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A selection of choral works by Ola Gjeilo for SATB choir: composition, interpretation, and recording of the Phoenix Chorale's Northern Lights: Choral Music by Ola Gjeilo

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Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978) is highly regarded as an accomplished and prolific composer of choral music. His creative output includes works for chorus, solo piano, and wind symphony. His unique style infuses elements of cinematic music, jazz and

Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978) is highly regarded as an accomplished and prolific composer of choral music. His creative output includes works for chorus, solo piano, and wind symphony. His unique style infuses elements of cinematic music, jazz and improvisation, with particularly intriguing selections of text. This study examines the factors that influence Gjeilo's compositional techniques, and the musical interpretations of conductor Charles Bruffy in his preparation for The Phoenix Chorale's recording Northern Lights: Choral Works by Ola Gjeilo. The eleven works discussed in this study are: The Ground, Evening Prayer, Ubi caritas, Prelude, Northern Lights, The Spheres, Tota pulchra es, Serenity, Phoenix (Agnus Dei), Unicornis captivatur, and Dark Night of the Soul. As a relatively new and young composer, there is very little published literature on Gjeilo and his works. This study provides an intimate glance into the creative process of the composer. By composing in multiple styles and with a variety of inspirational sources, Gjeilo creates a fresh approach toward composition of new choral music. His style is revealed through interviews and numerous collaborations with conductors and performers who have prepared and performed his music, as well through an examination of the eleven works recorded by The Phoenix Chorale.

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2013

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The collaborative pianist and body mapping: a guide to healthy body use for pianists and their musical partners

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ABSTRACT Musicians endure injuries at an alarming rate, largely due to the misuse of their bodies. Musicians move their bodies for a living and therefore should understand how to move them in a healthy way. This paper presents Body Mapping

ABSTRACT Musicians endure injuries at an alarming rate, largely due to the misuse of their bodies. Musicians move their bodies for a living and therefore should understand how to move them in a healthy way. This paper presents Body Mapping as an injury prevention technique specifically directed toward collaborative pianists. A body map is the self-representation in one's brain that includes information on the structure, function, and size of one's body; Body Mapping is the process of refining one's body map to produce coordinated movement. In addition to preventing injury, Body Mapping provides a means to achieve greater musical artistry through the training of movement, attention, and the senses. With the main function of collaborating with one or more musical partners, a collaborative pianist will have the opportunity to share the knowledge of Body Mapping with many fellow musicians. This study demonstrates the author's credentials as a Body Mapping instructor, the current status of the field of collaborative piano, and the recommendation for increased body awareness. Information on the nature and abundance of injuries and Body Mapping concepts are also analyzed. The study culminates in a course syllabus entitled An Introduction to Collaborative Piano and Body Mapping with the objective of imparting fundamental collaborative piano skills integrated with proper body use. The author hopes to inform educators of the benefits of prioritizing health among their students and to provide a Body Mapping foundation upon which their students can build technique.

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2013

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The evolution of choral sound: in professional choirs from the 1970s to the twenty-first century

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Imitation is the genesis of change. One basic principle of human nature is that people imitate what they see and hear. In the professional choral arena, musicians extend the high art of imitation through fine-tuning, and creative reinterpretation. Stimulated by

Imitation is the genesis of change. One basic principle of human nature is that people imitate what they see and hear. In the professional choral arena, musicians extend the high art of imitation through fine-tuning, and creative reinterpretation. Stimulated by this cycle, the color of the twenty-first-century professional choir shifted compared to that of professional choirs from the 1950s through 1970s, causing an evolution in choral sound. In a series of interviews with iconic composers and conductors of professional choirs, the subjects involved in the study conveyed comprehensive and personal accounts outlining how professional choirs have refined the standard of choral sound. The paper is organized into three sections: (1) where have we been, (2) where are we now and (3) where are we going? It explores various conductors' perceptions of how and why choirs are unique when compared to earlier generations and what they believe caused the shift in choral tone. Paired with this perspective is the role of modern composers, whose progressive compositional techniques helped shape the modern choral sound. The subjects involved in the study further theorize how current inclinations may potentially shape the future of professional choral music. Although the subjects expressed differing opinions about the quality of the twenty-first-century choral tone, many agree that there have been specific transformations since the 1970s. The shift in choral tone occurred due to developments in vocal technique, exploration of contemporary compositional extended techniques, an adherence to historically informed performance practice, imitation of vocal colors from numerous cultures, incorporation of technology and emulation of sound perceived on recordings. Additionally, choral music subtly became prominent in film scores, and innovative conductors created progressive concert programming, and developed novel approaches to entertain audiences. Samplings of contributors involved in this study include: John Rutter, Harry Christophers, Charles Bruffy, Nigel Short, Craig Hella Johnson, Alice Parker, Michael McGlynn, Phillip Brunelle, Craig Jessop, Libby Larsen, Ola Gjeilo, Cecilia McDowall, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi and Stephen Paulus.

