News

JOHN MUEHLEISEN’S WWI ORATORIO,
“A KIPLING PASSION,”
WINS THE 2020 AMERICAN PRIZE FOR PROFESSIONAL CHORAL COMPOSERS:
MAJOR WORKS DIVISION

 

I’m honored to announce that my second oratorio, But Who Shall Return Us Our Children – A Kipling Passion, has been awarded the 2020 American Prize for Professional Choral Composers: Major Works Division.

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 since its premiere.

A recording of the work has been 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.

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, please contact the composer via the Contact page on this website.


MUEHLEISEN’S “BORDERS” PREMIERES AT CARNEGIE HALL TO STANDING OVATION AND CRITICAL ACCLAIM


“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.”

— Frank Daykin for New York Concert Review; New York, NY

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.

Performances

Recent Performances

  • September 10 – Eat Your Vegetables – Set One, Catalina Foothills HS Choir, William Mattison, cond. (Tucson, AZ)
  • September 15 – Welcome Song” (from Borders), First United Methodist Church Sanctuary Choir, Elisabeth Ellis, cond. (Seattle, WA)
  • September 15 – Welcome Song” (from Borders), University Congregational Church Chancel Choir, Heidi Blythe, cond. (Seattle, WA)
  • October 11 – Snow, (The King’s Trumpeter), Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble, Loren Pontén, cond. (Seattle, WA)
  • October 23, 2019 – Consolation: Requiem for Parkland (WORLD PREMIERE of Version for SSAA, piano, and chimes), Commissioned by Company West Treble Chorus, Arvada West High School, Chris Maunu, cond., (Arvada, CO)
  • 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)
  • October 30 – “Minnie and Mattie and May” (from The Tilden Songbook), Eastside Catholic School 6th Grade Choir, Jacob Malpocker, cond. (Sammamish, WA)
  • October 30 – “Humpty Dumpty’s Recitation” (from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass), Roosevelt High School Treble Choir, Jean-Marie Kent, cond. (Seattle, WA)
  • November 9 – “Singing Together” (East Coast PREMIERE), Ember, Deborah Simpkin King, cond. (New York City)
  • November 10 – “Singing Together” (New Jersey PREMIERE), Ember, Deborah Simpkin King, cond. (South Orange, NJ)
  • November 23 – “Aversion to Carrots” (from Eat Your Vegetables! – Set One), Kaleidoscope Singers, Zoe Peate, cond. (Steyning, West Sussex, UK)
  • November 24 – Invocation, Seattle Pro Musica, Karen P. Thomas, cond. (Olympia, WA)
  • December 7 – Eat Your Vegetables! – Set One, Cantate Chamber Singers, Victoria Gau, cond. (Washington, D.C.)
  • December 14 (3:00 PM and 7:30 PM) – Invocation, Seattle Pro Musica, Karen P. Thomas, cond., (Kenmore, WA)
  • December 15 – Song of the Stranger” (from Borders), University Congregational Church Chancel Choir, Heidi Blythe, cond. (Seattle, WA)
  • December 15 – Invocation, Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble, Loren Pontén, cond. (Seattle, WA)
  • December 19 – Winter-Time” (from The Tilden Songbook)Eastside Catholic School 7th/8th Grade Choir, Jacob Malpocker, cond. (Sammamish, WA)
  • December 21 (3:00 PM and 7:30 PM) – Invocation, Seattle Pro Musica, Karen P. Thomas, cond., (Seattle, WA)
  • January 21,  2020 – Consolation: Requiem for Parkland (Version for SSAA, piano, and chimes), Company West Treble Chorus, Arvada West High School, Chris Maunu, cond. (Arvada, CO)
  • January 23,  2020 – Consolation: Requiem for Parkland (Version for SSAA, piano, and chimes), Company West Treble Chorus, Arvada West High School, Chris Maunu, cond. (Colorado Music Educators Assoc. Conference: Colorado Springs, CO)
  • Feb 2, 2020 – Pietà excerpts, Connor Koppin, cond., Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI)
