Sunday, Oct 20, 2019
Westminster Choir College of Rider University will release a new recording – Composers at Westminster – on the Westminster Choir College label on Friday, October 25.
The recording features music composed by five composers who are full-time members of Westminster’s composition faculty: Christian Carey, Ronald Hemmel, Jay Kawarsky, Joel Phillips and Stefan Young. The recording includes a range of musical styles and works for different forces: three of the college’s choirs as well as voice faculty, pianists and visiting string artists.
Stefan Young is not only a composer but an estimable pianist. He performs some of his own piano pieces from a musical diary called Thoughts for the Day. Young also plays in Ronald Hemmel’s string quintet Night Moves, a work written to accompany dance. The Other World is Young’s choral setting of an ancient Egyptian text (in translation), performed by Westminster Schola Cantorum, conducted by James Jordan. Clarum Sonum, a group of recent Westminster graduates, perform Jay Kawarsky’s setting of Rami Shapiro’s poem Unending Love.
Joel Phillips is represented by two Christina Rosetti songs, performed by voice faculty member Victoria Browers and pianist J.J. Penna, as well as a setting of William Blake’s beloved poem “Little Lamb,” performed by the Westminster Choir, conducted by Joe Miller. Two of Christian Carey’s Seven Magnificat Antiphons are performed by Westminster Kantorei, conducted by Amanda Quist. They are settings of ancient Latin texts that traditionally are sung during Advent. Carey’s first of two groups of Jane Kenyon songs are also performed by Browers and Penna.
“The Dean's Office is proud to have supported this recording featuring Westminster Choir College faculty composers,” says Westminster’s Dean Marshall Onofrio. “As listeners will hear, their artistry is of the highest order, and I am proud to share their work with music lovers world-wide.”
Composers at Westminster celebrates the creativity of Westminster’s faculty. It’s an example of some of the many collaborations they regularly undertake with Westminster’s other faculty and students and in the wider musical community. Beginning on October 25, Composers at Westminster, which is distributed by Naxos, will be available on all major digital outlets, including Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music.