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2013

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Make haste slowly: Jerold D. Ottley's tenure with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

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Dr. Jerold D. Ottley's twenty-five years leading the Mormon Tabernacle Choir resulted in many distinguished awards and recognitions for the ensemble. Included among these are two Platinum and three Gold records from the Recording Industry Association of America, an Emmy

Dr. Jerold D. Ottley's twenty-five years leading the Mormon Tabernacle Choir resulted in many distinguished awards and recognitions for the ensemble. Included among these are two Platinum and three Gold records from the Recording Industry Association of America, an Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and two Freedom Foundation Awards for service to the country. He conducted the Choir at two presidential inaugurations, Ronald Reagan's in 1981 and George H. W. Bush's in 1989, as well as performances at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics Gala. He presided over eleven international tours to twenty-six countries and crisscrossed the United States for engagements in nearly every region of the country. Despite the awards, commendations, and increased recognition of the Choir, Ottley's greatest contributions were largely internal to the organization. Jerold Ottley is a skilled music educator, administrator, and emissary. Application of these proficiencies while at the helm of the Choir, led to what are, arguably, his three largest contributions: 1) as educator, he instituted in-service training for choir members, raising the level of their individual musicianship, thereby improving the technical level of the entire Choir; 2) as administrator, Ottley created policies and procedures that resulted in a more disciplined, refined ensemble; and 3) as emissary, he raised the ensemble's reputation among the general public and with music professionals. For the general public, he significantly broadened the Choir's repertoire and traveled frequently thereby reaching a wider audience. He secured greater respect among music professionals by inviting many of them to work directly with the Choir. The results were unparalleled. Ottley's twenty-five year tenure with the Choir is reflected in broader audiences, increased professional acceptance, added organizational discipline, and unprecedented musical proficiency. It is a notable legacy for a man who reportedly never felt comfortable as director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

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2011

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Bringing opera to a small community

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ABSTRACT The purpose of this research project is to provide participants with a personal experience in opera, to change their perceptions and provoke further interest in the art form. By introducing community opera into a society, we can educate and

ABSTRACT The purpose of this research project is to provide participants with a personal experience in opera, to change their perceptions and provoke further interest in the art form. By introducing community opera into a society, we can educate and perhaps expand the acceptance of opera in a population. This document uses The Survey of Public Participation of the Arts by the National Endowment for the Arts in order to provide an accurate account of the declining attendance of opera. Only through education and exposure can we improve opera attendance. In order to create opera appreciation the researcher introduced an applicable opera performance situation in a small community. The process in which the opera was implemented has been evaluated and separated into the following eight components: preparation, rehearsal, set construction and props, pamphlets, budget, advertising, dress rehearsal, and performance. Each will be considered separately. The benefits of that community program and the process in which the opera took place are included in this research.

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2012

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Mozart: a musical advocate

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W.A. Mozart was a masterful creator of music and drama as well as a keen observer of human relationships. Librettists were enamored of his ability to bring their words to life with his music. His truthful portrayal of human relationships,