  • Feb 22-23, 2020 – The Gathering: “Come In”, Kirkland Choral Society, Glenn Gregg, cond.
  • Feb 22-23, 2020 – Love is… (West Coast PREMIERE of choir and trumpet version), Kirkland Choral Society, Glenn Gregg, cond.
  • March 1, 2020 – Eat Your Vegetables! – Set One, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Concert Chorale, Zachary Durlam, cond., Milwaukee, WI
  • March 5, 2020 – Consolation: Requiem for Parkland (Arkansas PREMIERE of version for SSAA, piano, and chimes at SW ACDA Conference) – Commissioned by Company West Treble Chorus, Arvada West High School, Chris Maunu, cond. (Little Rock, AR)
  • March 5, 2020 – from Eat Your Vegetables! – Set One: Aversion to Carrots, RAH!, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Concert Chorale, Zachary Durlam, cond. (North Central ACDA Conference, Milwaukee, WI)
  • CANCELED – March 8, 2020 – The Mother of Exiles, University Congregational Church, Heidi Blythe, cond. (Seattle, WA)
  • CANCELED – March 14, 2020 – RAH!, Mission Peak Chamber Singers, Ofer Dal Lal, cond. (Fremont, CA)
  • LIVESTREAMED – March 15, 2020 – RAH!, Mission Peak Chamber Singers, Ofer Dal Lal, cond. (Fremont, CA)
  • CANCELED – March 29, 2020 – Sing to Me!, Concord Chamber Choir, Steve Stevens, cond. (Bellevue, WA)
  • PREMIERE POSTPONED (TBD) – March 29, 2020 – Imagination! for SATB choir a cappella (WORLD PREMIERE) – Commissioned by The Donald Brinegar Singers in honor of the conductor’s 70th birthday, The Donald Brinegar Singers, Donald Brinegar, cond. (Pasadena, CA)
  • CANCELED – April, 15, 2020 – RAH!, Wellington High School Chamber Chorus, Bradford Chase, cond. (Plantation, FL)
  • PREMIERE POSTPONED (TBD) – April 22, 2020 – And Music Shall Untune the Sky for choir and soprano saxophone (WORLD PREMIERE) – Commissioned by Brian Gorelick for the Wake Forest University Concert Choir, Brian Gorelick, cond.
  • CANCELED – April 29, 2020 – The Soul’s Expression, Baylor University Chamber Singers, Dr. Brian Schmidt, cond.
  • CANCELED – April 29, 2020 – When All is Done, Oberlin College Choir, John Alexander, cond.
  • April 30, 2020 – RAH!, Wellington High School Chamber Chorus, Bradford Chase, cond. (Wellington, FL)
  • CANCELED – May 9, 2020 – Love Is…, Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble, Loren Pontèn, cond. (Seattle, WA)
  • CANCELED – May 16, 2020 – Two River Nocturnes: 1. Prairie Waters by Night, 2. River Moons, The Singers, Matthew Culloton, cond. (Columbia Heights, MN)
  • CANCELED – May 17, 2020 – Two River Nocturnes: 1. Prairie Waters by Night, 2. River Moons, The Singers, Matthew Culloton, cond. (St. Paul, MN)
  • CANCELED – May 20, 2020 – RAH!, Arlington Community Chorus, Cynthia Young, cond., (Arlington, VA)
  • CANCELED – May 29, 2020 – Borders, (WORLD PREMIERE of Complete Version) Great Bend Chorale, Matthew Melendez, cond. (Seattle, WA)
  • CANCELED – May 30, 2020 – Borders (Complete Version), Great Bend Chorale, Matthew Melendez, cond. (Shelton, WA)
  • CANCELED – June 7, 2020 – Borders (Complete Version), University Congregational Church + Bellevue First Congregational, Heidi Blythe, cond. (Seattle, WA)
  • CANCELED – June 7, 2020 – Sing to Me!, Concord Chamber Choir, Steve Stevens, cond. (venue TBD)
  • CANCELED – June 8, 2020 – SA + piano version of Humpty Dumpty’s Recitation from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass” (East Coast PREMIERE), Manhattan Concert Productions: National Children’s Festival Chorus (incl. Georgia Children’s Chorus and others), Emily Ellsworth, cond. (Carnegie Hall, NYC)

Upcoming Performances

  • None at this time due to Coronavirus Pandemic.
    My heart goes out to all of my composer colleagues and performing artists and ensembles as we all try to navigate these unprecedented waters.
    WE WILL SING AND PERFORM AGAIN!

