Last Paper CONCERTed offering?
CFAMC will commence delivering the newsletter via the email address we have for all members on file beginning in early January, 2000. PLEASE, PLEASE, if you are not ABSOLUTELY SURE that we have your correct, current email address in our database (that is, if you have NOT received an email invitation to join the CFAMC email discussion list at www.egroups.com) let us know your correct, current email address. If you wish to continue receiving the CONCERTed offering via postal mail anyway, please contact us via email (), phone (716-567-9424), or postal mail (Mark Hijleh, CFAMC, School of Music, Houghton College, Houghton NY 14744) BY DECEMBER 1st, so we can prepare a new delivery system for the newsletter. Thank you. See you in cyberspace!
News of Note: Activities of CFAMC Composers…
SCOTT ROBINSON won Third Prize in the Interview category from the National Christian Press, 1999, for The Poet’s Responsibility: An Interview with Rita Dove (Sojourners Magazine, July/August 1998).
DENICE RIPPENTROP’S choral work Earth Turns Inside Out was premiered at The Church of the Twelve Apostles, Rome, Italy, in June. The Sounds of Change, Ms. Rippentrop’s second CD, was released nationally in July.
MARK HIJLEH has been commissioned by The Liberty Symphony to write a work celebrating the 150th anniversary of William Jewell College. In March of 2000, The Rochester Philharmonic will premiere his Open the Door. Hijleh is also writing scores for two new films by Christian directors, Die Brucke (The Bridge), and Footprints.
The Macon (Georgia) Symphony premiered one of MICHAEL KALLSTROM’S works in September.
The 1999 CFAMC conference was held September 24-25 at Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon. Our gracious host at Warner Pacific was Walter Saul, Professor and Chair of the music department there, and newly elected member of the CFAMC Board of Directors. The special guest composer for the event was Honorary CFAMC member George Tsontakis.
Friday morning, after a devotional and time of prayer, CFAMC President Mark Hijleh delivered a “State of the Fellowship” address, followed by a portion of the speech he gave at Oxford University last spring entitled “Aesthetic Ecelcticism, Postmodernism, and Christianity”. Next, Donivan Johnson presented some thoughts on “Webern and the Sacred”. After lunch, members attended an open rehearsal of works for Friday night’s concert with Portland’s new music group Third Angle: Michael Anderson, clarinet, Ron Blessinger, violin, Hamilton Chieftez, cello, and Susan Smith, piano. A presentation on Charles Ives and his use of hymn tunes by Larry Warkentin rounded out the afternoon. During the evening Portlanders were treated to a public concert of works by CFAMC members, performed expertly by Third Angle. The program included Fresno in December for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano by Larry Warketin, Three Wishes for clarinet and piano by Michael Kallstrom, Eclipse for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano by George Tsontakis, Potens Nuntius for piano by Michael LaCroix, Fantasy for cello and piano by Walter Saul, and On Chestnut Ridge for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano by John Beall.
Saturday began with a wonderful drive to see the Columbia River Gorge and Multnomah Falls. Upon returning to campus, members attended an inspiring keynote address and dialogue with George Tsontakis, which focused on the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives and our work as Christian composers. After lunch, all partook of a lively discussion session about the programs and possibilities for the future of CFAMC, followed by an extended time of prayer.
Later that afternoon, Donald Wilson presented an intriguing session on “The Need for Christian Computer Games”, which emphasized the active, positive role Christian composers could take in the creative development of this new genre. Finally, the conference closed with a concert of members works, performed by the Warner Pacific Chorale and Wind Ensemble, conducted by Thomas Miller. The choral works included Brian Nelson’s Truly, Truly I Say to You and selections from Michael Young’s Five Liturgical Portraits. The second half of the concert featured wind ensemble works Divine Mystery by Larry Mumford, Variations on Steel Blue from If Rain Falls by Andrew Sauerwein, and Connor’s Triumphal Return to Daventry by Donald Wilson.
Throughout both days of the conference, members shared recordings and scores of their music with each other during special peer sessions. And. of course, much unscheduled time was devoted to enjoying Christian fellowship with one another. The Lord Jesus Christ has continued to bless CFAMC and its conferences. This year’s conference was the best attended so far, and also saw the largest concert audiences of any CFAMC event. We pray that future conferences will continue to provide evidence of God’s presence and power in the lives of serious composers. Praise the Lord!
Board of Directors Annual Meeting
The annual meeting of the CFAMC Board of Directors took place Thursday, September 23, 1999 in Portland, Oregon. The first order of business was the election of Walter Saul to the Board. Other Board members and officers include: Mark Hijleh, President and Treasurer, Greg Scheer, Vice President, Frank Felice, Secretary, Donald Wilson, Mark Chambers, Patrick Kavanaugh, David Parker, and Donald Bryson.
