The La Crosse Chamber Chorale will premiere "Unlock Your Heart" (for SATB choir, piano and violin) as part of its 2014 Words To Music Project, with performances on November 8th and 9th, 2014. Patrick O'Shea first wrote for the project in 1999, and it continues to be a great community event, with poetry being submitted by middle school students in La Crosse for selection by a consortium of composers who then write musical settings. The project was initiated by the Chorale's Music Director, Dr. Paul Rusterholz, in 1997.
On July 25, 2014, "Introit" for SATB choir (optional organ) will be performed for the installation of Revd Kenneth Crawford at the Parish of St. James the Great, Darlington, UK. The work was commissioned by his son, Alexander Crawford, choir director at Durham Cathedral. The text is taken from the English translation of the Divine Liturgy of St. James.
The Mornington Singers of Dublin, Ireland, will premiere "Cantemus in omni die" at Saint Mary's Pro Cathedral, Dublin, on Thursday, June 19th, 2014 as part of the Pipeworks Festival. Also featured will be organ improvisations by French organist Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer Choplin, including an improvisation based on the new composition. The work will subsequently be performed in Galway on Saturday, June 21st at St. Nicholas Collegiate Church. The SATB a cappella work sets a seven-stanza poem by the Irish monk Cu Cuimhne Sapiens, who was active at Iona in the early 8th century (+ 727). The composer will guest conduct the work at both performances.
The Saint Mary's University Music Department will host a Composers' Recital featuring the works of Patrick O'Shea and A. Eric Heukeshoven on Saturday, March 15th at 6:30 p.m. in the Figliulo Recital Hall. Admission is free! Works presented will include the first full performance by Dr. Chun Chim (David) Leung of Sonata Piccola (the 2nd movement was premiered in 2003), and the world premiere of the vocal duet "Vezzosi augelli" for two sopranos, flute and piano. Percussionist Jeremy Johnston will also be featured with flautist Dr. Janet Heukeshoven in a performance of "Poltergeist," which was premiered in October 2013 by Johnston and flautist Stephanie Abderhalden.
Works by Heukeshoven will include the choral work "I Believe," originally premeired by the La Crosse Chamber Chorale.
"Poltergeist" for flute and percussion has been completed for percussionist Jeremy Johnston and flutist Stefanie Abderhalden. The work will be premiered in October in a series of concerts that will form part of the performance work for each musician's Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Minnesota. It is a pleasure to write for Jeremy again, as he was the vibraphonist who played the premiere performances of Sentences from the Tao for choir and vibraphone in 2010.
Tre Madrigali Amorosi for SATB choir and solo violin are now complete. The works set three poems by Italian Renaissance poet Torquato Tasso (1544-1595). The works will be premiered during the Saint Mary's Chamber Singers' tour to France, March 3-11, 2013. The U.S. premiere will follow shortly thereafter in Winona, MN at the Chapel of St. Mary of the Angels on Thursday, March 14th.
The premiere performances will feature Dr. Chun Chim (David) Leung, who has recently joined the music department faculty of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.
"Vezzosi Augelli" for Soprano, Tenor, Flute and Piano, has just been completed. Commissioned by the Cantabilis Ensemble in Salerno, Italy, this chamber work will be premiered in Nagoya, Japan in October, 2013 at a conference on the works of Torquato Tasso (1544-1595), the author of the work's text.
The anthem "Let Us Remember" for SATB choir, piano and violin has been completed for the celebration of the centennial of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, with the premiere set for August 27th, 2012. The anthem forms the second movement of a three-movement Centennial Suite being written in collaboration with composer A. Eric Heukeshoven of the Saint Mary's Music Faculty.
Mass of the Mediatrix (available for free download) has received a very positive review in The Chant Café, the official blog of the Church Music Association of America. Read the review and additional comments about the new Mass setting HERE.
Mass of the Mediatrix has been completed, and is now available for free downloads for non-profit use. Also available are computer-generated audio files to assist in learning the setting.
The combined choirs of Long Prairie-Grey Eagle High School premiered "Soul of the Soul" at their Spring Concert on May 9th, 2011. Commissioned by the LPGE Choirs under the direction of Tiffanie Danzinger and Sarah Carlstrom, the work sets text by Jalal al-Din Rumi in English translation, and is scored for SATB choir, piano, cello and flute. Earlier in the semester, Patrick O'Shea traveled to Long Prairie to share some thoughts about the work with the high school singers, and also visited with an AP Music Theory class, discussing compositional method and several of his works.
"O Pray For The Peace of Jerusalem," a setting of Psalm 122:6-9, was premiered during 2011 Rome tour of the Saint Mary's Chamber Singers . Performances included liturgies at the Parish of San Giovanni Battista De La Salle, St. Peter's Basilica (Vatican), the Church of Santa Susanna, and a private performance for dignitaries and staff of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem when the choir was received at the Rovere Palace, the headquarters of the Order in Rome.
