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In Tune

  • Music for All Saints Day | February Featured Recording

    This month's featured recording comes to us from Gothic Records, and includes works by such composers as David Conte, Gerald Near, and Craig Phillips.

    Music for All Saints Day
    Into the House and Gate of Heaven
    The Choirs of the Cathedral of St. Philip (Atlanta)
    David Fishburn, organ
    Dale Adelmann, director

    The Choirs of the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta present a heavenly foretaste of music for the Feast of All Saints.

    The Cathedral Bookstore writes writes of the album:

    The Cathedral of St. Philip Choir and Schola recorded this disc for Gothic Records in February 2014. 

    The title of the disc is taken from a prayer by John Donne which is included in one of the glorious anthem settings on the CD: 

    Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening into the house and gate of heaven, to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light; no noise nor silence, but one equal music; no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession; no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity; in the habitations of Thy glory and dominion, world without end.

    The entire disc consists of anthems which dwell on the joy and peace that is promised to God’s children for all of eternity, providing rich musical interpretations of biblical and poetic texts that contemplate the hope and promise of heaven. All of the music on the disc is appropriate to the feast of All Saints’. We are delighted to offer this beautiful music to the world at this time of year, but we hope that, whenever you listen to this disc, you will experience a little foretaste of heaven. Whether you simply love glorious choral music, or you take comfort in contemplating an eternity of perfect peace and indescribable joy, or you are mourning the loss of a loved one, this disc will speak deeply to you. It is filled with hopeful, encouraging, peace-filled texts and music.

    Listen on Spotify
  • Moonlight Sound Design

    One of this year's stand-out choral pieces from Galaxy Music is Latvian composer Raimonds Tiguls' Moonlight Sound Design. Watch the performance by The Wartburg Choir below.


    Moonlight Sound Design was commissioned and premiered by the youth choir Kamēr conducted by Māris Sirmais in Riga, Latvia in 2012. Moonlight Sound Design is dedicated to my father who died by way of an accident. The title of the piece is inspired by the fact that the studio I have is in my father’s country house in an attic room, and the night moon shines directly into it. In the USA, it was performed by the Wartburg Choir conducted by Lee Nelson at the 2017 National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Minneapolis. Galaxy Music published the piece as part of their Lee Nelson Choral Series.

    Moonlight Sound Design is composed for 3 or 4 Soprano Soli, SATB Chorus and Hang* but can be performed with Piano or Guitar accompaniment as well. The piece should not sound sad, but rather ethereal. It is more about longing than sadness. To create a more ethereal mood, the soloists may be staggered throughout the audience, if possible. This will also provide more dimension to the sound. The Bass section should sing the octave E-flat in bars 5–23 and bars 38–56 with a “didgeridoo” effect.
    *The Hang (pronunced haŋ in German) is a musical instrument created by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer in Bern, Switzerland. Its name comes from the Bernese-German word for “hand.” The instrument is constructed from two half-shells of deep-drawn, nitrided steel sheets glued together at the rim, leaving the inside hollow, and creating a distinct “UFO” shape. The top (“Ding”) side has a center “note” hammered into it, and seven “tone fields” hammered around the center.


  • Eileen Guenther on Practical Ways to Use "In Their Own Words"

    Eileen Guenther, author of In Their Own Words: Slave Life and the Power of Spirituals, offers some insight on using the book as an effective resource.

    On this text's ability to save time and increase relevance in service:

    There are two concordances listing 100 of the most frequently-sung Spirituals that will be of immense help to those planning worship. One gives the texts of the Spirituals, paired with the biblical verses relating to those texts, and the other is the reverse: listing Bible passages and the Spirituals that are connected with them. They will save musicians and clergy a lot of time as they choose music that relates to the scripture used in a given service.

    The opening chapter gives a brief history of the Middle Passage and slavery, which sets the context for the Spiritual—and for the issues our country is having relating to race today.Other “go-to” resources are Chapter 5, which pairs slave narratives with a specific Spirituals and Chapter 18, where I have compiled lists of Spirituals as they relate  to the 40 themes addressed most frequently in the music.

