Virginia Composer To Discuss Commissioning Music In 21st Century

Contemporary American composer Daniel E. Gawthrop will present a lecture on "Commissioning Music in the New Century," for the Oklahoma Baptist University student chapter of the Southern Baptist Church Music Conference, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. in the university's Raley Chapel, 142. The lecture is open to the public. The full-time composer and owner of Dunstan House Press will offer a "slice-of-life" look at what it means to be a composer in the post-modern era. He also will discuss the kinds of ensembles for which he writes and musical elements he includes in his works, specifically poetry in song. During his visit to the OBU campus, Gawthrop will meet with a group of music ministers and students to discuss the direction of choral music in relation to the church. He also will deliver a lecture on the role of music in society to OBU's sociology classes. He will rehearse one of his pieces, "Sing Me to Heaven," with the university's Bison Glee Club. Gawthrop will attend the Southwest premier of his choral anthem "Trust in the Lord," at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City on Sunday, Nov. 12. Gawthrop's music is a standard part of American Choral Directors Association conventions and he has written works for many of the major American choral societies. His music is also distributed by G. Schirmer. A native of Fort Wayne, Ind., Gawthrop studied organ performance and composition at Michigan State University and Brigham Young University. He served as composer-in-residence to the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, Fairfax, Va., for three years and has been the recipient of three grants from The Barlow Endowment for Musical Composition. He has been commissioned to write music by dozens of institutions including the American Choral Directors Association through their prestigious Raymond Brock Memorial series. He has had works premiere in such distinguished venues as the concert hall of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the Salt Lake City Mormon Tabernacle, and Washington National Cathedral. His choral pieces have been performed by The United States Air Force Singing Sergeants, the Gregg Smith Singers, the Turtle Creek Chorale, the Paul Hill Chorale, the American Boychoir, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Cathedral Choral Society of the Washington National Cathedral and hundreds of other groups in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to his work as a composer, Gawthrop has been active as a broadcaster, clinician and adjudicator, church musician, and conductor, and writer- serving a stint as music critic for The Washington Post. He currently is serving as adjunct assistant professor at Shenandoah University.