The Board discussed and approved a number of important changes to the way CFAMC uses the Internet. Donald Bryson was appointed to oversee the new CFAMC email discussion list at www.egroups.com (go there on the web to join, if you are not already signed up). In the near future, CFAMC will be accessed on the web at www.cfamc.org (stay tuned for the date this change takes place). Perhaps the most important change authorized was the delivery of the CONCERTed offering via email only (except to those who request to continue receiving a paper copy). This will allow the newsletter to be a bit more timely in its delivery, and will save us a great deal in printing and postage costs, which have been the majority of our expenses for the last several years.
Also, the way membership contributions and membership status are handled have changed. Beginning immediately all contributions of $25 or more ($15 for students and non-composer performers) will extend CFAMC membership for one year from the month the contribution is received, rather than on a calendar year basis as in the past. However, for tax purposes, the contribution will still be counted for the year in which it was made (see sidebar elsewhere in this issue).
The Board continues to investigate producing a CFAMC CD, but no final timetables or submission guidelines were approved. Members who might be interested in this project should plan to have live performances (no MIDI recordings, unless the work is clearly electronic in conception) of short works available on DAT tapes. The Board agreed to put aside some funds from the 2000 budget for this project.
A competitive CFAMC Scholarship of $500 will again be offered next year. Beginning this year, student applicants will receive a complimentary one-year CFAMC membership (see announcement in this issue).
The Board discussed at length the need for further funding to implement important initiatives. A campaign in underway to solicit at least twice a much in external funding than has been received for the 1999 budget year.
The Board is actively exploring sites for the 2000 CFAMC conference. Additionally, CFAMC will aim to be more of a “presence” at important composers’ meetings and other musical gatherings nationwide over the next few years. One particularly exciting possibility is the planned joint Millenial meeting of a large number of American and Canadian music organizations in Toronto in early November, 2000. Going along with the idea of increased CFAMC activities nationwide, the Board appointed Donald Wilson as Regional Event Coordinator of CFAMC. Three national regions are envisioned: Eastern, Midwestern, and Western, each of which might have a regional director to promote CFAMC membership and activities. Contact Don if you have ideas about this.
One of the most exciting new initiatives in development is a series of seminars on what we Christian composers do. The vision is that these seminars will be offered in churches and in seminaries, where congregants and pastoral leaders will participate in discussions of aesthetic theology as well as the appreciation of music dedicated to Jesus Christ. These seminars will not necessarily be “church music” events, per se. Rather, they will be designed to bring evangelicals back into the world of art music, through the efforts of Christian composers. The Board is looking for models and ideas on implementing this kind of activity. Please post your thoughts on the CFAMC message board at www.egroups.com. It is hoped that a collection of ideas and models can be crafted which will be reproducible by CFAMC composers in a variety of situations.
Please continue to pray fervently that the God will continue to bless and direct the ministry of CFAMC, for His glory.
The Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers is pleased to announce the 2000 CFAMC Scholarship
Applications are invited from Christian composers born on or after March 1, 1970 for a one-time scholarship award of $500 for use during the summer of 2000 or academic year 2000-2001. The scholarship must be used specifically for art music composition study in either a preparatory or collegiate music program, or an approved summer music program. Appropriate use will be determined by a CFAMC Executive Committee, and funds will be sent directly to the account of the winner at the educational institution or festival designated by her or him (i.e., a cash award will not be made directly to the winner). By applying, the winner agrees to be identified as the recipient of the 2000 CFAMC Scholarship in any and all publicity materials as determined by CFAMC.
Applicants automatically become student composer members for one year in the Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers. There is no application fee. Application postmark deadline is December 1, 1999. The award will be announced no later than March 1, 2000. Incomplete, late, or unofficial applications will not be accepted. For further information, please contact: CFAMC, Dr. Mark Hijleh, School of Music, Houghton College, Houghton NY 14744, (716)567-9424, . To expedite your request, please provide your name, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address when contacting CFAMC.
A complete, official application consists of the following:
1) Two letters of recommendation, one from a pastor and one from a composition teacher. These should be sent by the applicant, together with all other application materials in one package and not separately by the recommenders. 2) A brief Christian testimony (no more than one typed page). 3) A brief (no more than one typed page) response to the following essay question: “How are your compositional activities and Christian life related?” 4) At least one, but no more than two scores of art music composed for voice(s), instrument(s), and/or electronic media. Tapes of the music submitted are recommended, but not required (please do not send tapes of scores not submitted). A self-addressed envelope of sufficient size and with sufficient postage attached for return of scores/tapes MUST be submitted as well. Reasonable care will be exercised in the handling and return of scores and tapes, but in no way will CFAMC, the judging panel, or Houghton College be liable for any direct or indirect damages resulting from lost or damaged materials. Therefore only copies of scores and tapes should be sent. 5) A complete curriculum vitae/resume, including the name, address, phone number and e-mail address (if any) of the applicant. 6) A one-paragraph professional biographical sketch. 7) A detailed explanation of how the award will be used specifically for art music composition study in either a preparatory or collegiate music program, or a summer music program. (Appropriate use will be determined by the CFAMC Executive Committee, and funds will be sent directly to the account of the winner at the educational institution or festival designated by her or him (i.e., a cash award will not be made directly to the winner)).
