/paltrowitz
  • The story:

    This brand new work was written for the Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High Schools Summer Choral Clinic of 2015, under the guest conductor, Mr. Ron Meixsell. Since this is the only time throughout the year that our choir performs a concert in a church, Psalm 4 was chosen as the text.  I wanted to use a biblical text but one that was non-denominational. This humbling text speaks to me as one of longing for an answer. It is about having faith that our questions will be answered when we believe, and each and every time, our patience and soul searching brings us comfort. Answer Me When I Call is melodic, diatonic and rhythmically attainable. It has a lingering chord that is the focus of the entire piece; the chord of do, fa, sol is the eternal question and the search for comfort  The shape of the line and the musical interpretation of the text makes this a touching and relatable story for choir members and audience members alike. The harmonies are modern and sophisticated yet the piece maintains a feel that transcends time.

  • The story:

    This original piece is intended to uplift the spirit and unify us together. It should be sung rhythmically throughout. It opens with the feeling of the earth spinning. The verses explain the inner complexity that we as individual faces on a daily basis and how we need to awaken our spirit in order to overcome life's obstacles. The choruses unify the singers and the world as we become voice. The percussion is a reminder that life moves us forward and it is up to us to jump on board and take the journey that we have been given. Together, every heartbeat brings us closer, gives us faith and hope to carry on.
  • Oseh Shalom is a call for peace. This original setting of “Oseh Shalom” is a joint quest to stop fighting and to share our Earth peacefully. As continuous conflicts around have been going on continuously throughout the world for thousands of years, the ability to create an eternal state of peace seems nearly impossible. Any “current” situation could be solved and/or easily mediated, should both parties meet with a mutual goal of resolution; peace, however, is far more complicated, as those who have felt “wronged” carry the burden passed on from previous generations. With so many people on both sides of a conflict carrying-on past legacy, a current resolution usually lacks the comfort of a definitive and absolute resolution.
  • This Sara Teasdale poem touched me immediately when reading it for the very first time. "Peace flows into me", the first line of the poem, made me wonder what peace feels like. What does peace sound like? How do we envision peace flowing?  Many of us think of peace as a moment of inner stillness, yet peace, according to Teasdale, is flowing.  Is peace still, or does its constant motion bring us comfort and tranquility, the way the earth is constantly moving in order to create our sense of balance? This setting is melodic, harmonically modern and intriguing, and will be attainable for self-selected high school ensembles, select ensembles, college, and community ensembles.  
  • This beautiful poem by Edgar Lee Masters is set to a beautiful and accessible melody with contemporary harmony. This is written for high school voices with a firm understanding of their comfortable range.
  • frost
    poem by Robert Frost

    The story:

    This original setting of “The Road Not Taken" is a poem that connects deeply with our most important life choices.  I composed this piece after I just had a one-on-one conversations with several of my high school seniors; each student was trying to figure out what school was the right fit for them, but felt a sense of fear that whatever choice they made would leave doubt in their minds.  "What if I chose the wrong school?"

    We may believe that we are destined down the road that we are supposed to take. Even so, there may still remain a twinge of wonder or even regret about that other opportunities we passed up.  

    This setting is intended to bring out the wonder and the doubt every step of the way. 

  • There is no black and white. Life it fluid and we dance together for short periods of time, but continue to move in our own direction.  Each passing stranger is important and we should treasure them, as everyone is merely a passing stranger.  
  • 0002 Truth
    A meaningful choral piece for Treble Voices that speaks a "truth"   "All we really own is one point of view And everywhere we go just confirms its true But when we lose our truth and it breaks apart, Then love will fill, will fill our heart."
  • lullabye

    The story:

    Unborn Lullabye was written for my daughter, Lyla, before she was born. It is a lullabye that tells the story and shares the dreams that a first-time parent may have for their little one. I composed this piece over the summer of 2015.  My wife was due with Lyla on October 6th.  I knew I had planned to take off a few weeks from my high school choral position when Lyla was born.  On September 21st, I had my first Monday evening rehearsal of the year with my Mixed Choir. I surprised them with Unborn Lullabye, which they loved.  They learned the first version of it in about 30 minutes.  My intent was to have it ready by the time Lyla was ready. I was so happy that my choir loved the lullabye and looked forward to continuing working on the piece all week.  When I arrived home at 10pm, on a high, I sat down with my wife on the couch, sharing my experience of the lullabye..........she responded by sharing that she was having contractions.  Twelve hours later, Lyla was born.