chris Sivak, composer; Brian Wismath, artistic director; me, composer/pianist)

After my rehearsing had finished for the night, I tagged composer Chris Sivak into the ring and watched as Brian led the choir through Chris’ newly commissioned a cappella piece called “Fierce Green”. The choir made inspiring sounds. (Read the story of “Fierce Green” on Chris’ blog.)

Vancouver Peace Choir
Composer composing, conductor conducting, choir singing. (Chris Sivak, left, at the piano; Brian Wismath, centre; Vancouver Peace Choir, everywhere)

This was a rehearsal of firsts for both of us composers: me on the piano for “Grant Us Peace”, and Chris hearing his new dots vibrating the air around him for the very first time.

You can hear those vibrations in Richmond or Vancouver on May 26-27, 2017. Join us for the music; get tickets for Vancouver Peace Choir’s Canadian Landscapes.

Learn the story behind Grant Us Peace, and get the score from Cypress Choral Music.