“After a brief pause, the Great Bend Chorale from Washington, [conducted by Matthew Melendez] took the stage, along with a five-piece string group, piano, and the excellent soprano soloist Tess Altiveros to present…the world premiere of a DCINY [and Great Bend Center for Music] commission, John Muehleisen’s politically relevant work Borders.

“The theme of how we treat strangers, never more crucial than at this moment, formed the arching unifier of Mr. Muehleisen’s extended cantata, Borders. ‘Politically relevant’ music is always risky, but the choice of texts was so thoughtful in this case, with a huge cross-cultural span, that it showed the issue without being too didactic. The most effective moment, for me, was the revelation of letters from an Irish woman, starving in the potato famine of the mid-19th century, writing to her son, who presumably emigrated to the US. Here, the work of Ms. Altiveros was clear and very poignant. Two very small children, one boy and one girl, also made a significant brief utterance.”



I’m thrilled to announce that, after over a year in the making, the recording of my most ambitious work to date, “But Who Shall Return Us Our Children – A Kipling Passion,” has released worldwide and is available in a variety of formats: physical CD, digital download, and on various streaming services. Please consider purchasing the CD from one of the following organizations, without which, this recording would not have been possible.

Conceived as a WWI commemorative oratorio, the work was premiered in March 2017 during the centenary of WWI and has received nearly a dozen performances in the two years since its premiere.

If you’d like to read more details about the work, please download the beautifully designed digital CD booklet here, with insightful program notes by Dr. Gary D. Cannon.

For a perusal score of the full work, contact the composer via the Contact page on this website.

Featured Works

Looking for Advent and Christmas repertoire?

Please consider one of the following works from my catalog:

A solis ortus cardine – Variations on a 5th-c. Christmas Hymn

Alma Redemptoris Mater – Double SATB choir, a cappella

Invocation from This Night – SATB a cappella version

The Great “O” Antiphons – 7 settings for SATB choir, a cappella

1.   “O” Sapientia (O Wisdom)
2.   “O” Adonai
3.   “O” Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
4.   “O” Clavis David (O Key of David)
5.   “O” Oriens (O Rising Dawn)
6.   “O” Rex gentium (O King of Nations)
7.   “O” Emmanuel

This Night – 3 Celtic Christmas settings for SATB choir and harp

1.   Invocation
2.   The First Miracle
3.   Christmas Hail

Movements from both The Great “O” Antiphons and from This Night can be performed individually, in combination with one another, or as full sets. These works are all available from Muehleisen Music. Click here to access the order form.


Recent Performances

  • April 6 – Eat Your Vegetables! (Set One), Delaware Choral Society, James Wilson, cond., (Dover, DE)
  • April 26 – When All is Done, Bob Cole Conservatory Chamber Choir, John Alexander, cond., (Long Beach, CA)
  • April 27 – Apparitions, Ladies Musical Club of Seattle
  • May 11 – River Moons and Snow (The King’s Trumpeter), Una Vocis Choral Ensemble, Dennis Lee, cond. (Mason City, IA)
  • May 21 – Da Pacem, Lake Orion High school Choirs, Bryce Thompson, cond. (Lake Orion, MI)
  • May 24 – Borders, (WORLD PREMIERE) Great Bend Chorale + Youth Chorale (DCINY), Matthew Melendez, cond. (Carnegie Hall – New York City)
  • June 1 – Borders, (WEST COAST PREMIERE) Great Bend Chorale + Youth Chorale, Matthew Melendez, cond., (Shelton, WA)
  • June 2 – Borders, Great Bend Chorale + Youth Chorale, Matthew Melendez, cond., (Bremerton, WA)
  • June 9 – Love is…, (WORLD PREMIERE) Irvine United Congregational Church Choir, John St. Marie, cond., (Irvine, CA)
  • June 29 – Aversion to Carrots, Vivat Cantus, Nicole Uphues, cond., (Weißenkirchen, Austria)
  • August 2 – Sing to Me!, Midsummer Music Retreat Faculty, Loren Pontén, cond., (Walla Walla, WA)

Upcoming Performances

  • September 10 – Eat Your Vegetables – Set One, Catalina Foothills HS Choir, William Mattison, cond. (Tucson, AZ)
  • October 11 – Snow, (The King’s Trumpeter), Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble, Loren Pontén, cond. (Seattle, WA)
  • October 25 – Love is…, (WORLD PREMIERE of SATB + Trumpet Version) and Perplexed Music, Nicholls State University Concert Choir, John St. Marie, cond. (Thibadoux, LA)
  • October 26 – River Moons, Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble, Loren Pontén, cond. (Seattle, WA)
  • November 23 – Aversion to Carrots, Kaleidoscope Singers, Zoe Peate, cond. (Steyning, West Sussex, UK)
  • December 15 – The Wise and the Foolish: The Parable of the Ten Virgins, Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble, Loren Pontén, cond. (Seattle, WA)

View Event Calendar + Archive…


Recent World Premieres

  • May 24, 2019 – Borders, Great Bend Chorale, Matthew Melendez, cond. DCINY Concert – Carnegie Hall, NYC.
    • Additional performances:
      • June 1, 2019, 8:00 PM – St. Edward’s Catholic Church, Shelton, WA
      • June 2, 2019, 4:00 PM – William D. Harvey Theatre, College Instruction Center, Olympic College, Bremerton, WA
  • June 9, 2019 – Love Is – Poem by Rabia of Basra (female Sufi mystic and saint, c. 717–801), Irvine United Congregational Church, John St. Marie, cond.

Please contact composer for perusal scores of the works above.

Upcoming World Premieres

  • October 25 – Love is…, (WORLD PREMIERE of SATB + Trumpet Version) and, Nicholls State University Concert Choir, John St. Marie, cond. (Thibadoux, LA)
  • Feb 22-23, 2020 – Commission for Kirkland Choral Society, Glenn Gregg, cond.
  • March 4-7, 2020 – Consolation: Requiem for Newtown (WORLD PREMIERE of Version for SSAA, piano, and chimes), Company West Treble Chorus, Arvada West High School, Chris Maunu, cond.
  • March 29, 2020 – Commission for The Donald Brinegar Singers in honor of the conductor’s 70th birthday, Donald Brinegar Singers, Donald Brinegar, cond.
  • April 22, 2020 – Commission for Wake Forest University Concert Choir, Brian Gorelick, cond.
  • Late Spring 2020 – Borders, (WORLD PREMIERE of Complete Version) Great Bend Chorale, Matthew Melendez, cond., Venues TBD