I arranged Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's haunting rendition of this song for Pacific Edge Voices to sing as a full group (SATB with soloists) in this year's Jazz & Pop concerts. Here is a recording and video of one of their excellent performances: June 11 at the Berkeley City Club.
Ah, me. June 23—July 1 in Brooklyn was a glorious time. For those magical eight days, I had the distinct pleasure of participating in the Choral Chameleon Composition Institute, led by the venerable conductor/composer/organist/spiritual guru Vince Peterson.
Alongside eleven other composers and two conductors, I spent every day fully immersed in choral writing, with daily classes in ear training and music analysis, master classes with a variety of choral pros, private lessons with the fantastic composer (and fellow SF Conservatory alum) Jeffrey Parola, and best of all, several days reading and rehearsing original compositions with the amazing professional core of Choral Chameleon.
I brought two pieces with me: “A Prayer In Spring,” which I originally drafted two years ago but had basically left in the bottom drawer until this week, and “O Child,” an original Christmas carol that I finished only a week before the Institute. The choir sang “O Child” in a rehearsal for me, giving me a chance to record it for later revision, but “Prayer” became the main course, and the piece that ended up in the final concert.
Composer Michael T Roberts shares his thoughts on writing, playing, and teaching music. Comments? Please e-mail Mike.