The new SATB anthem (with optional organ) "O Pray For The Peace of Jerusalem," a setting of Psalm 122:6-9, has been completed for the 2011 Rome tour of the Saint Mary's Chamber Singers . The Chamber Singers will perform several concerts and for a number of liturgies, including Mass on Friday, March 11th, 2011 at St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. The new work is dedicated to His Eminence John Patrick Cardinal Foley, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
A new anthem for SATB and organ, "Prayer of Humble Access," has been completed for Wesley United Methodist Church in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The Adult Choir of Wesley United Methodist Church will premiere the work in June. The text is drawn from The United Methodist Hymnal 1989, setting the prayer before communion as it appears in the Word and Table Service IV.
The Dispossessed will be featured on a recital of Saint Mary's University Composers on April 10th, 2010 in the Figliulo Recital Hall (Saint Mary's Performance Center, Winona, Minnesota) at 3:00 p.m., with the composer singing. Also on the program will be recent works by A. Eric Heukeshoven, including "Pathway of Life" (2006) performed by the Saint Mary's Chamber Singers and "The Chief" (2009), both conducted by O'Shea. Admission is free. MORE INFORMATION * A new AUDIO FILE is available (follow the AUDIO link at left) of "Did You Not Know?" performed by the Concert Choir of Holy Family Catholic High School in Victoria, Minnesota at their premiere of the work in December, 2009, under the direction of John Popke.
Sentences from the Tao, which sets four sections of Lao Tsu's Tao Te Ching, will premiere on November 3rd, 7:30 p.m. at the La Crosse New Music Festival (Chris Frye, artistic director). The setting is for SATB choir and vibraphone, and comprises six movements - four with choir and two for the vibraphone alone. The movements are very short, with little development, with the entire work lasting about eleven minutes. The premiere will feature the Saint Mary's University Chamber Singers and Jeremy Johnston, vibraphone, with the composer conducting. The concert will be held at the Annett Recital Hall on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. There is no charge for admission.
The Dispossessed, a seven-movement song cycle for baritone, uilleann (Irish) pipes, flute and cello setting poetry by James Armstrong premiered on October 11, 2009 at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum as part of a concert produced by The Composers Studio and funded in part by a grant from the McKnight Foundation. The performers were Tim Britton on uilleann pipes, Janet Heukeshoven on flute, Derek Clark on cello, with the composer singing. William Neil, Artistic Director for the event, conducted the several movements needing a conductor. Also premiered on the concert were works by William Neill, Tim Britton, A. Eric Heukeshoven, and Ariane Lydon. In addition to performing on the premiere of his own song cycle, Patrick O'Shea sang the premiere of William Neil's Trompe de l'oeil and conducted the premiere of Eric Heukeshoven's The Chief.
A seven-movement song cycle for baritone, uilleann (Irish) pipes, flute and cello is nearing completion, setting poetry by James Armstrong. The work, entitled The Dispossessed, will be premiered on October 11, 2009 at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum as part of a concert produced by The Composers Studio and funded in part by a grant from the McKnight Foundation.
The anthem "Did You Not Know?" has been completed for Holy Family Catholic High School in Victoria, Minnesota. Commissioned by John Popke, Director of Vocal Music, for the 10th anniversary of the school, the work is scored for SATB choir, clarinet in Bb and piano. The text is paraphrased from the Gospel According to Luke (Luke 1:26-33, Luke 1:28-29, Luke 2:8-10 and Luke 2:10-14). The premiere will be on December 13th, 2009 with Mr. Popke conducting.
Settings of two sonnets by Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch, 1300-1374) have been completed for the Saint Mary's University Chamber Singers. The works will be premiered in Provence as part of the choir's 2009 international tour. Petrarch spent a considerable portion of his life in Provence, and it was at Avignon that he reputedly met Laura (probably Laura de Noves), the unattainable woman to whom he dedicated so much of his writing.
Free music! (with a few conditions...) A selection of music scores has been placed on SCORES section of the web site for free download. Non-commercial use is authorized free of charge, but the composer asks for notice of performances and printed programs where applicable. Performances where admission is charged are not authorized uses of these scores, but permission may be obtained by contacting the composer directly. These works are made available especially to assist school and church choirs. Notice of the works' availability will soon appear in the Choral Public Domain Library.
"Sand Castle" (SATB, piano and oboe), composed for the Words To Music Project sponsored by the La Crosse Chamber Chorale, Paul Rusterholz, director, had a preview performance on Thursday, November 6th at the La Crosse New Music Festival. Additional performances by the Chamber Chorale will occur on November 8th (7:30 p.m. First Lutheran Church, Onalaska, WI) and November 9th (3:00 p.m. English Lutheran Church, La Crosse, WI), along with commissioned works by three other composers: A. Eric Heukeshoven, Chris Frye, and Gary Kent Walth.
