I was commissioned to write this vocal jazz piece by Electra Women’s Choir in Vancouver BC for their Christmas Concert in 2015. Hal Leonard will be publishing it but at the moment you can contact me for pre-publication orders. Originally written for SSAA it will be published in SATB.
The lyric is about hearing a busker on a street corner, reliving memories of favourite Christmases past, and being grateful that songs can connect us to such memories. Woven in are snippets of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and O Holy Night.
Cat #35030682, SATB with piano and optional bass, Hal Leonard, Mark Foster, US – $2.50
This piece was premiered by the Vancouver Chamber Choir in the Fall. Hal Leonard will be publishing it and, like Christmas Reverie above, you can contact me for pre-publication orders.
Cat. # – 50600424 SATB Divisi, A Cappella US $2.25
A child lies in her bed at night staring out of her high-rise window at a view obscured by a
thick haze, her bedroom flooded with sounds from the city. One child such as this may be the voice that brings about the changes needed to remedy our relationship with the planet.
This piece, commissioned by the Canadian Men’s Chorus, was premiered in Nov at their Remembrance Day concert.
The wonderful text is by Rudyard Kipling. Here is an excerpt of my composers notes from the first performance.
I was lucky enough to come across a reading of this poem by a fellow named Taylor Holmes recorded in 1915. It is rare to find poetry that when read aloud has such a profound effect on the listener. Holmes reads the poetry at march tempo and, patiently at first, gives us glimpses of the frustration experienced by the men as they soldier on. But as the poem progresses his reading becomes less and less that of the narrator and more that of a character experiencing the ordeal. So suited to a musical setting, the poem and the reading both have a wonderful crescendo that build incessantly. The slowly disintegrating timbre of Holmes’ voice reveal the frustration, anger, and eventual madness that many men endured. They were trapped both physically and mentally by their ordeal, a fact wonderfully alluded to in Kipling’s repeated chorus “There’s no discharge form the war”. TTBB with snare drum and marching.
A revised version of this piece was created this year and published by Cypress. It is available for SATB and SSAA and received some wonderful performances by various choirs inlcuding Elektra Women’s Choir.
My choral work; "When the Earth Stands Still", has many many wonderful performances featured on youtube. Two of the best are done by The University of Johannesburg Choir and the Luther College Nordic Choir of Iowa, USA. So interesting to see how music can be interpreted so differently.
Les Choristes, the University of Western Ontario's fabulous womens choir under the direction of Jennifer Moir just premiered a new song cycle I was commissioned to compose titled "Fireflowers". This 6 song cycle features the fabulous poetry of one of Canada's great poets, Emily Pauline Johnson. My Home and Native Land Friday, December 1, 7:30 […]
Click to listen at CDBaby Source: ♫ Breath - Don Macdonald. Listen @cdbaby Choral music composed by Don Macdonald. This recording is different than most choral CD’s – two voices sing every part on the album resulting in a blend and synergy that is unique in choral recordings. Composer Don Macdonald and his wife, Allison […]