Traveling with your school ensemble can be a wonderful experience for your students and your program. It can help deepen the social ties within your ensemble and it can help grow your program. It is also a marvelous and fun way for the director to receive some important musical feedback and observations from exceptional clinicians and adjudicators—something that is usually missing during classroom observations.
Listening to a master speak about their craft is one of the most enlightening experiences one can have. That was the thinking behind Pepper’s video interview series, The Inside Voice. Our place in the music community gives us the opportunity to speak with many of the best known and most beloved musicians active today. We realized the best way to use this opportunity was to share it with our customers.
No discussion of sacred and church choral music is complete without including the works of composer Joel Raney. Raney’s contribution to sacred music is widely celebrated by choir members and directors. His career has ranged from national tours of Broadway productions, to sacred cantatas, to TV and radio commercial jingles.
Part of J.W. Pepper’s dedication to serving musicians entails providing the largest selection of sheet music in the world. While the company has long prided itself on giving musicians as many options as possible, having such an extensive catalog of products can be overwhelming. This fact was the inspiration behind the service now known as Editors’ Choice.
As graduation days approach, we know what’s really on everyone’s minds: summer vacation. And while days at the beach or camping in the woods might be the first thing you picture, Pepper® has a few other ideas you might want to consider.
Dan Forrest is a man who believes “all good things, including any beauty that we encounter, are from God, through God, and ultimately to God.” It is from this basis that he has made his career as a composer. During his early days at Bob Jones University pursuing piano performance, Forrest’s love of composition began to become apparent. He found that, to him, nothing compared to the sounds and musical dynamics of a choir.
On the cusp of 40, Paul Mealor has already built a legacy of musical excellence. His journey started at the young age of 10 when he began learning from teacher and composer William Mathias. Mathias is probably best known for composing an anthem specifically for the wedding ceremony of Prince Charles and Lady Diana in 1981.
One of the most frustrating experiences a music teacher or director can have is a concert audience that is disrespectful. Whether it is cell phones ringing during the performance, shouts from family members to their children on stage, slamming doors or crying infants, all of us have experienced people behaving badly in a concert setting.
Kim André Arnesen is one of today’s most promising young choral composers. As a child growing up in Norway, Arnesen developed a love for choral music after joining the Boys’ Choir at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. An accomplished pianist as well, he found himself most drawn to requiems, especially Mozart’s. It was in listening to these classics that Arnesen first wondered if he himself could also write music.
Known to be one of the most versatile composers and arrangers of our time, Mark Hayes is popular with both worship and secular choirs. He bridges the gap between style and content, making his music accessible to anyone who loves to sing. No doubt, his ability to write songs that appeal to the identities of many different choirs is what has made him one of the most widely performed contemporary composers.