W.A. Mozart was a masterful creator of music and drama as well as a keen observer of human relationships. Librettists were enamored of his ability to bring their words to life with his music. His truthful portrayal of human relationships, particularly involving women, was highly influenced by his own life experiences. Through these relationships he learned to create characters and music that clearly depict female sibling relationships in the eighteenth century. A review of educational opportunities for women during the eighteenth century, Mozart's personal relationships, as well as selected roles in his operas will help to explain Mozart's portrayal of the eighteenth-century female sibling stereotypes. While Mozart's self-centeredness is well documented in biographies by Cliff Eisen and Ruth Halliwell, and the argument can be made that he surrounded himself with females who fulfilled his needs, he was often drawn to operas in which he could advocate musically for a female character's liberation from the overbearing influence of powerful men. Although Mozart's "musically empowered" women appear in nearly every opera, for the purpose of this paper, I will focus on the characters of Così fan tutte's Fiordiligi and Dorabella, and Le Nozze di Figaro's Countess. First, however, a closer analysis of Mozart's early life and his relationships with his sister and mother is necessary. The ways Mozart set characters created by DaPonte and Beaumarchais cannot be separated from the ways he was taught to appreciate females in his family of origin. Social structure during the eighteenth century dictated a woman's education, responsibility to her family, and therefore, played a fundamental role in defining her life. This situation often created expectations within the birth order that had an impact on sibling relationships as well as individual personalities. Many social and familial influences are represented through the operas of Mozart. Così fan tutte (January 26, 1790) and Le Nozze di Figaro (May 1, 1786) both contain a central female sibling relationship that reflects aspects of Mozart's relationships with women throughout his life.

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2010

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A history of the first fifty years of the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix

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ABSTRACT The Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix occupies and maintains an historical place in the musical and civic history of the City of Phoenix and the State of Arizona. Organized in November, 1929, the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix (OMC)

ABSTRACT The Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix occupies and maintains an historical place in the musical and civic history of the City of Phoenix and the State of Arizona. Organized in November, 1929, the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix (OMC) is the only performing arts organization in Phoenix that can claim eighty-one years of continuous performance. The chorus gained popularity locally, nationally, and internationally in its first five decades. The breadth of the chorus's recognition began to decline in the latter part of the 20th century, but the chorus still retains a loyal following of audience members. This study focuses on the first fifty years of the OMC, especially the period from 1946 to 1979, the years the chorus was under the direction of Ralph Hess. Through his leadership the group's popularity and recognition reached a peak, thanks largely to his emphasis on civic responsibility, ties to service organizations, and musical ability and showmanship. No scholarly publications exist regarding this organization. Several boxes of memorabilia housed in the Arizona Historical Society Museum in Tempe, Arizona, serve as the primary source of material for this study. Concert programs supply information about concert repertoire, advertising, and chorus history. Newspaper articles from local and international press offer reviews, announcements, and media perceptions of the chorus. Information illustrating the abundant civic engagement of the OMC appears in proclamations and awards from local, state, national, and international personalities. This objective information helps propel the story forward, as do the personal letters and stories contained within the collection. Because many documents from the latter part of the 1970s are missing, the primary source information becomes more anecdotal and subjective. This study illustrates some of the ways in which the OMC went beyond mere survival to occupy a significant place in the musical life of Phoenix. Engagement in civic and social functions and support for non-profit organizations established the chorus as more than just a musical ensemble. Their pursuit under Hess of "Cultural Citizenship" earned them international recognition as civic leaders and ambassadors of goodwill.

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2010

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Christ rising again: context, function, and analysis of an English anthem

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The English Renaissance anthem Christ rising again is a valuable addition to the study of sacred English music during the first one hundred years of the English Reformation (c. 1530s-c.1630s) and provides insight into the theological and musical perspective of

The English Renaissance anthem Christ rising again is a valuable addition to the study of sacred English music during the first one hundred years of the English Reformation (c. 1530s-c.1630s) and provides insight into the theological and musical perspective of English reformers, humanists, and composers. The text of Christ rising again is the only anthem text that was set by the following prominent composers active during the English Reformation: John Sheppard (c.1515-1563), Christopher Tye (c.1505-1573), Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585), William Byrd (c.1540-1623), and Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656), as well as an unfinished setting by Thomas Weelkes (c.1576-1623) as well as complete settings by less prominent English composers. The anthem's text and musical settings are analyzed in terms of their place within the liturgical services of the Church of England, context within the ceremonies surrounding the Easter sepulchre, theological interpretation of the scriptural passages that comprise the anthem's text by Renaissance humanists and theologians, and performance forces available to composers. This study found that the anthem was an integral part of the Easter sepulchre procession during the first English version of the Easter Matins service found in the 1549 Book of Common Prayer. Its function later changed as the sepulchre procession was eliminated from the 1552 revised version of the Book of Common Prayer and the anthem was moved to later within the Easter Morning Prayer service. Analysis of various commentaries and interpretations by contemporary theologians and humanists who influenced the English Reformation is provided to demonstrate the interpretation and meaning associated with specific musical settings by various composers. Finally, an examination of Renaissance English performing forces is provided, particularly centered on the institutions of the Chapel Royal and Lincoln Cathedral, both significant institutions that employed prominent English composers during the examined era.