    On effectively setting up the slave narrative within a program:

    The power of the words of those formerly enslaved is nearly indescribable. These words come from two primary sources: the books they dictated or wrote OR from the interviews conducted with them in the 1930s. Those interviewed had to be at least 10 years old at the time of emancipation, so that the stories they shared were more likely to be their own experiences, not experiences they heard from others.

    Pairing Spirituals with narratives describing their life and work, their food and clothing, along with the  feelings of those enslaved concerning religion or their hopes for freedom effectively magnifies the power of the music in a way that one must experience first-hand.

    On relating the text to today's marginalized culture:

    Many in our country know little of the history of Africans in America: how they came to be here, the horrific conditions in which many lived, or their modes of resistance and other techniques needed to survive the brutality of their daily life. This book attempts to bridge that gap by setting forth the context of their lives and offering a sense of the challenges that were overcome and that, in some ways, are still facing Black Americans today, such as the lack of respect that is experienced by African-Americans on a daily basis, or their basic marginalization from the hegemonic culture—both socially and economically. In Their Own Words also gives a clear picture of the power of music to engender both hope and faith in a situation where there would have been seemingly no reason for either of them to have existed, much less flourish.

    On reactions since the book came out:

    “WOW! I have sung Spirituals all my life and I never knew that!” is one of the most frequent responses to my programs or lectures. “That music really speaks to me,” spoken by people regardless of race. “I can’t believe you did all that work,” is another! I am fortunate to have received amazingly positive reviews, but my favorite words have to be from the most recent review by M. Roger Holland for Pastoral Music, “This has to be the most comprehensive work done on the Negro Spiritual to date.”

    Eileen Guenther

    Eileen Guenther is Professor of Church Music at Wesley Theological Seminary and Professorial Lecturer in music at The George Washington University. An organ recitalist who has performed around the world, Dr. Guenther also lectures widely on clergy-musician relations, global music, spirituals, and music and social justice. She has served as visiting lecturer at Africa University in Zimbabwe and taught music and worship in Uganda and Ivory Coast. South Africa holds a special place in her heart, and she has led six groups of students from Wesley Seminary on immersion trips there. Dr. Guenther served with distinction as minister of music and liturgy at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington D.C, where the choir was called "one of the best in Washington" by The Washington Post. She is a previous National President of the American Guild of Organists, the largest international professional organization serving the organ and choral music fields.

    About In Their Own Words:
    This groundbreaking study of slavery and spirituals is the first to place the unique voices of an enslaved people squarely within the context of their daily lives. Dr. Guenther's deeply researched account weaves a succinct history of “America’s original sin” into an examination of the role of singing and religion in slave life and directly correlates slave testimonies—in their own words—to the themes of Spirituals. In addition to surveying the musical styles, performance practices, and melodic and rhythmic characteristics of spirituals, In Their Own Words includes a biblical concordance to 100 of the spirituals most frequently sung.

  • Connecting through a Solitary Sport: Interview with Alistair Coleman

    This month we got to know composer Alistair Coleman, currently in his first year at The Juilliard School, and the youngest composer as yet published by E. C. Schirmer. His career as a composer and musician is off and running, and it's one we're very excited to follow.

    Alistair Coleman
    How did you become involved with music?

    Music has always been a part of my family. My parents met singing in a symphonic choir in DC and sang semi-professionally in DC choirs, so from an early age, I would observe their rehearsals or be around musical families and friends. In the house, we would always have music playing, or someone would be singing or playing the piano. I first started singing in the Men and Boys Choir at St. Paul’s K Street in Washington, DC, where I built a strong musical foundation by singing English choral music each week. From there, I started piano lessons and would often improvise at the piano.

    When did you know you wanted to be a musician? A composer?

    Since music has always been a part of my life growing up, I could not imagine my life without it. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a musician, but the idea of being a composer didn’t occur to me until I was in middle school. My choral and instrumental teachers would encourage me to compose pieces for our school ensembles, and I received mentorship from my first composition teacher, Gary Davison. Beyond the satisfaction of realizing my musical intentions in a piece, I instantly loved the collaborative process of getting people together to bring a new piece to life. I especially love the excitement of a first rehearsal, because no one knows what to expect, and even though composing can often feel like a solitary sport, it’s incredibly fun to work with all kinds of musicians in these collaborative and experimental settings.

    Was there a critical moment when you became a composer, or was it gradual work and realization?