Setting words by Fr. Paul Nienaber, SJ, the anthem "Sing The Lord A New Song" has been completed for the inauguration on September 26th of Br. William Mann, FSC, as the 13th President of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. The anthem, scored for SATB Chorus with Brass Quintet and piano (or organ), will be performed at the Inauguration Convocation as a musical interlude by the Saint Mary's Concert Choir and the Saint Mary's Faculty Brass Quintet with the composer conducting. The setting is a hymn concertato arrangement of a new hymn, INDIVISA MANENT (126.96.36.199.D) by the composer.
Two new works have just been completed. The first, "Sand Castle" (SATB, piano and oboe), was composed for the Words To Music Project sponsored by the La Crosse Chamber Chorale, Paul Rusterholz, director. This work will be premiered on season concerts November 8th (First Lutheran Church, Onalaska, WI) and November 9th (English Lutheran Church, La Crosse, WI), along with commissioned works by three other composers.
A commission has also been completed for River Falls United Methodist Church (River Falls, WI). The anthem "O factura Dei" sets poetry of the medieval abbess Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), translated into English by the composer. Two short phrases of the original Latin are also set in a very meditative, ethereal work for SATB choir and piano.
The anthem "In All Things" was premiered by members of the Saint Mary's University Concert Choir at commencement exercises on May 10th, 2008 at the Winona, Minnesota campus. Scored for SATB choir, violin and piano, the work incorporates the last words attributed to St. Jean Baptiste de La Salle, the founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (FSC), which has administered Saint Mary's University of Minnesota since 1933. Additional text is paraphrased from the saint's work, Meditations for the Time of Retreat. Earlier in the day a new responsorial psalm setting (Psalm 11) was first performed at the Baccalaureate Mass
The Saint Mary's University Chamber Singers will tour Wisconsin and Minnesota February 12th through 17th. Tour repertoire includes the "Corpus Christi Carol" composed for Balliol College, Oxford (see below). Concerts include performances in Madison, Wis. (St. James Catholic Church) and Victoria, Minn. (St. Victoria Catholic Church). In addition, the Chamber Singers will serve as the guest choir for masses at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis (5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16th), and at the Cathedral of St. Paul (5 p.m., Sunday, February 17th).
The UK Premiere of "Corpus Christi Carol" by the Balliol College (Oxford) Choir took place on November 25th, 2007 with the composer conducting. The Members Concert of the Balliol Music Society was well attended and featured the Balliol Choir, guitarist and composer Christoph Denoth, and the Oxford Trobadors. "Corpus Christi Carol" was also featured in a performance of the La Crosse New Music Festival at Christ Episcopal Church in La Crosse, Wisconsin, performed by the Saint Mary's University Chamber Singers.
The Balliol College (Oxford) Music Society has commissioned a new choral work for premiere on its first concert of the 2007-08 acacdemic year. The text selected is the "Corpus Christi Carol," a late Middle English text from a manuscript at Balliol College (MS 354, p. 352). The new a cappella setting will be premiered in Balliol Hall (1877) by the Balliol College Choir at a 9:00 p.m. concert on Sunday, November 25th, 2007.
A new SAB choral setting has been completed for the 8th grade choir at Faribault Middle School (Faribault, Minn.), commissioned by director Lindsy Nelson. The work sets a poem by student Katarina Donkers, entitled "A Friendship Dies" for SAB chorus, piano and flute. The new work will be premiered in Faribault in April.
The choral set Drei Rilkegesänge was premiered in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on Sunday February 11, 2007 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and subsequently performed at the Johanneskirche in Zolling (Freising), Bavaria on Friday, February 16, and on Saturday, February 17 at the Laurentiuskirche in nearby Haag an der Amper, by the Saint Mary's Chamber Singers. The concert in Haag was reviewed in the Münchner Merkur newspaper (21.02.07), and the following was said of the Rilkegesänge:
"In einer eindrucksvollen Hommage an Reiner Marie Rilke wurden drei seiner Werke in deutscher Sprache vertont und professionell durchkomponiert von dem Chorleiter Patrick M. O'Shea, a-capella und dynamisch im mehrstimmigen Satz, zu Gehör gebracht."
"In an effective homage to Reiner Maria Rilke, three of his works in the German language were set to music skillfully composed by the choir director, Patrick M. O’Shea, accomplishing a dynamic, a cappella, multi-voiced composition."
The Rilkegesänge were again performed at the Homecoming Concert for the Chamber Singers' tour at the Chapel of St. Mary of the Angels in Winona on Thursday, February 22.