Send all application materials (including recommendations) in one package to: 2000 CFAMC Scholarship, Dr. Mark Hijleh, School of Music, Houghton College, Houghton NY 14744. PLEASE NOTE: The judges decisions are final. The panel may also declare “no winner” at its discretion. The winner will be contacted first, after which materials will be returned to all other applicants along with information about the winner. Other publicity about the winner will follow, at the discretion of the CFAMC Board of Directors. Please do not contact CFAMC concerning the status of the award.
Welcome New Members!
NAMYOUNG PAK recently received an M.A. in composition from Hunter College, and has been an organist and church music director for 20 years. She can be contacted at 69 Bank St. #103, New York NY 10014, (212)741-6637, .
DOUGLAS JOHNSON can be reached at 4211 N. Riverview Ave., Tampa FL 33607, (813)765-1176.
Composer DENICE RIPPENTROP owns and operates Beautiful Star Publishing, which specializes in choral music. Her contact information is 4602 Pierce St. NE, Columbia Heights MN 55421, (612)586-9695, , www.beautifulstar.com.
DENNIS ESSELSTROM teaches in the Music Department of Marylhurst University, Marylhurst OR 97036, (800)634-9982, ext. 3364.
Composer and church musician MARSHALL McBRIDE can be reached at 783 SW Castilian Dr., Oak Harbor WA 98277, (360) 679-0877,
MICHAEL KALLSTROM is a member of the music faculty at Western Kentucky University. He can be contacted at 703 Magnolia St., Bowling Green KY 42103, (270)782-5384, JOHN BEALL is a member of the faculty at West Virginia University. His contact information is 1208 Baker’s Ridge Rd., Morgantown WV 26508, (304)293-4617, ext. 3180, .
New Contribution and Membership Handling
Beginning immediately, all membership contributions to CFAMC of $25 or more ($15 for students and non-composer performers) will extend membership for 12 months from the month the contribution is received. This is a change from our previous policy, in which contributions were counted for membership according to calendar year. However, please note that for tax purposes (professional expenses or charitable giving) contributions must still be counted for the calendar year in which they were made. We hope this change will be more convenient for all CFAMC members. An email reminder will be sent to all members one month before their membership expires. (Or, if you elect to continue receiving the newsletter via postal mail, your address label shows the month and year your membership expires).
CFAMC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit ministry. We rely on your generous gifts to cover our operating expenses. Please consider making a gift which is larger than the minimum. All contributions are fully tax-deductible as charitable gifts. May God bless you as you support the work of His kingdom!
CFAMC CAN NOW BE FOUND ON THE INTERNET AT WWW.CFAMC.ORG.
Check it out!
It’s Not Too Late!
The CFAMC Annual Conference is just around the corner! Included with this newsletter is an additional registration packet for the conference. If you have already registered, give it to a friend! If you have doubts about whether to attend, ask the Lord for direction. This conference promises to be a major event in the history of CFAMC. Guest composer George Tsontakis, guest performers Third Angle and the Warner Pacific Choir and Wind Ensemble, and our gracious host Dr. Walter Saul will no doubt give us much to treasure as we look back over our time in Portland, Oregon. Don’t miss it!
News of Note: Activities of CFAMC Composers…
DONIVAN JOHNSON’S cantata Arise, My Love (Seven Meditations for Choir and Brass Quintet) was premiered in Basel, Switzerland in June, and later broadcast on Swiss radio.
RICHARD CERCHIA has received commissions from both the Western Michigan Flute Orchestra and the Colorado Flute Orchestra.
1998 CFAMC Scholarship recipient ANDREW DIONNE was one of only nine composers to receive a BMI Student Composer Award in June.
One of GREG PASCUZZI’S works was recently featured at the International Trumpet Guild Convention.
Works by SCOTT ROBINSON are featured on a new CD by the new music group Gypsophilia. The CD can be ordered for $15 from Scott at 870 North 28th Street, #105, Philadelphia, PA 19130, 215/769-7664, .
JASON BAHR’S setting of Psalm 1 (in French) was recently commissioned for premiere in France this summer. His work O Nata Lux was premiered at Indiana University in March. O Nata Lux was a finalist for the Great Boston Choral Consortium Composition Competition. Moppets Songs (baritone and piano) was given it’s premiere at Indiana University, also in March. It was also selected for the SOUNDS NEW concert in San Francisco, CA. Lacerations, for oboe and piano, recently recieved performances by the Nota Bene new music ensemble at the SCI National Conference in Queens, NY. It was also performed at the SCI Region II Conference (SUNY-Stonybrook), Region VI Conference (Conway, AR), and the first ever Student National Conference (UT-Austin).
