I had such a great time in Rexburg at the Idaho premiere of The Good Shepherd.
My nervousness at returning to Rexburg after 10 years quickly went away as we drove in and started scoping out our old stomping grounds.
One of my favorite parts of our trip was catching up with some great music friends and mentors. Here I am with my first composition mentors Darwin Wolford and LaMar Barrus and my conducting teacher, Robert Tueller. They helped more than I can express to find a foothold in my musical life to scale the many slopes that have come since.
Dallyn Vail Bayles (tenor), Randall Kempton (conductor) and the BYU-Idaho Choirs and Orchestra gave a beautiful performance of The Good Shepherd.
For those who were not able to join us in Idaho or via the Live Stream, here is a video recording of the performance.
I am very grateful to all who were involved in this Idaho premiere.
What's more, this performance and the trip down memory lane, especially re-connecting with my most stalwart mentors, has helped me get excited about composing again. I've taken a year off with our move to Utah and a full-time Marketing job. It's time to get writing again!
My first two projects are a commission from Miami University Men's Glee Club and my next cantata for St. Thomas Episcopal Church. The new cantata will be called Washed In The Blood Of The Lamb and will have it's premiere during Lent 2018.
Stay tuned for more. And please do let me know what you think of The Good Shepherd once you've had a chance to listen to the video recording above. Listen for a few of my favorite moments:
- The counter-melody in the violas and cellos during movement 1.
- Jesus is sung by a tenor in movement 2. Most composers set Him as a bass or baritone. I thought it was time to give my fellow tenors a chance.
- Movement 3, unlike other settings of Psalm 23 starts in the dark of the valley of the shadow of death and struggles to find the light.
- Movement 4 was really fun for me, getting to dramatize the scene in St. John chapter 21, when the resurrected Jesus visits Peter and the other Apostles by the Sea. And keep your ear out for the return of movement 1's tune, as well as some excerpts form movement 2.
- And see if you can put your finger on what exactly gives the final Hymn a sort of melancholy mood. (Hint: I borrowed a little technique from Bach's "Passion Chorale". Something to do with the type of scale used.)
I hope you'll enjoy it!