Thursday, April 04, 2019

Lyric Fest premieres a new Walt Whitman setting by Melissa Dunphy | The Boghouse is featured on ABC's Localish


So much news!

Good lord, 2019 is already turning out to be an incredibly busy year. Some of the highlights so far:

            A new commission for the women of Resonance Ensemble (Portland), LISTEN is a two-movement SSAA work that sets testimony from Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford. The sold-out premiere was one of the most emotional performances I've ever attended and was so popular, they are repeating the program on May 18. Keep your eyes peeled also for a studio recording Resonance are releasing later this year. (Know any game SSAA choirs who might want to sing this work? Connect me to them!)

            Work is an SATB choral work I wrote for the Bradley Hills Presbyterian Chancel Choir via the Donald Sinclair Sutherland Endowment, and sets text from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet. 

            American DREAMers, which includes lyrics from five Americans who were brought to this country as children, has been sung by choirs all over the country. Next month, look for a performance by Kansas City's Musica Vocale, and later this year the commissioning choir PhilHarmonia will release a studio recording 

            The last work I wrote during my residency at the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus, Suite Remembrance, has just been published by EC Schirmer, and a studio recording for Regent Records is currently being mixed and mastered.

If you're local to Philadelphia or New York City, come out this week for a premiere I could not be more excited about! I was commissioned for the first time to write an art song for Lyric Fest, and I am thrilled with what I've heard in rehearsal. Come, My Tan-Faced Children recontextualizes some of Walt Whitman's Civil War poetry to create a call to arms that is extremely relevant to social issues of the 21st Century, and it will be performed by the incredible mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis (honestly, I can't stress enough how much you need to hear this voice in person) at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia on Saturday April 6, and the Church of St. Matthew & St. Timothy in NYC on Tuesday April 9.

I had the opportunity to sit down in my apartment with Lyric Fest co-artistic director Suzanne Duplantis a couple of weeks ago to talk about writing this work, and if you're interested particularly in how political and social justice concerns informed my composition process when dealing with this text, I think you'll find this audio interview interesting:
Meet Composer Melissa Dunphy
(and hear about her setting of Walt Whitman)


Saturday, April 4, 4:00PM
Academy of Vocal Arts, 1920 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
$25 online / $30 at the door / $10 students

Tuesday, April 9, 7:00PM
Church of St. Matthew & St. Timothy, 26 W 84th St, New York, NY 10024
Tickets $10 at the door / free for students with ID


In addition to all this music news, the Dunphys have continued their amateur archaeology adventures with their new podcast The Boghouse. We've been charting in the top 200 on the Apple Podcasts in the Arts category, and we caught the eye of producers at 6ABC news, who created this great feature for the program Localish.
Click to watch the full segment on ABC.
There's so much more coming down the pike! But you'll have to listen to the podcast for all the gory and fascinating historical details. The Boghouse is available for free on all podcasting platforms now—subscribe to it on Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle Play, or Spotify.
Find out more
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