I have recently received a very exciting commission! The artistic director and conductor of Kansas City's Heartland Men's Chorus, Dustin Cates, has commissioned me to write a piece for their ensemble to be accompanied by the UMKC Conservatory's Graduate Fellowship Brass Quintet, the Volker Brass for their Winter concert in their 2016-2017 season. The full instrumentation of the piece will be TTBB w/ divisi, piano, and brass quintet. I'm looking forward to working with Mr. Cates and the two ensembles. It will be a very fruitful collaboration for everyone involved! Please take a moment to read about the Heartland Men's Chorus below or on their website.
Heartland Men’s Chorus provides excellence in performance while advancing men’s choral music, building community, and reaching out to diverse audiences. The members of HMC have joined together for the purpose of making music as a not-for-profit, volunteer chorus of gay and gay-sensitive people who are making a positive cultural contribution to the entire community. The Chorus regularly performs with more than 150 singers, and presents a three-concert season at the historic Folly Theater. During the 2014-2015 season, more than 6,500 audience members experienced the music and message of HMC. An even greater number of people hear the Chorus at community outreach events throughout the year. HMC performs a varied repertoire of music, including jazz, Broadway, popular and classical works. In recent years, the Chorus has become known for its musical documentary format which uses music, narration and multi-media to illustrate social issues. The Chorus has performed nationally and internationally, but places particular importance on performing in smaller communities throughout the Heartland where our voices most desperately need to be heard. Heartland Men’s Chorus is a proud member of GALA Choruses, the international association of the lesbian and gay choral movement. Founded in 1982, GALA Choruses represents 190 choruses, their 10,000 singers and 750,000 patrons in Australia, Europe, South America, and North America. Heartland Men’s Chorus is registered with the IRS as a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Please consider making a donation to support our music and mission.
Volker Brass is the graduate brass quintet in residence at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. Founded in 2008, the ensemble is composed of graduate students in pursuit of a career in the performing arts. Volker Brass performs on recitals and masterclasses throughout the year while also preparing for competitions and tours. In addition, the ensemble has performed on masterclasses with Mirari Brass and the Center City Brass Quintet. Community involvement is very important to the members of the ensemble. Many times each year the group visits local high schools to perform and work with younger students. The ensemble also regularly performs at various functions and meetings on UMKC’s campus. Regular rehearsals and performances provide an opportunity for the ensemble to continue discovering new and exciting repertoire in brass quintet literature as well as developing ensemble skills necessary for a career as a professional musician. Members of Volker Brass have played with various symphony orchestras and brass quintets prior to joining the ensemble, and are always freelancing in the greater Kansas City area.
Joy has recently been selected for performance on August 5th by the recently founded professional vocal ensemble KC VITAs Chamber Choir in Kansas City, Missouri. Their founder and director, Jackson Thomas, strives to work with new composers. Supporting new music is a noble goal, and KC VITAs does it well! I was invited to play two of the hands of the four-hand piano part with Baker Purdon, the pianist that I originally premiered the work with! I'm so excited to rejoin him at the bench and to have another performance of this work! Please take some time to read about the ensemble and its director below and on their website.
Standing for the Kansas City Vibrating Internal Thyroarytenoids, the KC VITAs Chamber Choir is an ensemble of professional singers based in the Kansas City area. The choir is committed to performing new music, benefitting composers, performers, and the future of "Contemporary-Classical" music.
Currently in their second year, KC VITAs is preparing for their next performance series and undergoing some huge, exciting changes, including a new website (welcome!) and has obtained 501(c)(3) Non-Profit status!
Originally from Carrollton, MO, Jackson Thomas is a conductor, tenor, and teacher based in the Kansas City area. Jackson received his undergraduate degree in Voice from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a minor in German after studying abroad in Berlin, Germany. While at UNL, he performed leading roles within both the musical theatre and opera programs, and was a member of Chamber Singers and University Singers. He studied conducting with Dr. Pete Eklund and Dr. Therees Hibbard, and voice with Dr. Kevin Hanrahan and Dr. Mark Gruett (Berlin.) Since his return to Kansas City, Jackson held music teaching positions with the Park Hill School District and Kansas City Public Schools, was a soloist/section leader at St. John's United Methodist Church, and is in his second year singing with the GKCAGO Schola Cantorum. He currently serves as Associate Conductor of the Concert Choir, Women's Choir, and Vocal Musicum Collegium at the University of Kansas as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, is Director of Choral Music at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Lenexa, KS, and teaches private voice and piano. He currently studies conducting with Dr. Paul Tucker while finishing his Master's degree in Choral Conducting, and recently competed as a semifinalist in the SWACDA Conducting Competition. Next year, Jackson will direct the KU Men's Glee Club and serve as Associate Conductor of the KU Chamber Singers.
ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Hans Bridger Heruth is an award winning composer pursuing a degree in musical composition and vocal performance at the University of Missouri, Columbia. His works have been performed by various ensembles, both educational and professional. In addition to composing, Heruth is an accomplished pianist, violinist, singer, and conductor.