View Event Calendar + Archive…

Commissions / Premieres

Recent Premieres

  • May 24, 2019 – Borders – (WORLD PREMIERE in Carnegie Hall, NYC) – Commissioned by Matthew Melendez and the Great Bend Center for Music in collaboration with the Distinguished Concerts International New York Premiere Project, with support from the Mason County Washington Historic Preservation Commission and Sierra Pacific Industries – Great Bend Chorale and Youth Chorale; Tess Altiveros, sop; Matthew Melendez, cond. Additional performances:
      • June 1, 2019 – Shelton, WA
      • June 2, 2019 – Bremerton, WA
  • June 9, 2019 – Love Is – Poem by Rabia of Basra (female Sufi mystic and saint, c. 717–801) – WORLD PREMIERE of a cappella version – Commissioned by Irvine United Congregational Church Chancel Choir in honor of Dr. John St. Marie), John St. Marie, cond.
  • October 23, 2019 – Consolation: Requiem for Parkland (PREVIEW of version for SSAA, piano, and chimes), Commissioned by Company West Treble Chorus, Arvada West High School, Chris Maunu, cond., (Arvada, CO)
  • October 25, 2019 – Love is…, (WORLD PREMIERE of SATB + trumpet Version), Nicholls State University Concert Choir, John St. Marie, cond. (Thibadoux, LA)
  • January 23, 2020 – Consolation: Requiem for Parkland (WORLD PREMIERE of version for SSAA, piano, and chimes at Colorado Music Educators Association Conference, Colorado Springs) – Commissioned by Company West Treble Chorus, Arvada West High School, Chris Maunu, cond.
  • Feb 22-23, 2020 – The Gathering: “Come In” – Poem by Robert Bode. (WORLD PREMIERE) – Commissioned by Kirkland Choral Society, Glenn Gregg, cond.
  • Feb 22-23, 2020 – Love is… (West Coast PREMIERE of choir and trumpet version) – Kirkland Choral Society, Glenn Gregg, cond. (Kenmore, WA)
  • March 5, 2020 – Consolation: Requiem for Parkland (Arkansas PREMIERE of version for SSAA, piano, and chimes at SW ACDA Conference) – Commissioned by Company West Treble Chorus, Arvada West High School, Chris Maunu, cond. (Little Rock, AR)

Please contact composer for perusal scores of works listed here.

Upcoming Premieres

  • PREMIERE POSTPONED (TBD) – March 29, 2020 – Imagination! for SATB choir a cappella (WORLD PREMIERE) – Commissioned by The Donald Brinegar Singers in honor of the conductor’s 70th birthday, The Donald Brinegar Singers, Donald Brinegar, cond. (Pasadena, CA)
  • PREMIERE POSTPONED (TBD) – April 22, 2020 – And Music Shall Untune the Sky for choir and soprano saxophone (WORLD PREMIERE) – Commissioned by Brian Gorelick for the Wake Forest University Concert Choir, Brian Gorelick, cond.
  • PREMIERE POSTPONED (TBD) – May 29-30, 2020 – Borders, (WORLD PREMIERE of Complete Version) – Commissioned by Matthew Melendez and the Great Bend Center for Music in collaboration with the Distinguished Concerts International New York Premiere Project, with support from the Mason County Washington Historic Preservation Commission and Sierra Pacific Industries – Great Bend Chorale and Youth Chorale; Tess Altiveros, sop; Matthew Melendez, cond.
  • CANCELED – June 8, 2020 – SA + piano version of Humpty Dumpty’s Recitation from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass” (East Coast PREMIERE in Carnegie Hall, NYC), Manhattan Concert Productions: National Children’s Festival Chorus (incl. Georgia Children’s Chorus and others), Emily Ellsworth, cond.