choral music

2015: A Year in Review


Happy New Year's Eve! As 2015 comes to a close, I'm spending a little time looking back on the past 12 months and remembering everything that happened this year. I don't often share behind-the-scenes posts, but today, I thought it might be fun to share a few of my favorite things from 2015.



2015 was a big year for me, personally and professionally. My wife and I bought our first home in Rochester, NY this summer (a 1920 Colonial) and we're slowly learning how to be homeowners (and how to fix things!).

On a professional note, it was an honor to have my music performed at a number of all-state conferences and honor band festivals in New York, South Carolina, Kansas, Oklahoma, IllinoisHawaii, and Kentucky. In addition, I was thrilled to have my music performed at the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) conference in July and by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-National Honor Band at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in October.

I attended the Chamber Music America (CMA) conference in NYC in January and helped organize the pre-conference day, "How to Succeed in a Changing Musical World," hosted by Eastman's Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research. We had a great time at the conference and enjoyed exploring Times Square for a few days!

Working with the Canandaigua HS Band | Steve Danyew


I had the pleasure of working with several great high school and college bands this year (and a church choir, or two!), with residencies, guest rehearsals, and Skype sessions at Nazareth College, Augustana University, Liverpool High School, Trinity Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Arkansas Tech Summer Band Festival, and Canandaigua Academy, among others.


As a composer, the best part of my job is when people play (or sing) my music. This year, I counted over 65 performances in 18 states (and I know I'm missing some! Side note: I'd love to include your performance on my events calendar! Just fill out this form).


As most of you know, I self-publish the majority of my work, but over the past few years, I've started working with a few publishers for some of my choral and chamber music. This year, I had five pieces accepted for publication with Colla Voce, Augsburg Fortress, and Keyboard Percussion Publications:

- Speaking Love - An Hour of Hallowed Peace - Wake, O My Soul - Filled With His Voice - Chorale Variations


Vermont State Fair | Steve Danyew

It was a busy writing year for me, with two new pieces for band (Vermont State Fair and River Town Jubilee), two pieces for orchestra (Winter Song and Vermont State Fair), a new chamber version of "A Country Boy in Winter" (from Alcott Songs), and my second song cycle (New England Folk Songs).

P.S. Thinking about a commission for the 2016-2017 year? Let's talk!

As always, thanks for your continued encouragement and support of my music. Cheers to 2016!


New Publications Available!

I'm pleased to share that three of my works recently accepted for publication are now available directly from the publishers: Augsburg Fortress, Colla Voce Music, and Keyboard Percussion Publications.


  • Chorale Variations, commissioned by the percussion duo Escape X, is now available from Keyboard Percussion Publications here.
  • Speaking Love, a Christmas Carol for SATB Choir and Piano is now available from Colla Voce Music here.
  • Filled With His Voice, (SATB+piano+alto sax) commissioned by the Bethel College Concert Choir directed by Dr. William Eash, is now available in the St. Olaf Choral Series of Augsburg Fortress here.

New Choral Music for Fall 2014

It's August, which means it's time to start listening to Christmas music, right? I've been working on a few new choral projects this summer and am excited to share them with you! Here are four new choral works - anthems and hymn arrangements perfect for your Fall, Advent, and Christmas programs! Take a look at the scores, listen to the recordings, and let me know if you are interested in any of these works. I'd love to hear from you!

Best wishes for a wonderful Fall semester!

For All His Blessings SATB Choir with Piano

This lyrical anthem quotes the text and music from the doxology - "Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" - in a recurring refrain.  D.W. Griffin's text is general enough to be used at any point of the year, but it is especially fitting for Thanksgiving! The final stanza illustrates the richness of textual imagery: "O praise the Lord for all He’s done, for all His blessings, one by one, and see His goodness, mountains high, fill all the earth and sea and sky."

See the score here.

Wake, O My Soul SATB Choir Unaccompanied

A carol-like anthem for the Advent and Christmas season - full of joy, awe, and reverence.  Perfect for Christmas Eve or a special holiday program! The opening stanza reads, "Wake, O my soul, and hail the morn, for unto us a Savior’s born; see, how the angels wing their way, to usher in the glorious day!"

See the score here.

