• Stephen Paulus (1949–2014)

    Three years after the passing of Stephen Paulus, and I still can’t believe he’s gone. Whenever I need to be reminded of the beauty of simplicity in music, I turn to Stephen’s Pilgrims’ Hymn. It never fails to move me:

  • On the Passing of Robert Page

    Three men contributed to my development as a singer and choral conductor; John Elliott, my high school choir director, Elmer Thomas, my college choir director, and Robert Page. With the recent passing of Bob, they’ve all left us now. Bob’s influence on me as a singer and composer of choral music cannot be quantified. I spent ten seasons singing for Bob in the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. For all but my first season, I was a member of the professional core and for my last season, was privileged to be one of his conducting assistants. For several years, I was…

  • On the Passing of David Stock

    It’s that time in my life when one by one, the teachers, musicians and friends who influenced me most are starting to pass away. Some time ago, my undergraduate composition teacher, Dr. T. Scott Huston passed. More recently, in 2014, my high school choral director, Jack Elliott passed, and the choral composer I admire most, Stephen Paulus, succumbed to the effects of a stroke and left us. Yesterday (November 2, 2015), David Stock, my graduate composition teacher unexpectedly passed, as well. When I enrolled at Duquesne to begin my Masters degree in 2007 at the age of 56, I had…

  • On the Passing of Stephen Paulus

    When I started this blog, I never anticipated writing this kind of post. But the impression Stephen Paulus made on this composer (and many others I’m certain) and my learning today of his passing yesterday compels me to do so. I first learned of Stephen’s music when I sang several of his traditional Christmas Carol arrangements with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. At first, they struck me as a bit odd – not harmonically conventional at all. But I soon found that “oddness” turned to “freshness” and they quickly became my favorite arrangements of those carols. I later met Stephen when…

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