Joel Puckett commissioned as part of Chorus America’s 2013 Dale Warland Singers Commission Award

Joel- The Crossing



The Crossing wins Chorus America’s “2013 Dale Warland Singers Commission Award”





Philadelphia, PA – May 7, 2013: The Crossing is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded the 2013 Dale Warland Singers Commission Award. The Dale Warland Singers Commission Award is presented by Chorus America in partnership with the American Composers Forum. The award was created to recognize a chorus entering into an artistically meaningful and mutually beneficial partnership with a composer of their choice to contribute a new work to the choral repertoire. Eligibility for this award rotates through a three-year cycle: professional choruses(2013), adult volunteer choruses(2014), and children/youth choruses(2015).

The Crossing proposed a fifteen-minute unaccompanied work for 24-voice chamber choir written by Baltimore-based composer Joel Puckett.

An award letter from Gayle M. Ober, Chairman, and Ann Meier Baker, President & CEO of Chorus America stated: “The selection panel unanimously agreed that not only your carefully planned partnership with Joel Puckett but also The Crossing’s commitment to fostering new repertoire for the choral field embodies the important legacy of the Dale Warland Singers.” The award will be presented at Chorus America’s National Convention in Seattle during an Awards Luncheon on June 13, 2013.

“Joel is a colorist with a unique ability to draw the listener into a new and profound world,” said The Crossing’s conductor Donald Nally. “It is spiritually-charged and emotional music; a perfect match for the aesthetic of The Crossing, as well as the interests and artistry of our singers.”

Joel Puckett’s new work will be a main feature of the seventh-annual Month of Moderns Festival in summer 2015. The Crossing has established an annual festival of new music in Philadelphia, the Month of Moderns – three concerts, each with a major premiere, over the course of one month. The festival has expanded to include ancillary events (concerts of music of the featured composers, informal discussion groups with composers, and gallery shows of work by the collaborating visual artists) and has become what one newspaper has called a “must-stop on Philadelphia’s new-music scene.”

“It is an incredible gift for me to return to the choral world with a group as spectacular as The Crossing,” said composer Joel Puckett. “Their commissioning record and consistent ability to convey the composer’s intention is an awe-inspiring achievement and I am honored to be the next to create notes with this group serving as muse. I am excited to collaborate with Donald and the group and to push ourselves to create the most meaningful music possible.”

The Crossing will present its fifth-annual Month of Moderns festival this June in Philadelphia. The festival will include three main concerts and five ancillary concert/events.

2013 Month of Moderns – The Gulf (between you and me)

Main Concerts:
Saturday, June 15, 2013 @ 8pm
Month of Moderns I
At The Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral
With special guest Toshimaru Nakamura
Gene Coleman: The Gulf (world premiere)
Santa Ratniece: Chu Dal (Silent Water, 2008)
Tamar Diesendruck: Other Floods (2010)

Sunday, June 23, 2013 @ 4pm
Month of Moderns II
The IceBox at Crane Arts Center in Northern Liberties
Chris Jonas: The Gulf (world premiere)
Santa Ratniece: Horo Horo Hata Hata  (2008)
Justé Janulyté: aguarelle (Watercolor, 2007)

Sunday, June 30, 2013 @ 4pm
Month of Moderns III
At the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill
Gabriel Jackson: The Gulf (world premiere)
Santa Ratniece: Saline (Salt Lakes, 2006)
John Cage: Four 2 (1992)

Ancillary Events
Friday, June 7 @ 8pm: Gene Coleman’s, Ensemble N_JP
At The International House

Saturday, June 15 @ 6pm: Pierre Joris Poetry Reading
At The Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral

Wednesday, June 19 @ 8pm: Chris Jonas’s quartet, Sun Spits Cherries
At The Neighborhood House, Christ Church, Philadelphia

Wednesday, June 26 @ 6:30pm: “Inside the Composer’s Studio: Gabriel Jackson”
At the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, Widener Hall

June  – Artwork Gallery Display
At The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, Widener Hall

About Joel Puckett
Named as one of National Public Radio’s listeners’ favorite composers under the age of 40, Joel Puckett is a composer who is dedicated to the belief that music can bring consolation, hope and joy to all who need it. The Washington Post has hailed him as both “visionary” and “gifted” and the Baltimore Sun proclaimed his work for the Washington Chorus and Orchestra, This Mourning, as “being of comparable expressive weight” to John Adams’ Pulitzer Prize winning work, On the Transmigration of Souls. Puckett’s flute concerto, The Shadow of Sirius, has been performed all over the world and commercially recorded three times. Of the University of Michigan Symphony Band’s recording, Audiophile Audition wrote, “The music … contains a density within a clarity, polyphony within the simple and – most importantly – is a beautiful and seemingly spiritual work.” In May of 2012, Puckett’s double concerto for clarinet, flute and orchestra, Concerto Duo, was premiered by brothers Anthony McGill [principal clarinet, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra] and Demarre McGill [principal flute, The Seattle Symphony] to a sold out crowd at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall.

Puckett is currently on the full-time faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Music of Johns Hopkins University where he teaches courses in music theory, co-teaches the composition seminar and recently finished a term as the composer-in-residence for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras. He holds advanced degrees from the University of Michigan.