Review: Symphony #1 by Richard Cerchia
Reviewed by Mark Hijleh
As a graduate student this reviewer set about to write a Symphony #1 of his own. One of the most interesting sets of questions that arose from that endeavor was rather blunt: Why write a symphony in the late twentieth century? Hasn’t the symphony as a large orchestral form outlived its historical, contextual, and cultural usefulness? To paraphrase Debussy, “Isn’t the symphony dead”?
As it turns out, the symphony is not quite dead. Certainly, audiences of today seem to have a harder time investing themselves in the complexities and sheer size of new symphonic works. But, for a composer with a lot to say (which isn’t very many at the moment), a multi-movement work for full orchestra still provides the kind of large canvas necessary to make some serious statements. Thus, in an era which craves sound bites and rejects overarching truths, the symphony is anacronistic. But for Christian composers, it seems almost indispensible.
Richard Cerchia is a Christian composer with a lot to say, and in his Symphony #1 he has spoken rather eloquently. One gets a clear sense that there are no “happy accidents” in this piece; the composer knows exactly what he is doing at both the macro and micro compositional levels. But this symphony is no mere exercise in musical gymnastics; Cerchia is aiming for some deeply personal communication with his listeners. Indeed, he states that his Symphony “is the closest [he’s] ever come to expressing [his] inner self in music.”
One of the most prominent features of the work is its highly organic nature. Having heard a few of Cerchia’s other pieces, this reviewer can say that the Symphony is definitely and consistently in the “Cerchia style”. The composer’s main device is what may be best described as a kind of chromatically inflected pandiatonicism. Indeed, the piece is a study in the different levels of dissonance which may arise from this freely chromatic pandiatonicism. Cerchia uses the resulting shades of color to provide emotional structure for the symphony, a journey from the confidence of new faith in Christ through disappointment, battle, and grief all the way to a more mature joy in fellowship with God.
The great value of the composer’s freely chromatic pandiatonicism is that it allows him to explore levels of relative consonance and dissonance without having to resort to cliched harmonic devices. The listener discovers a deliciously subtle and effective range of pitch collections, from expanded tonality to atonality, which are reminiscent of a black-and-white film in which the infinite shades of grey are stunningly beautiful.
Another element of the “Cerchia style” is some very challenging writing for the orchestra. The difficulties extend to both the individual instrumental parts and the ensemble integration. A preponderance of rhythmically complex textures contributes to a sort of pastel-colored neo-Impressionism in which balances are critical. These complex “washes” are contrasted more in the last movement with some genuinely monophonic writing and even some more discernably imitative counterpoint.
To be sure, there are melodic motifs woven throughout the work. But these are less tuneful (and less memorable) in the flow of ever-changing colors. The motifs tend to take on a gestural cast which detracts from heir development in a compositional sense. However, Cerchia’s textural, timbral, and rhythmic processes are compelling enough; one tends to overlook the obscure melodic development. This is important because, even though the composer himself feels that the three movements of the work conform roughly to sonata form, song form, and rondo respectively, the lack of clear melodic development renders any kind of formalistic hearing all but impossible. Again, it is the interplay and development of textures and timbres that provide emotional shape.
As in many works that attempt to express deeply personal feelings or stories, there are moments when the listener feels a bit outside the world of the composer. Nevertheless, much of what Cerchia is trying to say coalesces in due time. His story, like his music, is a realistically mixed bag of triumph and defeat, clarity and obscurity, predictability and surprise, bright and dark colors. There is a wonderful sense of courage in his honest portrayal of his life with Christ.
Multi-movement works for large forces are essential for composers who want to say big things. In his Symphony #1, in a language clearly his own, Richard Cerchia has plenty to say: things we all need to hear.
We need reviewers!
If you would be willing to review a composition by a CFAMC member, please contact us at or call (716)567-9424. If we can enlist a few more persons willing to do this important service, we can begin to offer the opportunity for reviews to more members. Thanks!
Welcome New Members!
DWIGHT GUSTAFSON is dean emeritus of the School of Fine Arts at Bob Jones University, where he served for 43 years. Most recently, he was commissioned by the Williamsburg Symphonia (Virginia) in celebration of the that city’s 300th anniversity. Dr. Gustafson can be reached at 111 Stadium View Drive, Greenville SC 29609.
HOWARD WHITAKER is Professor of Music at Wheaton College, where he teaches composition. His works have been commissioned and performed by the Indianapolis Symphony and the University of Chicago, at Aspen, and elsewhere. In 1998 his Quartet for Flutes was runner-up in the National Flute Association’s competition for best new flute publication. Dr. Whitaker can be contacted at Wheaton College, Wheaton IL 60187, (630)752-5840, .
