Let’s talk choral music

I haven’t written especially much on here about choral music, but it’s actually very important to me. My composition degree included a special concentration in choral music, and despite my current dry spell, I still see choral music as part of my life’s calling in a special way.

I think with getting a full-time job and getting myself established in that, I lost a certain level of focus on choral music that I had before. While in school, my life’s narrative revolved around music on both a micro and macro level. I spent my time studying music, writing it, rehearsing it, and all in service of the large-scale goal of cultivating myself as a composer. My current job is at least music-adjacent, but it’s hard to keep the thread of choral music as lively when my daily work doesn’t orient me towards it, and my general career trajectory isn’t currently bringing me closer to choral music either.

Oratorienchor of Würzburg singing Brahms’s Requiem
They’re singing Brahms’s Requiem
Photo credit: Schorle

In spite of all this, I still have the glowing embers from the fire of choral inspiration that once burned in me. Many people think of choral music as a subgenre of classical music, and certainly a lot of choral music is from that tradition, but to me, it transcends that world. I don’t write classical music or whatever its contemporary equivalent is; I just write plans for what I think people should do when they get together to sing. People coming together to sing is a holy and precious thing in the many forms it takes, and I want my life’s work to be devoted to facilitating and participating in that.

I’ve had the incredible privilege to sing in some great choirs with superb directors, and through these ensembles I had the chance to encounter and sing many pieces that had a profound influence on me personally. The most moving experience I had in college was singing Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem. At the end of that performance, having put my all into this music I had grown to love, I found myself surprised by a sudden rush of tears. I barely held it together for the applause, then I rushed to the bathroom. There, I wept hard & loudly for about ten solid minutes, some of the most cathartic crying of my life. Knowing how deeply a person can be moved by the right music, it’s my ambition to write some music that people can put their hearts & souls into like that.

Do you sing or enjoy choral music? Do you write any music? Have you been deeply moved by music? Let me know your thoughts at my Ctrl-C email: gome ​@ ​ctrl-c.club.