Nature. Man. Secular. Spiritual. Temporal. Eternal.
Taken from a text by Walt Whitman, “The Splendid Silent Sun” will explore man’s relationship to the natural world and the mysteries of the eternal as seen through the eyes of some of American’s most celebrated poets and composers, including Whitman. At the center of this distinctly American program is the world premiere of a new work by composer and conductor Donald McCullough, jointly commissioned by the Washington Master Chorale and Words&Music, Inc. and featuring the vocal ensemble Words&Music, Inc. Other pieces on the program will include works by Cecil Effinger, Adolphus Hailstork, Stephen Chatman and Daniel Pinkham. Featured image (on right) by Diane Nester Kresh.
Pre-Concert Lecture, 3:00 pm
Join us for a free pre-concert event “American Poetry and the American Experience,” moderated by Rob Casper, Director of the Library of Congress’ Office of Poetry and Literature.
About Composer, Donald McCullough
As a composer Don McCullough demonstrates an imaginative flexibility that has brought him critical acclaim throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. From church anthems to full scale symphonic works, McCullough’s music is known for resonating deeply with audiences. His wide-ranging experience and critical success as the conductor of numerous choral organizations of varying sizes and abilities allows him to write music for all kinds of choirs, whether large or small, children or adult, professional or volunteer, church or community.
McCullough’s most recent compositions include Song of the Shulamite, inspired by the heroine of the biblical “Song of Solomon,” premiered in November of 2012 by George Mason’s University Singers under the direction of Dr. Stan Engebretson; and his Contraries: The Human Condition, a 25-minute work in six movements that uses the arresting imagery of William Blake’s poetry to portray the difficult balancing of the “contraries” within human nature. Contraries was commissioned by the San Francisco Choral Society (Bob Geary, conductor) and was premiered in San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall.
McCullough has over 30 published or soon-to-be-published compositions represented by numerous publishers. Many of these works were commissioned for special occasions, such as significant anniversaries and celebrations of service, in which McCullough has worked with a wide variety of organizations, including middle and high schools, small and large church programs, colleges, universities, professional choruses and community choirs.
McCullough holds bachelor degrees in both organ and vocal performance from Stetson University and master degrees in both sacred music and vocal performance from Southern Methodist University. He came to Washington, DC in 1996 from Norfolk, Virginia, where he had founded two organizations that continue to thrive today—the Virginia Symphony Chorus and the Virginia Chorale, which continues to be that state’s only fully professional choral ensemble. He served on the board of directors of Chorus America, the national service organization for choruses in the United States and Canada, and regularly appears as a guest conductor and clinician.
About Guest Artists, Words&Music, Inc.
The mission of Words&Music, Inc. is to present exceptional performances of both traditional and newly-commissioned compositions in the vocal chamber music repertoire. Our purpose is to bring beautiful music to the forefront while simultaneously giving equal attention to the wonderful poetry and prose that inspire each work. Our efforts include both educational and performance initiatives throughout our community.
The National Presbyterian Church
4101 Nebraska Ave NW