“The aim and final reason, as of all music, … should be none else but the Glory of God and recreation of the mind.” – J.S. Bach
Opportunities and Items of Interest
CFAMC Honorary Member HUGH SUNG has renewed his call for scores from CFAMC members. Hugh is Director of Instrumental Accompaniment and Student Recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music, as well as an active pianist. He is willing to look at any and all instrumental solo and chamber scores that are sent to him! No performances are guaranteed, and members must provide a return envelope and postage if they want their scores returned. Take advantage of this important opportunity! Send Hugh some music today at: Curtis Institute, 1726 Locust St., Philadelphia PA 19103, or email him at with questions.
Check out the Center for the Promotion of Contemporary Composers (CPCC) at http://www.under.org/cpcc/cpcc.htm. This fantastic web site has lots of information and opportunities for composers, and has been particularly friendly toward CFAMC.
We need your email address!!
Not every member of CFAMC has provided an email address to us. We desperately need all members who possibly can to provide an email address so that we can send some items in a more timely manner. You can get a FREE email address at http://www.yahoo.com. Send you email address information to us at AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. If you are not sure whether we have your address, send it anyway to be sure! Thanks.
A Generous Gift!
The Lord always provides for our needs. CFAMC is pleased to announce that a very generous gift of $1000 has been given to the Fellowship. This may not seem like a large sum for a national organization such as ours, but we actually only receive and spend about $2000 to $2500 per year, so this gift is a big boost! CFAMC is a non-profit religious corporation. As such, all donations (other than conference fees) are fully tax-deductible as charitable gifts. Please pray about your financial support of this ministry. Consider giving more than the minimum $25 or $15. The CFAMC Board has big dreams for our Fellowship as witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. Your active participation as a Christian art music composer and financial supporter of this ministry is vital. Keep writing for the Lord, keep informing us of your activities, and keep praying about the money we need to do the work God has given us. Praise the Lord!
The mailing label on this newsletter indicates the month and year your membership expires or expired. Many of you receiving this newsletter have not renewed for 1999. If that is the case, this will be the last newsletter you receive until we hear from you. Please take the time to send your check for $25 ($15 for students and non-composer performers), made payable to “CFAMC”. May God bless you!
An urgent invitation
One of the most important missions CFAMC has to provide an ongoing forum for discussion of the Biblical and theological foundations for music-making. To that end, we invite any members who have particular interest and expertise in this area to submit materials for publication in the CONCERTed offering. We must take the lead both in educating and listening to Christians about music and its connection to the kingdom of God. Talk to your pastors and colleagues about these issues! Listen, pray and write. Then send in your thoughts. Many months ago we had some very constructive dialogue in these pages about Patrick Kavanaugh’s article “Does Godliness Equal Tonality?”. We mustn’t let that kind of exploration stop so quickly. When articles do appear in this forum (as they have nearly every issue), share them within your circle of influence, even if you disagree. We must continue to speak in the name of Jesus to the culture in which we live!
The July 12, 1999 issue of Christianity Today magazine has several very relevant features on church music. In particular, check out pages 5, 28-35, 37-41, and 61.
From the Editor:
One of the most difficult temptations for Christians is the temptation to “settle”. We “settle” for whatever happens, rather than praying to a big God with big dreams and requests. I must confess that the pressures of life have recently turned me into a “settler”. But praise the Lord! He provided a voice of wisdom to me that confronted me with my limited thinking. All of us at CFAMC need to start dreaming about what kind of impact we can have for the kingdom of Jesus Christ. God may not open all the doors we ask Him to, but He still wants us to ask. I believe with all my heart that if every member of CFAMC starts praying for the Lord to move in our midst and through our ministry, truly extraordinary things will begin to happen. I invite you all to send letters and messages with your dreams for the Fellowship. Pray about them, and then listen to what God says. You may the person He wants to speak through to the CFAMC leadership, so don’t be timid! Don’t be a “settler” when you can be a mover and a shaker. May the excitement and blessings and peace of Jesus be yours, all rolled together. Hallelujah!
(note: opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of CFAMC, nor of the editor)
New International Honorary Members!
CFAMC’s ministry continues to diversify as we seek the leading of the Lord Jesus Christ. One aspect of our program involves the maintenance of a number of Honorary Members, Christians who are active in the art music world. Over the last few months, two more such Honorary Members have been added to our rolls. Scottish composer JAMES MacMILLAN, one of the fastest rising “stars” in the compositional world, has enthusiastically agreed to be associated with our Fellowship, as has JEREMY BEGBIE, a musician and theologian at Cambridge University in England and Director of the Center for Theology Through the Arts there. The number of CFAMC Honorary Members now totals six, and also includes award-winning composers Charles Wuorinen and George Tsontakis, composer-producer Greg Nelson, and Curtis Institute of Music pianist Hugh Sung. Let us pray that the association we have with these Christian artists will continue to reap benefits for the Kingdom of God.