    Before taking piano lessons, I would noodle/improvise on the piano, especially since my older brother, Ben, took lessons and I often looked up to him. When I began lessons, occasionally, I would become bored practicing my assigned pieces, so instead, I would find myself improvising melodies and chords on the piano. Over time, I would begin to improvise whole new pieces, and once I learned enough about music theory and notation, I would write down these improvisations. Those written-down improvisations would become my very first compositions. The very first performances of my pieces took place at my middle school, since my choral and instrumental teachers would encourage me to compose pieces for our school’s ensembles. The idea of a becoming a composer gradually became more real to me when I spent summers at music programs like the Curtis Institute Young Artist Program and the Atlantic Music Festival.

    Tell us about your experience with some of your composition teachers.

    I currently study with Dr. Robert Beaser, chairman of composition at The Juilliard School in New York. This is our first year working together, and I have learned a lot about myself as a composer under his guidance in this short amount of time. During our lessons, we’ll work through new drafts of pieces I’ve written, and he’ll always encourage me to push myself to explore and uncover new ideas, material, and approaches that I would’ve never thought were possible.

    In high school, I studied with Dr. David Ludwig, composition faculty member at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. I first met him through the Curtis Young Artist Summer Program, where at the time, I had almost exclusively written choral music. During my high school years, he encouraged me to seek opportunities to write more instrumental works, so during our lessons we would work through new pieces for string orchestra, Pierrot ensemble, string quartet, piano trio, and solo instrumental works, to name a few. He would enable me to learn about the limitations and opportunities for different instruments, and help me experiment with different approaches and extended techniques. Even though I still compose a lot of choral music, this was a very informative experience that I continue to explore (and probably will never stop exploring).

    When I was in middle school, my first composition teacher and mentor was Gary Davison, a composer, conductor and organist based in Washington, DC. Gary has always been a very influential person in my life, and he was the first teacher to encourage me to pursue composition. I first started writing choral and vocal pieces, and we would work together to realize my compositional goals, but we would also pay close attention to harmony and voice leading. He helped me build a strong foundation, and he is still a very important mentor to me who I often look to for advice.

    Coleman's first piece with E. C. Schirmer
    Where or when do you feel most inspired to compose?

    Every day, I love to go for a run or take long walks. As a student at Juilliard, I love exploring New York City, and will often venture to Central Park. These experiences give me time to myself to think about and reflect on the work I’m doing, either in school or in my compositional work. Growing up, my family and I would travel to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia to ski and hike in the winter and summer, respectively. It’s an incredibly scenic place, and I’ve always been inspired when I reflect on my experiences there. My string orchestra piece, Constellations, is based on memories of hiking with my family to the peak of one of the mountains to stargaze, where it would be dark enough to see the milky way.

    Once you are inspired, what’s your process for writing a new piece?

    I always improvise on the piano when I start a new piece. It’s an unpredictable process of sitting at the piano for sometimes several hours, and trusting my instincts to go in several directions. Without thinking, I would write ideas down to form a collection of material I could use in a piece. Then, I will return to these collections to play through, synthesize, and even create multiple versions of ideas. During this process, the piece will begin to reveal itself to me, where I start to think about structure, but also pay very close attention to the material, or the identity of each piece. If it’s a choral piece, I always start with the text, and I will often improvise at the piano while singing the text to discover what feels most naturally to me. Although with any piece I write, choral or instrumental, I will always sing each line, as I strive for a sense of line in my music that is intrinsically natural and can connect with people.

    What is your favorite medium to write for?

    Choral music comes most naturally to me, since my musical foundation is based in singing, but I’m always excited to work with new ensembles, both choral and instrumental. I love writing pieces for a specific person or ensemble, especially when it’s a musician I know very well. In these settings, I feel I can really target the player’s strengths and communicate something to the audience in the piece about the connection or relationship I have to the performer.

    How much does a piece change from its inception to its publication?