The new three-movement setting of poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke, Drei Rilkegesänge, has just been completed. The movements are "Herbsttag," "Vorgefühl," and "Aus einem April." The world premiere will take place on Sunday, February 11, 2007 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Saint Mary's University Chamber Singers will premiere the works on a joint concert with the Lourdes High School Chamber Singers at 7:00 p.m. with the composer conducting. The Saint Mary's Chamber Singers will depart the following day for a tour of Germany and Austria and will perform the works on several concerts as part of that tour.
"When We Met," was premiered by the La Crosse Chamber Chorale on November 4th in Onalaska, Wisconsin, with subsequent performances on Sunday November 5th (First Presbyterian Church, La Crosse, WI) and on Tuesday, November 7th at the La Crosse New Music Festival, hosted by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Patrick attended the November 5th and 7th performances. The La Crosse Tribune featured a story on the Words to Music Project: LINK (includes poem text). The previous weekend, on Sunday, October 29th, several works were featured on a Faculty Composers' Recital at Saint Mary's University, including the Three Newfoundland Folksongs performed by the Saint Mary's Chamber Singers with the composer conducting, and "A Lot Like Now," performed by Brigid Ryan, soprano, Tiffanie Danzinger, mezzo-soprano, Dulcinea Basile, flute, and Jan Matson, piano.
"Virgin-born, We Bow Before Thee" is being prepared for a Lessons and Carols performance in Oshkosh, Wisconsin by the Lourdes High School choirs, under the direction of John Popke.
"When We Met," a short work for the La Crosse Chamber Chorale for the Words to Music Project, has been completed. The Words to Music Project brings together several composers from the La Crosse / Winona area to set texts submitted by middle school students. The entire La Crosse public school system, grades 6, 7, and 8, participates by having students write poetry on a given theme. The finished poetry is then number coded, the names of students removed, and circulated to the composers during the summer months so that they may choose a text or texts to set. "When We Met" is set for SATB chorus and Cello, with a brief soprano solo. The premiere of this work is set for 4:00 p.m. November 5, 2007 (along with the other W2M project compositions) at First Presbyterian Church, La Crosse, WI. Click HERE for more information.
Work is proceeding on two projects form the coming year. "When We Met" will be a short work for the La Crosse Chamber Chorale for the Words to Music Project, on the text of an elementary school student from La Crosse. Also in progress is a set of a capella pieces on poems by Rainer Maria Rilke for the Saint Mary's University Chamber Singers' tour of Germany and Austria in February, 2007. In addition, transcriptions/editions of a number of pieces by Kenyan composers are in preparation for the 2006-2007 academic year for performance by the Saint Mary's University choral ensembles.
Three Newfoundland Folksongs received its premiere on April 29th, 2006 at the Chapel of St. Mary of the Angels on the St. Teresa Campus of Saint Mary's University during the SMU Choirs annual Spring Concert. The composer, who directs the Concert Choir, conducted, and Ned Kirk of the SMU music faculty was the pianist. The three songs in the set are "Wave Over Wave" (by Jim Payne), "She's Like The Swallow" (traditional), and "We'll Rant And We'll Roar" (traditional). Many thanks to Jim Payne for consenting to the choral arrangement of "Wave Over Wave."
Also on the program were works by Knut Nystedt, Dominic Dousa, Scott Gendel, and Johannes Brahms. The concert was presented as part of the regular SMU Music Department season, and in all, three choirs performed, the Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, and the Women's Choir (the latter under the direction of Peter Schleif).
"Alot Like Now" (soprano/mezzo duet with flute and piano) received a second performance on the senior vocal recital of mezzo-sorpano Tiffanie Danzinger in Figliulo Recital Hall at Saint Mary's University. The premiere performance occurred on March 24th at the senior recital of Brigid Ryan, soprano, in the same venue. The other perofrmers were Dulcinea Basile, flute and Jan Matson, piano. The poem is by Michael Fitzgerald, who lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
SMU student composer, Luke Walchuk participated in a Student Composition Recital sponsored by Winona State University and held at Central Lutheran Church, Winona. Luke's "Concerto for Metromone" was premiered with Patrick O'Shea conducting and singing baritone, faculty member A. Eric Heukeshoven playing piano, and students Alissa Christopherson (soprano), Hannah Waterfield (alto), Steven Arenz (tenor), and Sarah Bellingham (bass clarinet) rounding out the list of performers.
Patrick O'Shea has received a faculty development grant from Saint Mary's University to participate in a three-week immersion program at the Maryknoll Institute of African Studies in Nairobi, Kenya (May 30 - June 22, 2006). As part of this intense course, Patrick will be studying East African musical traditions and styles.