Posted by: Colin Britt | May 28, 2014

C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective presents “Upward: Exploring the Spiritual”

The current members of C4 at a rehearsal for “Upward: Exploring the Spiritual.” Photo courtesy of Rodrigo Oliveira.

This Thursday (5/29) and Saturday (5/31) night, I will make my debut with C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective, singing and conducting on a varied and vibrant program of music exploring an exciting blend of Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Islamic, and Pagan traditions. I’m thrilled to be joining this energetic ensemble, whose mission is to present challenging and innovative music from the last 25 years. As a living composer, I am undeniably indebted to artists who support new music, and thus performing with this ensemble is both a professional and personal opportunity.

C4 conducting

Photo courtesy of Rodrigo Oliveira

C4 is made up of a number of very talented singers, most of whom who are also composers and/or conductors. Many of the pieces on this program were written by current or past C4 members, including Hayes Biggs’ beautiful “Wedding Motet,” Liz Hanna’s lushly lyrical “Anamnesis,” Perry Townsend’s intricate “Two Devotions and a Heresy,” and Fahad Siadat‘s powerful and appropriately mysterious “O magnum mysterium.” I’m delighted to not only be singing these works but also to be conducting two of them, including Fahad’s piece and Abbie Betinis‘ exhilarating and rhapsodic “Bar xizam,” a profoundly moving setting of one of the ghazals of Hâfez.

Thursday’s concert is at 8 pm at Engelman Recital Hall, and Saturday’s concert is at 8 pm at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door; additionally, a limited number of $4 rush tickets are available for the first patrons who arrive a half hour before each concert. Don’t miss this powerful and exciting program!



  1. Dear Colin, I an preparing to teach your “World, I cannot hold thee close enough” for performance at the ACDA- Michigan state conference in Fall. Reading this recent entry has been exhilarating, as I am always in search of not- specifically-Christian choral music for my (secular) university choirs. I would be very interested in perusing some of the music you performed in the C4 concert, particularly those with Middle-Eastern text and focus. I would appreciate any suggestions or assistance you can offer.
    Nina Nash-Robertson
    Director of Choral Activities, Central Michigan University
    Past- President, ACDA- MI

    • Thanks so much, Nina! I’m honored that you’ll be conducting my piece this fall!!

      Our program was very eclectic. We sang Abbie Betinis’ “Bar xizam” (available through her website), C4 co-founder Ian David Moss’ “We Kindle This Fire This Day,” Eric Banks’ “Sarasvati” (a hymn to the Indian goddess of inspiration), and a number of Judeo-Christian works. I’m not entirely sure how some of the pieces by C4 composers are sold/leased, but I’d be happy to put you in touch with one of the C4 executive officers.

      Let me know! You can email me directly at

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