Dr. Jeremy Begbie is Vice Principal of Ridley Hall and Director of “Theology Through the Arts”, a research project at the University of Cambridge. He teaches systematic theology at Ridley Hall, an Anglican seminary, and in Cambridge University. He studied music and philosophy at Edinburgh University, and theology at Aberdeen and Cambridge. Founder and conductor of the New Cambridge Orchestra, he is a professionally trained musician, and has performed extensively as a pianist, oboist and conductor. He is author of Music in God’s Purposes (Handsel Press) and Voicing Creation’s Praise (T&T Clark). His latest book, Theology, Music and Time will shortly appear from Cambridge University Press. Dr. Begbie has taught widely in the UK, North America and Canada, and has especially strong links with Fuller Seminary, Pasadena and Regent College, Vancouver. He is married with four children.
James MacMillan studied music at Edinburgh University and took Doctoral studies in composition at Durham University with John Casken. After working as a lecturer at Manchester University, he returned to Scotland, settling in Glasgow where he teaches part-time at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. In 1990, the successful premiere of Tryst at the St Magnus Festival led to his appointment as Affiliate Composer of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. MacMillan is also Artistic Director of the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Music of Today series of contemporary music concerts, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s Discovery series of 20th century music. His music is notable for its extraordinary directness, energy and emotional power. References to Scottish folk music imbue MacMillan’s work with a strong sense of the vernacular, while strongly-held Christian beliefs and political views coupled with community concerns inform both the spirit and subject matter of his music.
An exciting series of new recordings of music by MacMillan is to be released over the coming year, launched with the complete Triduum series written for the London Symphony Orchestra: The World’s Ransoming, Cello Concerto and Symphony: ‘Vigil’. The cycle appeared on two individual discs released for Easter, featuring the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Osmo Vänska, with Raphael Wallfisch as soloist in the Cello Concerto. A further disc of MacMillan’s music written for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra will be released later this year, including Adam’s Rib, They saw the stone had been rolled away, and Tryst. Other recorded works by MacMillan include Seven Last Words from the Cross for chorus and string orchestra, and the percussion concerto Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, composed for Evelyn Glennie.
Welcome New Members
JOHN AKINS is a professor of theory, composition, and piano at Evangel University in Springfield, MO. He can be reached at 1416 Washington Ave., Springfield MO 65802, (417)862-7716, (417)865-2815 ext. 7334, , .
JESSE ALLISON is a composition major at Washington State University. His contact info is 20268 RD1 SE, Warden WA 98857, (509)333-4744, .
ARIKA CANTRELL is a graduate student in composition at SUNY-Stonybrook. She can be reached at 5 Detmer Rd., E. Setauket NY 11733, .
STEPHEN HOYLE is a composer and real estate agent living at 12081 Stallion Ct., Woodbridge VA 22192, (703)878-8294, (703)492-6500, . Stephen is looking for a Christian composer-mentor in his area, and requests any CFAMC members who might be willing to look at and comment on his music to please contact him.
JOHN KAEFER is finishing his Bachelor’s degree in composition at the Eastman School of Music. He can be contacted at 100 Gibbs St., Box 150, Rochester NY 14605, (716)274-1733, .
MICHAEL LaCROIX is a Master’s student in composition at Wayne State University. His contact info is 5440 Cass Ave., #307, Detroit MI 48202, (313)831-1472, .
ADAM MINNIEAR is a violist, composer, and student at Western Michigan University. He can be contacted at 12955 So. Minges Rd., Battle Creek MI 49015, (616)979-4502, .
ALLEN MOLINEUX teaches theory, composition, instrumental music, and jazz at Chipola Junior College in Florida. He can be reached at 318 Chapelwood Dr., Dothan AL 36305, (334)792-8760, .
ELI MOYER, a student at Sidwell Friends School, lives at 5101 Dorset Ave., Chevy Chase MD 20815-5436, (301)951-9596, .
BRIAN NELSON is a Master’s student in composition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He can be contacted at 7059 Watts Rd., Madison WI 53719, (608)273-8449, , www.globaldialog.com/~bnelson.
NKEIRU OKOYE is a Doctoral student in composition at The State University of New Jersey-Rutgers. She can be reached at 18708 CPO Way, New Brunswick NJ 08901-8637, (732)745-1203, .
STEVEN PAXTON is Associate Professor of Music Composition at Texas Tech University, and can be contacted 4308 54th St., Lubbock TX 79413, (806)792-9036, .
ANDREW SAUERWEIN is a Doctoral student in composition at Duke University. His contact information is 1210-B Clarendon St., Durham NC 27705, (919)286-0701, , www.duke.edu/~ams12/index.htm.
DAWN LENORE SONNTAG is an advanced student of accompanying at the Hochschule fur evangelische Kirchenmusik in Heidelberg, Germany, and concurrently pursuing a Master’s degree in music performance from the Antioch University MacGregor School of the Arts. She can be reached at Wittelsbacherallee 2, 69181 Leimen, Germany, (011)-49-6224-83641, .
STEVEN WINTEREGG is Associate Professor of Music at Wittenberg University, principal tubist of the Dayton, Ohio Philharmonic Orchestra, and has been Composer-in-Residence at Cedarville College. He can be contacted at 419 Westview Place, Englewood OH 45322, (937)836-8593, , www.amc.net/member/Steven_Winteregg/home.html.