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2010

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Emily Dickinson's "There came a wind like a bugle--: a singer's analysis of song settings by Ernst Bacon, Lee Hoiby, and Gordon Getty

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Emily Dickinson is a well-known American poet of the nineteenth century, and her oeuvre consists of nearly 2,000 posthumously published poems. Written largely in hymn form with unique ideas of punctuation and grammar, her poetry attracts composers with its inherent

Emily Dickinson is a well-known American poet of the nineteenth century, and her oeuvre consists of nearly 2,000 posthumously published poems. Written largely in hymn form with unique ideas of punctuation and grammar, her poetry attracts composers with its inherent musicality. The twentieth-century American composers Aaron Copland, Ernst Bacon, Lee Hoiby, and Gordon Getty have created song settings of Dickinson's poetry. Copland's song cycle Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson (1949-50) is admired by many as an illustration of poetry; however, the Dickinson cycles by Bacon, Hoiby, and Getty are also valuable, lesser-known representations of her writing. Settings of one poem, "There came a Wind like a Bugle--", are common among Copland's Twelve Poems, Bacon's cycle Songs from Emily Dickinson: Nature, Time, and Space (1930), Hoiby's Four Dickinson Songs (1988), and Getty's The White Election (1982). These latter three settings have previously undergone some theoretical analysis; however, this paper considers a performance analysis of these songs from a singer's point of view. Chapter 1 provides background for this study. Chapter 2 consists of a biographical overview of Dickinson's life and writing style, as well as a brief literary analysis of "There came a Wind like a Bugle--". Chapters 3, 4, and 5 discuss Ernst Bacon, Lee Hoiby, and Gordon Getty, respectively; each chapter consists of a short biography of the composer and a discussion of his writing style, a brief theoretical analysis of his song setting, and commentary on the merits of his setting from the point of view of a singer. Observations of the depiction of mood in the song and challenges for the singer are also noted. This paper provides a comparative analysis of three solo vocal settings of one Emily Dickinson poem as a guide for singers who wish to begin studying song settings of this poem. The Bacon and Hoiby settings were found to be lyrical, tonal representations of the imagery presented in "There came a Wind like a Bugle--". The Getty setting was found to be a musically starker representation of the poem's atmosphere. These settings are distinctive and worthy of study and performance.

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2011

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Pregnancy and postpartum: a guide for singers

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The trained singer utilizes an awareness of her body as an instrument. When she becomes pregnant, her body changes in numerous ways to support the pregnancy. Many of these changes have great impact on her ability to sing during the

The trained singer utilizes an awareness of her body as an instrument. When she becomes pregnant, her body changes in numerous ways to support the pregnancy. Many of these changes have great impact on her ability to sing during the pregnancy and postpartum periods. The voice may be altered positively or negatively by the release of hormones. The body undergoes many changes that affect the posture and breathing required for singing. Most notably, the abdominal muscles are greatly impacted by the pregnancy. They are stretched by the growing uterus, and this affects their function. In addition, the linea alba (the connective tissue between the halves of the rectus abdominis) is softened by hormonal increases and subject to stretching as the uterus grows, predisposing it to weakness. Since the other abdominal muscles attach to the linea alba via connective tissue, maintaining the integrity of the linea alba during pregnancy and postpartum is vital to the operational function of the abdominal muscles. Protecting the vulnerable linea alba must be deliberately undertaken in two parts. First, conscious exercise is needed to preserve the linea alba during pregnancy and to rehabilitate it after pregnancy. Targeted exercises strengthen the transverse abdominis and shorten and approximate the two halves of the rectus abdominis. Second, modifications in daily movement are necessary to protect the linea alba while performing routine activities. Cesarean sections present additional surgical concerns for singers, including abdominal incisions, use of medication, and the rare need for general anesthesia via intubation. Recovery from a cesarean can be difficult due to abdominal pain, yet steps may be taken to speed healing at the hospital and at home. This paper provides an overview of how pregnancy affects the singer, discusses the effects of pregnancy and cesarean section, and provides a plan to protect the abdominal muscles during pregnancy and rehabilitate them in the postpartum period. It combines information from the fields of physical therapy, medicine, and surgery into a guide for the singer and voice teacher.

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2013