O Little Town of Bethlehem SATB Choir & Organ with optional String Quartet and Congregational Singing

A simple and serene setting of this well-known carol, with the tune FOREST GREEN. This work was written as a hymn arrangement to be used with congregational singing, but may also be used as a choral anthem.  Perfect for a Lessons and Carols service! Use with organ accompaniment or organ and string quartet.  An optional Soprano descant is included for the last verse.

See the score here.

"From Our Happy Home" Now Available through Colla Voce!

My men's choir (TTBB unaccompanied) piece "From Our Happy Home" with text by Louisa May Alcott is now published and available through Colla Voce Music here!  You can order the octavos directly from Colla Voce, and the piece will soon be available on JW Pepper.   If you are looking for a fun Christmas-themed men's choir piece, check it out! You can see the full score on the Colla Voce page here.

Happy New Year! Upcoming Performances

Happy New Year! 2013 was a great year and 2014 looks like it is going to be excellent as well! I am excited about a bunch of interesting projects that are in the works, as well as upcoming performances which include the following: January 3-24, 2014 Bethel College Concert Choir - European Tour Directed by Dr. William Eash performing Filled With His Voice

January 8-10, 2014 University of Portland Wind Symphony - Puget Sound Tour Directed by Dr. Patrick Murphy performing Goodnight, Goodnight

January 25, 2014 Western Kentucky Honors Band Directed by Dr. Dan Belongia performing This World Alive

February 1, 2014 Houghton College Symphonic Wind Ensemble Directed by Dr. Justin Davis performing Goodnight, Goodnight

February 1, 2014 Virginia Senior High All-District Concert Band Directed by Duane Hill performing Goodnight, Goodnight

February 14, 2014 Houghton College Symphonic Wind Ensemble Directed by Dr. Justin Davis performing Goodnight, Goodnight

February 18, 2014 Bloomington High School Wind Symphony Directed by Max Chernick performing Magnolia Star

February 22, 2014 Bloomington High School Wind Symphony Directed by Max Chernick performing Magnolia Star

February 26, 2014 Eastman Wind Orchestra Directed by Dr. Mark Scatterday performing This World Alive

February 27, 2014 Texas Tech Concert Band Directed by Duane Hill performing Goodnight, Goodnight

February 28, 2014 Eureka High School Wind Ensemble Directed by Todd Stalter performing Goodnight, Goodnight

March 7, 2014 McNeese State University Wind Symphony Conducted by Dr. Daniel Belongia performing This World Alive

March 8, 2014 McNeese State University Honor Band Conducted by Dr. Daniel Belongia performing Goodnight, Goodnight

March 21, 2014 Bethel College Concert Choir - ACDA Southwestern Division Convention Directed by Dr. William Eash performing Filled With His Voice

March 22, 2014 Monroe, NY All-County Honor Band Directed by Dr. Jared Chase performing Magnolia Star

March 27, 2014 Macon County High School Band Directed by Mr. Joey Wilburn performing Goodnight, Goodnight

March 28, 2014 University of British Columbia Concert Winds Directed by Dr. Christopher Unger performing This World Alive

April 12, 2014 Tennessee All-State Band Directed by Dr. John Lynch premiering Journeys

April 24, 2014 UCONN Wind Ensemble Directed by Dr. Jeffrey Renshaw performing This World Alive

May 10, 2014 Seton Hill University Symphonic Winds Directed by Dr. Reed Chamberlin performing This World Alive

May 10, 2014 College of St. Rose Symphony Orchestra Directed by Dr. David Bebe performing The Star Spangled Banner

May 13, 2014 University of Delaware Wind Ensemble Directed by Dr. Chad Nicholson performing Flash Black

Upcoming Performances

Thanks to all these ensembles and directors who are including my work on their programs this fall!  If I left out a performance, please email me and I will add it to this list! October 7, 2013 Escape Ten Virginia Tech University performing Chorale Variations (world premiere)

October 11, 2013 University of British Columbia Wind Ensemble Directed by Dr. Robert Taylor performing Lauda

October 21, 2013 Eastman Wind Orchestra Directed by Dr. Jared Chase performing Magnolia Star