We also deeply regret that a group of 1998 new members was inadvertantly left out of publication:
- ROBERT ANTHONY
- LATONYA BURKHOLDER
- SUNG-A HAN
- JOANNA HASTINGS
- SCOTT LIEBENOW
- JOHN ORFE
- AMY SCURRIA
News of Note: Activities of CFAMC Composers
WILLIAM ALLEN and MARK HIJLEH have been commissioned to write new works for the dedication of Houghton College’s new music facility in October.
WARNER HUTCHISON’S Alleluia for a cappella choir, which premiered at the Kennedy Center last May and was also performed at the Washington Cathedral, has been published by Kjos Music.
WARREN GOOCH’S MIMOS for solo violin and mimist received performances this Spring at Truman State University, the 1999 Crane New Music Festival at SUNY-Potsdam, the 1999 College Music Society Great Plains Regional Conference at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and the 1999 Region 6 Society of Composers Conference at the University of Central Arkansas. His The View From the Tower for tenor, trombone, and piano also received performances at Truman State University and the 1999 CMS Great Plains Conference, as did his Monodies for cello and piano. Finally, Gooch’s Romanza and Gallop for alto saxophone was performed at Truman State and the 1999 regional conference of the North American Saxophone Alliance at Southwest Baptist University.
[The Editor apologizes if any items sent in since January were left out, claims long-distance email management problems, and begs you to please send them again! Also, if members would be so kind as to update address, phone, email, and/or webpage information directly with CFAMC webmaster Greg Scheer () in addition to Mark Hijleh, we would all be very appreciative.]
1999 CFAMC Scholarship Recipient Named
DANIEL KELLOGG, a student of Ned Rorem at the Curtis Institute of Music, is the recipient of the 1999 Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers Scholarship. The purpose of the annual award is to recognize and support Christian student composers who demonstrate both excellence in their Christian testimony and acheivement and potential in art music composition. Applicants for the 1999 scholarship also included talented students from the Eastman School of Music, Rutgers University, and other music schools nationwide. The award of $500 will be used by Mr. Kellogg for graduate study in composition during the 1999-2000 academic year. The panel of judges included CFAMC founder and President Mark Hijleh, Associate Professor of Music at Houghton College, CFAMC member William T. Allen, Professor Emeritus of Music at Houghton College, CFAMC Secretary Frank Felice, Assistant Professor of Music at Butler University, and prize-winning composer and Honorary CFAMC member George Tsontakis, a member of the Aspen Music Festival composition faculty.
A native of Connecticut, Daniel Kellogg has also been a student of Don Freund at Indiana University, and a participant in the Aspen Advanced Master Class Program. He is the recipient of a 1998 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award, a 1997 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and first prize in the 1996 NACUSA Members Competition, among many other prizes and honors. His music has also been featured on NPR and other radio broadcasts. An orchestral bassist himself, Mr. Kellogg is currently writing a work for International Society of Bassists 1997 solo winner Jeremy Kurtz.
In speaking of his work, Mr. Kellogg says, “Since my compositional gifts come from God, it is my obligation to develop them to the fullest potential. I hope to write for the best ensembles to give glory to God through the quality and depth of the music. I also want to write music for the church. I fully believe that it is possible to write music of a high artisitic level that offers glory to God while also touching the congregation. It is time for musicians and artists to reclaim the church. Christ is my Lord and is in control of my life. He has always cared for me and provided in miraculous ways”.
Towards a New Music
by Mark Chambers
Much has been discussed recently about how we as Christian art music composers should approach our music. These discussions have included the questions whether our music should be conservative or experimental, or does it need to have an aggressive evangelistic approach or should that message be more subtle?
Instead of approaching the issue from this direction I would like instead to look at it from a more personal aspect. How should we as Christian composers approach our music? How do we relate the gospel to our unsaved colleagues and audiences? What should be the focus of our music? I would like to look at these issues through the gospel. If we rightly understand the biblical position on who we are before and after our conversion, the impact of thinking biblically, and the goal of our endeavors, we shall see these issues and many others fall into place in the light of the gospel.
Redeeming our Hearts
For us to first understand anything from a biblical perspective we must first see who we are before God and our desperate need for the mercy provided to us through Christ. The scriptures declare that every man that has walked the earth is by nature sinful and depraved, separated from God by his own selfish desires. John 3:19 states, “And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” Ecclesiastes 7:20 tells us us that “…there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” Romans 3:9-12 speaks to this as well, “What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all; for I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin…All have turned aside…no one does good, not even one.” We must understand that we are sinful men seeking our own selfish desires. It is our hearts that are the problems. We seek the darkness rather than the light because we love the darkness.
