Happy Easter!

For the first time in many years I am not singing on Easter Sunday, so I figured I would post a track that is appropriate for the season of Easter. This is my setting of Matthew 6:19-21, from the sermon on the mount, for a cappella men’s quartet



This was recorded by Gary Lewis, the baritone of Max Q, the 2007 International Champion Barbershop Quartet. I was inspired to compose this anthem by Joseph Clokey’s (who is the father of Art Clokey, creator of Gumby) setting of the same text, which I sang many times when I was a Gentleman of the Choir at St. Paul’s Cathedral in San Diego, California.

The Scent of Jasmine on Parker Street: a new one-act opera

On April 25, 2012 at 5:00pm San Diego State University Opera Theater will be presenting an unstaged workshop/reading of a new one-act opera: The Scent of Jasmine on Parker Street. The show’s story was created by local poet and artist, Ted Washington. Ted also wrote the books and lyrics (or the libretto) for the show, and I composed the music.
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The Barbershop Uptune: 50+ Years

I had the opportunity recently to engage in a comprehensive study of a particular type of song: the barbershop contest uptune. Most people in America are aware of barbershop quartets and have a passing familiarity with the barbershop style of four-part, a cappella singing. What many of these folks are not aware of  is the barbershop contest. Every year dozens of these contests happen all over world. Barbershop quartets and chorus compete against each other at a variety of levels. At these contests you will generally hear two types of songs: the barbershop ballad, which emphasizes sustained harmonies and a liberal use of rubato; and the uptune, which features more rhythmic elements and is sung at a faster tempo.
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