    There is so much I learn from a rehearsal, workshop, or performance. It can be really hard not to get caught up with the excitement (and joyful terror) of hearing a brand new piece for the first time. I try to stay really engaged to learn as much as I can about the piece. I will often ask players to demonstrate different techniques, or show me alternative ways of notating ideas to approach a piece that is idiomatic for the musician’s instrument, without sacrificing my compositional intentions. Sometimes, I’ll try something new that may not work as well as what I intended, so it’s very informative to have players demonstrate a better way of communicating or notating a certain idea. Occasionally, players even introduce me to new sounds or techniques I may want to use in future pieces. The process is very experimental and collaborative, and especially since composing can be a solitary sport, working with other musicians as a team to bring a new piece to life can be such a rewarding experience.

    Coleman in Collaboration
    Tell us about a memorable musical experience.

    In the summer of 2017, I was fortunate to be selected as a winner of the NextNotes High School Competition, sponsored by the American Composers Forum. In June, I traveled to Minneapolis to share an extended weekend with five other high school composers from around the US. It was an incredible experience. We all attended workshops with professional mentor composers, in-depth rehearsals with professional musicians, a concert of our music, and we were exposed to artists and music events throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The best part was to share rehearsals, concerts, meals, and experiences with the other composers, because even though we came from different areas, backgrounds, and experiences, we all shared a love for creating music. We all still keep in touch, and I’m so glad the American Composers Forum has created this amazing opportunity for high school composers throughout the country.

    Alistair Coleman is a young composer from Washington, DC. Most recently, he was appointed the Composer-in-Residence of the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale. His piece, Of Radiance and Light, was commissioned by the National Philharmonic and premiered at Strathmore Hall in November 2016. His music has been programmed broadly, including performances by the Atlantic Music Festival Orchestra, Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra, Houston Brass Band, Boston University Marsh Chapel Choir, Takoma String Ensemble, Cathedral Choral Society, and National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellows.

    With three published works, Alistair is the youngest composer ever published by E. C. Schirmer Music Company in its nearly one-hundred-year history. He is a winner of the American Composers Forum NextNotes Competition, a 2017 National YoungArts winner, the 2016 “Audience Choice Award” winner from Symphony Number One, winner of the 2013 NAfME Young Composers Competition, and a two-time winner of the Maryland State Young Composers Competition. He has received recognition in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards.

    Alistair has studied composition at the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, Atlantic Music Festival, Curtis Young Artists Summer Program, Oberlin Summer Composition Workshop, and the New York Summer Music Festival. His teachers have included Richard Danielpour and David Ludwig, faculty members at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Alistair began undergraduate studies in 2017 at The Juilliard School, studying with Robert Beaser.

  • Steven Mark Kohn | Welcome to E. C. Schirmer

    Steven Mark Kohn

    We're pleased to announce the addition of composer Steven Mark Kohn to the E. C. Schirmer catalog. Kohn is known particularly for his American Folk Song arrangements, which were premiered by David Daniels and Martin Katz in 2002 at Carnegie Hall. Since then, they have been performed in festivals and on recitals across North America and Europe, and appeared on the NPR series "Song of America." The songs reside in many university music libraries and continue to be featured on professional concerts and university recitals worldwide.

    "Ten Thousand Miles Away," from American Folk Settings
    "Something in the Paper," from Three Impudent Arias


    Recent reviews of Kohn's works include:

    The final set consisted of four marvelous American folk-song settings by Steven Mark Kohn, in which quietly expressive piano parts and Daniels' sensitivity found ways to vary the simple light words (of, say, "On the other shore") in telling ways. - The Washington Post, 2016

    Closing the program were Steven Mark Kohn's arrangements of folk songs, delivering some of the most touching moments in the entire evening....seemed to speak to Brits and North Americans alike. - Schmopera review of David Daniels and Martin Katz performance in London, 2017