It is the gospel that exposes our sinful condition to show us that we are guilty. But thankfully that guilt has been taken on by Christ. Romans 5:10 shows, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son…” Prior to this in verse 8 we see that “…while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” So we can clearly see that our sin is taken by Christ. But the question remains of our hearts after this point. Paul stated plainly in Romans 7:15, “…For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Though we have the forgiveness of our sins we still choose to sin and will continue to do so until we are with the Lord. It is at this point that we should run to the cross. Because our hearts are eaten through with sin we will continue to struggle with it to the very end. All that we do will be tainted by it even if we think we have the best intentions and motives. The Puritans had a saying that speaks to this, “Even our tears of repentance should be washed in the blood of the cross.”
At first such a message is very despairing to our ears. We see that we are judged guilty by God because of our sinful hearts. But if we focus exclusively on this aspect of the gospel then we miss a second aspect of it; that our lives have been radically changed and will continue to be changed as we look to the cross. If we realize our only hope for salvation is in the cross then we must also see that our only hope for change is in that cross as well. Because we will be racked with sin until the day we die we must continually look to Christ for our hope. It is then and only then can we see that we do not despair of our sin, but in fact glory in that which Christ has done for us. When God sees us through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, He not only treats us as if we have done nothing wrong, but also see us as if we did everything right. What an inheritance! Our hearts will truly be changed when we look to the cross.
Redeeming our Minds
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is; His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Romans 12:2.
As Christian art music composers the redemption of our minds should be of paramount importance. Since most people in our field are not believers (as evidenced by their output, writings, etc…) we should seek to become a light to them in their darkness. If their hearts are not redeemed then their minds are not redeemed as well.
Much of society today is engulfed in that ever elusive philosophy of Post Modernism and our colleagues and audiences are no exception. Though there are several definitions of Post Modernism, its effects are quite discernible. One of the most troubling though is the idea that there is no hope. No hope for true joy, no hope for freedom from guilty consciences, and ultimately no hope for true life. We should show the world that there is a joy that brings peace to our guilty souls and brings us to life in the presence of the Creator. The ‘philosophy’ that our hope lies in Christ should inform and envelope our thoughts and ideas so completely that the difference in our lives will be unquestionable. When we can offer Christ in an honest and engaging manner to our listeners, audience and performers alike, the world will see that rather than having no hope, we have the Glorious Hope.
Redeeming our Music
With both of the preceding thoughts in mind, the redemption of our hearts and minds, it is only logical that our music will then show that redemption. If we have experienced the forgiveness of our sins, God will transform our minds, and therefore our music will take on a different purpose. We will begin to focus not on the praise and adulation we receive from our colleagues, but instead on the glory of God. It is then that our music will truly sing and dance (to borrow from Stravinsky).
The issue is not whether our music should be tonal and conservative or micro-tonal and experimental. Instead we should look at making our music God centered. It may not preach the gospel explicitly as in a sonata but the gospel will shine through all of our works in totality. Just as our salvation is not a once in a lifetime experience, so our music will reflect the love of God over a period of time. Bach did not ‘preach’ the gospel in the Brandenburg Concertos but did so in other works, yet his commitment to communicate that gospel is apparent in his entire opus. If our lives have been redeemed then let the totality of our lives show this.
John Piper said that God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him. When we find our rest and peace in God our music will naturally reflect this. When we find that God is our ultimate joy then this will shine through in our music. And when we find that our redemption is in God then our music can do nothing less than proclaim it. We should seek first the satisfaction of our lives in Christ and Christ alone. Not in our music, not in our careers, or any other idols we place before God but instead in the joy and hope we have in God. If Christ is lifted up in our music, our rehearsals, and all other activities then men will be drawn to the One who is their hope. By this God will be glorified and our music will find its place and purpose in His kingdom.
From the Editor:
The work of the Holy Spirit is a wondrous thing to experience. In my life, that work has often resulted from a combination of Christian reading and thinking, Bible study, prayer, relationships with other believers, and personal experiences. The time I had recently in London with my family and a group of college students was just such a life-changing experience, directed by the Holy Spirit. In addition to meeting with James MacMillan and Jeremy Begbie (see lead story), I had the priviledge of considering the development of Western culture with my students from a Christian perspective, seeing a number of fabulous concerts, plays, and other works of art, attending and participating in performances of my own music, worshipping in great cathedrals and churches, visiting historic places, watching my little girl turn two, and struggling with what it means to be a Christian and an artist in a postmodern world. For me, it was the totality of that milieu which opened my heart and mind to the work of the Spirit. And here are some of the things He said to me: Don’t ever use your faith as a weapon. It is always better to love your neighbor than to win the argument. Jesus Christ is the Lord of all Creation, past, present, and future. Christian believers can miraculously be very different from one another and still comprise the total Body of Christ (see 1 Cor. 12 and Rom. 12). “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength,” (note: four different ways to love God which produce a totality) “and love your neighbor as yourself.” These are the greatest commandments. “Behold, I make all things new”…
We are always searching for certainty. Here is certain knowing: In Jesus Christ we have seen and know the Father.