From the Composer

From the Composer

by Bryan Grosbach In a world that is today continually assailed by tragedies and chaos, there is a desperate cry for peace resounding from every corner of the globe. The text, “Dona Nobis Pacem,” is a phrase found in the Catholic Mass at the end of the ‘Agnus Dei’ section. This phrase, in Latin, translates into “Grant Us Peace.”  Although this text is most commonly known through the popular hymn sung often in canon, throughout time various composers have set it regularly, often when the threat of war or destruction was imminent or had already devastated the land and its peoples.  My own setting of this text follows that similar plea, seeing all of the trials we face on a daily basis from attacks on elementary schools to the misery wrought from the Caribbean to the Carolinas by Hurricane Matthews. “Dona Nobis Pacem” uses two choirs, and is sung antiphonally (facing each other from a distance, creating a collision of sound in the middle of the two groups) to represent the cry for peace echoing from around the world.  The “Dona Nobis Pacem” text is interrupted in the middle of the work by the rest of the Agnus Dei script, which translates to “Lamb of God, you who take away the sins of the world…” followed again by the Dona Nobis Pacem phrase “…grant us peace.” Special thanks goes to Taylor Martin and the Denver Pro Chorale, for once again championing one of my works.  I hope that through listening to this piece premiered beautifully by the DPC, you are able to –if only for a moment –find peace in your own life, and the strength to move forward through the pain and destruction we now face...

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Denver Pro Chorale Appoints Taylor Martin as Artistic Director

Denver Pro Chorale Appoints Taylor Martin as Artistic Director

(Denver, Colorado – February 16, 2016) – The Denver Pro Chorale is pleased to announce the appointment of Taylor Martin as the Artistic Director of the Denver Pro Chorale.   “On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Denver Pro Chorale, I am delighted to welcome Taylor Martin as the new Artistic Director,” expressed board president Monica Garcia. “His experience with non-profit organizations and a deep sense of commitment to making beautiful music in Colorado makes him an excellent choice to lead the Denver Pro Chorale.”   Mr. Martin brings to the Denver Pro Chorale a depth of musical experience in the Colorado region including serving as staff conductor of the Colorado Symphony Chorus, educator at El Sistema Colorado, and the founder of the Resound Singers with the Saint Martin Chamber Choir, a project that works with New Life Program to provide a choir for men of the Denver Rescue Mission’s rehabilitation program. Also an active and sought after performer, Mr. Martin has performed with the Colorado Bach Ensemble and Saint Martin’s Chamber Choir.   “It is a thrill and an honor to be joining the Denver Pro Chorale as Artistic Director. This ensemble has an incredible energy and was immediately a joy to work with when we first met,” commented the Denver Pro Chorale’s Artistic Director, Taylor Martin. “I am eager to join an organization that shares my belief in the power of choral music to engage deeply and meaningfully with this community we call home. I am looking forward to working with our musicians and board to bring meaningful musical experiences to communities across Denver.”   A complete list of Denver Pro Chorale events follows, and additional information may be found at www.denverprochorale.com.   Upcoming Events   April 23   Denver, Colorado Into Distant Song Church of the Ascension Taylor Martin, conductor   About the Denver Pro Chorale Founded in 2012, the Denver Pro Chorale is comprised of thirty-six musicians based in the Denver Metropolitan area.  The Denver Pro Chorale specializes in singing diverse a cappella choral repertoire including contemporary works from around the world.   Now in it’s fourth season, The Denver Pro Chorale is now an artist group in residence at Denver’s Church of the Ascension. In previous seasons the chorale collaborated with both St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, and the choirs of Metropolitan State University, in addition to being invited to perform at the Colorado Music Educator’s Association convention in Colorado Springs. The programs offered by the Denver Pro Chorale are made possible in part through its partnership with Fractured Atlas.      ...

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Denver Pro Chorale Seeking Musical Director

  The Denver Pro Chorale is seeking applications and nominations for a new director to assume the leadership of the ensemble beginning in Spring 2016. The chorale, currently beginning its fourth season, annually performs a fall, holiday, and spring concert. Applicants should demonstrate success in leading a choral ensemble in repertoire that spans literature from pre-Renaissance to contemporary styles.  S/he will possess strong leadership, dynamic interpersonal skills, and the vision to foster the continued artistic growth of the chorale. Applications should include a letter of personal interest and a brief resume from the candidate. Supportive materials may include a proposed programming for the Spring 2016 concert, programs of previous concerts, and contact information for at least three professional references.  No phone inquiries or DVD performances discs are accepted at this time. Further supportive materials, such as DVD recordings, and/or leading a small rehearsal session may be requested at a later time. Applications should be submitted no later than OCTOBER 1, 2015, and addressed to: Denver Pro Chorale 4592 S Gibraltar Street Centennial, CO 80015 Applications will be accepted by email using info@denverprochorale.com...

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Kyrie: In Depth with the Composer

Kyrie: In Depth with the Composer

“Kyrie, the last movement of “The people” section of my Requiem, is –as cautiously as I can say it –possibly my favorite movement. This is the moment in which the celebration of the lives of the people passed takes place, and an almost dance-like theme sings out joyously for the future. Some might say this is an odd choice for the text, which translates to “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.” In response I’d say that there is a lot of symbolism in this particular movement, and I would love to point some of it out to the experienced and amateur listener alike: The first thing some might notice is the constant group of three that is the building block to this movement; this is not actually only MY decision. In the traditional Kyrie text, the phrase “Kyrie eleison,” is said three times before moving to the “Christe eleison,” which is repeated in the same fashion. This is finally followed up by one more set of three “Kyrie eleison’s,” to complete the dialogue. All of that in mind, the opening of this movement commences with the choir singing two sets of three “Kyrie’s.” ‘But why not three sets to make it follow the pattern?’ you might ask. Hold on for just a moment, I’ll get to that soon! The next section of the movement is a fugue. Traditionally (or at least up to the Romantic Era of music) a Kyrieoften was written as a fugue, or a contrapuntal proof of knowing how to creatively and technically compose in the learned style. For those of you who speak English, it is simply taking a melody and repeating it, sometimes over itself, but often starting on a different pitch. My Kyrie follows (most of) the rules of a fugue, and uses a dance-like theme throughout, changing meters to give it an extra little “Umph!” The People this portion of theRequiem follows are celebrating the life of the deceased, and how they have influenced the future generations! It is a dance of hope for what will come. If there is one part of this Requiem that might get stuck in your head, this is it! The next section, the ‘Christe section’ is no longer a fugue, and turns much more solemn and dark, symbolizing the reflection of the pain and sorrows in the lives of the families of those passed.  This moment doesn’t last for long however, when the tempo suddenly picks up and the choir catapults into the last ‘Kyrie section.’ At this point, the two themes (the one from the first ‘Kyrie section’ and the second from the ‘Christe section’) collide and sound simultaneously, a statement that a good and full life is both filled with...

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