    More on Steven Mark Kohn

    Steven Mark Kohn has worn several different creative hats. As a composer, he has written music for a number of award-winning children’s films, including Frog and Toad Together, Uncle Elephant, Cousin Kevin, Morris Goes to School, Commander Toad in Space, Ralph S. Mouse and the Emmy-nominated Runaway Ralph starring Fred Savage and Ray Walston. He has composed and arranged commercial music for Wheaties, Arby’s, Volvo, Hickory Farms, TRW, BP, Stanley Steemer, Matrix and many others. His music can be heard nationally on NPR for the Sylvia Rimm Show and on the Time-Warner audio book series “Health Journeys”, which has sold nearly two million copies worldwide. His “Hymn for String Orchestra” (publ. by Carl Fischer) has been recorded by the San Jose Chamber Orchestra and Classical Vocal Repertoire publishes his many art songs. His three volumes of American Folk Song arrangements were premiered in Carnegie Hall by David Daniels and Martin Katz and have been performed all over the world by a number of artists. Andrew Garland and Donna Loewy recorded the entire set for Azica Records. He has co-written and directed the short films Bugfeast, Lord J’s Wild West Daredevil Show and How’s My Driving?, which have been screened at festivals around the country and in Europe. For the theater, he created lyrics for the musicals The Quiltmaker’s Gift (Dramatic Publishing), Unstoppable Me, Little Mozart and the opera The Tale of the Nutcracker, all to the music of Craig Bohmler. His Mary Chesnut; a Civil War Diary was written for soprano Jennifer Larmore and his short story The Professor’s Diary appeared in National Lampoon magazine. He recently completed the libretto for the grand opera Riders of the Purple Sage (music by Mr. Bohmler), which was premiered by Arizona Opera in February of 2017. He currently serves on the composition faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music as Director of the Electronic Music Studio.


    Kohn's works are currently available through Classical Vocal Reprints. They will be in production at E. C. Schirmer in summer of 2018.

  • Behind the Scenes of Glory Denied

    Glory Denied Screenshot

    Ever wanted to know what goes into an opera, start to finish? PBS did this fantastic video special on the Tri-Cities Opera's production of Glory Denied (music by Tom Cipullo, based on the book by Tom Philpott).

    Watch the full video here.

    Our favorite line in the video?

    "Music is the greatest tool to let us experience the feelings of another, and to that extent, it heals."

    Glory Denied is available from E. C. Schirmer.

  • Learning the Essentials with Mark Lawson

    Guest post by Mark Lawson

    Here is a quick quiz…..what are five choral pieces that every high school or college student should sing before they are conductors themselves? Is there a common set of pieces that make up the core repertoire? Most of us in the choral world can agree on many pieces that should be included in the canon...but where would someone relatively new go to find this authoritative list?

    I remember as a new choral director fresh out of college, searching for not only new literature, but wondering about what I had missed. A single class in choral literature did not prepare me for the challenges of picking pieces year after year, and I remember how difficult it was trying to find pieces that would work well for my choir and for this or that occasion, when I just didn't have that mental list built up yet. When I did finally find an appropriate piece, it seemed like a hidden gem, and I couldn't believe it had passed me by in all of my studies!

    In September 2017, The Choral Journal published a listing of the most recommended choral music that appeared on state repertoire lists. This article helped us realize that many of those pieces have been a staple in the E. C. Schirmer and Galaxy catalogs for years. We decided to pull together over 60 choral pieces and group them together as a series called Choral Essentials.

    Personal favorites such as Randall Thompson’s Alleluia and Paul Manz’s E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come are grouped with Ave Maria by Victoria, and Ave verum Corpus by Byrd to create a wonderful compendium of great choral classics.

    Randall Thompson: Alleluia
    Paul Manz: E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come
    Victoria: Ave Maria
    Byrd: Ave verum corpus














    I hope you will take time to explore this part of the website and make some new discoveries. We think this will be a welcomed series for both new and experienced conductors.

    Visit the Choral Essentials series page here.

    Mark Lawson

    Mark Lawson is the President of ECS Publishing Group, which represents E. C. Schirmer, Galaxy, and MorningStar.


  • Neil Harmon: Featured Sacred Composer

    This month we're featuring composer Neil Harmon!

    Neil Harmon

    Acclaimed as "one of the finest products of the American organist school," [La Nuova Venezia] Neil Harmon enjoys a career as organist, conductor, composer, and teacher. He is Director of Music and Organist at Grace United Methodist Church in Wilmington, Delaware, where he directs a semiprofessional choir, a youth choir, and two bell choirs. A graduate of The Eastman School of Music (DMA, MM) and Brigham Young University (BM), Dr. Harmon has performed in South America, Europe, and the United States. His organ teachers include Linda Wildman, Parley Belnap, Richard Elliott, Don Cook, Russell Saunders, David Craighead, and Michael Farris.

