Posted by: Colin Britt | March 8, 2020

ACDA performances and premieres!

I just returned from a fabulous ACDA Eastern Division conference in Rochester, where I saw some incredible performances (including the Rutgers Voorhees Choir and Glee Club), caught up with dear friends, and met some delightful composers and conductors.

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With Greg Hankins (piano) and Dr. Edith Copley (conductor)

Oh, and I also had a premiere! I was incredibly honored to be the commissioned composer for the 2020 ACDA Eastern Division High School Honor Choir. This was such a delightful and humbling experience, and I couldn’t have asked for a better first performance! Dr. Edith Copley led 170 of the best high school singers in the Northeast in the premiere of my piece “Listening,” which sets a powerful Amy Lowell text:

LISTENING Amy Lowell (1874 – 1925)
’T is you that are the music, not your song.
The song is but a door which, opening wide,
Lets forth the pent-up melody inside,
Your spirit’s harmony, which clear and strong
Sing but of you. Throughout your whole life long
Your songs, your thoughts, your doings, each divide
This perfect beauty; waves within a tide,
Or single notes amid a glorious throng.

The song of earth has many different chords;
Ocean has many moods and many tones
Yet always ocean. In the damp Spring woods
The painted trillium smiles, while crisp pine cones
Autumn alone can ripen. So is this
One music with a thousand cadences.

The students sang with such beauty and understanding, and Dr. Copley’s interpretation was absolutely sublime. Here’s a video (courtesy of Viraj Lal) of the premiere:

But that’s not all! The Rutgers University Voorhees Choir, under the incredible direction of Dr. Brandon Williams, performed my piece “Imagination,” which I wrote for them last year (and they premiered at Carnegie Hall in April 2019). I’ll have a bigger excerpt to share later, but here’s a quick snippet from their sound check:

It was a very exciting conference indeed! Congratulations to all of these amazing singers, instrumentalists, and conductors on their brilliant work!

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  1. […] than one week ago I was writing about my exciting trip to Rochester for the ACDA Eastern Division conference, and about some very exciting upcoming concerts, including […]


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