November 9, 2013 Nazareth College Wind Symphony Directed by Dr. Jared Chase performing This World Alive (co-commissioner world premiere)

November 19, 2013 Troy University Concert Chorale Directed by Dr. Diane Orlofsky performing Filled with His Voice

November 21, 2013 Illinois State University Wind Symphony Directed by Dr. Dan Belongia performing Lauda

November 23, 2013 University of Portland Wind Symphony Directed by Dr. Patrick Murphy performing This World Alive (co-commissioner world premiere)

December 3, 2013 Wesleyan University WesWinds Directed by Sarah Bouchard Stockton performing Goodnight, Goodnight

Bethel College Concert Choir Performs "Filled With His Voice" Tomorrow at KMEA

In 2012, Dr. William Eash and the Bethel College Concert Choir (North Newton, KS) commissioned Filled With His Voice for mixed choir, saxophone, and piano.  They have since performed the piece several times and will be including the work on their program tomorrow at the Kansas Music Educators Association Conference.  Best wishes to Dr. Eash and the choir for a great experience at KMEA! When: February 21, 2013 - 2:35 PM Where: Century II MJT Little Theater, Wichita, KS More details: See a full schedule of KMEA here

Advent Hymn Arrangements

This past Sunday, the church choir in which Ashley and I sing took on Vivaldi's Gloria under the direction of Music Director Dr. James Douthit and Organist Dr. Bruce Frank.  It was wonderful! A few weeks ago, James asked if I would arrange the hymns that would be included as part of the service along with the Vivaldi.  We were very fortunate to have a chamber orchestra (strings, oboe, trumpet, organ) to accompany the Vivaldi, and without special arrangements, the instrumentalists would not have music to play during the hymns.

It was so much fun to work with these three wonderful hymns: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus, and Jesus Comes With Clouds Descending.

I had a blast, and the sound of organ, choir, strings, trumpet, oboe and congregational singing was magnificent!  If you are interested in these arrangements (there are still two Sundays left in Advent!), I have included links to the scores below.  Contact me if you are interested in purchasing the scores and parts.  I would be happy to customize these for slightly different instrumentations, if needed.  Recordings will be forthcoming.

PDF Scores


As Thanksgiving approaches, I'm happy to report that my new wind ensemble consortium piece for winds and film is nearly complete!  The music is essentially done, there is just a bit of editing and orchestration left to do.  I'm very excited about the piece and looking forward to getting the music and film out to consortium members in January. The past few days I have been working on a new project - arranging a few Advent hymns!  I love Advent!  The church choir I am singing in will be singing Vivaldi's Gloria on December 9th, with strings and organ.  The Director asked if I would arrange the 3 hymns for the service for strings, organ, oboe, and trumpet (and congregational singing of course).   I'm having a great time with this - and I have the opportunity to work with some wonderful hymns (and wonderful musicians!).

I have been working on Jesus Comes with Clouds Descending which is quickly becoming one of my favorite hymns.   It is a soaring, powerful melody, and it doesn't hurt that the harmony is written by Ralph Vaughan Williams.  I've had the tune stuck in my head for about a week, and I think I could listen to this all day.  Among many, many other things, I'm thankful for this powerful and transformational music we have.

Recent and Upcoming Performances

I feel very fortunate that works of mine are being performed throughout the country this month.  Here are some bullets to summarize:

  • On October 7th, the Illinois State University Symphonic Band, conducted by Dan Belongia, performed Goodnight, Goodnight.
  • This past Sunday, October 14th marked the premiere performance of Filled with His Voice by the Bethel College Concert Choir, conducted by William Eash.
  • Last night, October 16th, Lauda was performed by the Texas Christian University Wind Symphony, conducted by Bobby Francis.
  • Tomorrow night, October 18th, Distant Moons will be performed by the University of Connecticut Wind Ensemble, conducted by Jeffrey Renshaw.
  • This Sunday I will be in Hot Springs, Arkansas for a performance of Goodnight, Goodnight by the Hot Springs Concert Band, conducted by Craig Hamilton.
  • On November 30th, Lauda will be performed by the Bob Jones University Symphony Wind Band conducted by Dan Turner.

Thank you to all these wonderful ensembles and conductors for performing my work!