    Dr. Harmon's compositions include a seven-movement Requiem for choir, orchestra, and soprano, as well as music for solo organ, handbell choir, mixed chorus, woodwind quintet, and brass quintet. Active in the Delaware Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Dr. Harmon served two terms as chapter Dean and twice as Co-Director of the Delaware Pipe Organ Encounter. Neil and his wife, Anese, are the parents of five children.

    Harmon is particularly known for his Requiem, which was released in 2014. The dedication is "For the Grace United Methodist Church Choir, Wilmington, Delaware, in memory of loved ones." A full video by Saint James' Episcopal Church in Warrenton, VA, is below.

    Latest MorningStar organ publications from Neil Harmon:
    In Memoriam
    In Prayer
    Latest MorningStar choral publications from Neil Harmon:
    Did You Think to Pray?
    In the Bleak Midwinter
    The Lord Is My Shepherd
  • Tried & True Works for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter

    Guest post by Kelly Dobbs-Mickus

    At MorningStar, we strive to publish liturgical music that makes a meaningful contribution to the repertoire. As you prepare for Lent and Easter, perhaps looking for some new ideas, take a few minutes to explore these tried and true editions, from Hal Hopson’s subdued Lenten Prayer to Randall Thompson’s iconic Alleluia.

    Lent and Holy Week

    James Biery’s dignified settings of the Lenten Communion Antiphons will distinguish the Lenten season, and his setting of Ubi caritas is worthy of the Holy Thursday liturgy. Philip Stopford’s Do Not Be Afraid speaks especially to RCIA participants but reminds all that God calls each by name.

    James Biery: Communion Antiphons for the Lenten Season
    Hal H. Hopson: A Lenten Prayer









    Terre Johnson: Create In Me
    James Biery: Ubi Caritas




    Philip W. J. Stopford: Do Not Be Afraid














    James Chepponis’s Festival Alleluia (see separate edition for Eastertide verses), premiered at the Papal Mass in St. Louis in 1999, has become a staple gospel acclamation. John Behnke’s festive yet flexible setting of LASST UNS ERFREUEN is a perennial best-seller and is also available in a two- or three-part setting. Consider John Ferguson’s Easter Introit as a choral “prelude” to the singing of EASTER HYMN.

    James Chepponis: Festival Alleluia
    Peter Latona: My Hope Is Arisen








    Randall Thompson: Alleluia
    John Ferguson: Easter Introit








    John Behnke: Now All The Vault of Heaven Resounds










    To explore additional liturgical titles, check out these resources from MorningStar Music.

    Lenten and Triduum Choral Resources

    Eastertide Choral Resources

    Kelly's work at MorningStar Music Publishers focuses on resources for Catholic communities. In addition, she is organist at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Chicago.

    Kelly Dobbs-Mickus
  • Tips for Opera Composers to Get Produced

    Guest post by Michael Ching

    In the first week of January, the National Opera Association gathered in New Orleans for its annual conference. An association of mainly college and university operas, the NOA is an important market for new operas. The three day gathering featured a performance at Loyola Opera Theatre of composer Tom Cipullo and librettist David Mason’s After Life. Their work was the winner of the NOA’s 2016-2018 Dominick Argento Chamber Opera Competition--more on this production here. Competition Guidelines for the next cycle can be found here.

    In addition to the exciting production of After Life, Cipullo and fellow opera composer Michael Ching put together a panel of twenty suggestions for opera composers in order to be successful and produced in today’s marketplace.

    Number one on both Michael and Tom’s lists was “Write excerptible arias.” Arias get performed by singers at auditions, recitals, and juries, and these occasions are like free advertising for new works. Michael jokingly said that he’d offered to pay singers to audition with arias from his operas. If a singer falls in love with an aria from a new work, they can use it as a piece that is uniquely theirs, that makes them stand out from the crowd.

    Another item that both Cipullo and Ching had on their list of suggestions was to learn how to write words. Even though a composer might be working with a librettist, writing their own words can help guide a librettist in order to replicate a certain meter, or amplify a theme that the composer wants to explore musically.

    Other suggestions included the need for the composer to write a piano vocal score and to write music that singers can memorize without excessive study. The full list of suggestions will be published in a future post.



    Michael Ching

    Michael Ching is a composer and opera consultant for ECS Publishing Group.

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