The Choir Parents' Handbook

most glowing terms she is a person endowed with patience, understanding, love of the work, and the knowledge of boy choir which comes only from actual experience.

From the beginning days of the Texas Boys' Choir when the works of Dyke and Bamby were masterworks for the untrained participants, the Choir's repertoire has steadily enlarged by constant search for material in this undeveloped field of musical accomplishment. Compositions considered standard are from the pens of di Lasso, Lotti, Martini, Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Wagner and Kodaly. Among the major works are: Pergolesi's Stabat Mater; Bax's Fantasy on Polish Carols; and Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols.

In looking through a voluminous amount of compositions in search of adequate and worth-while material, it became obvious that nothing was being contributed to the boy choir field from the modern composers of America. We felt a compulsion to do something immediately so that in years to come the zenith of our civilization would be represented in musical form through the medium of boy choir, as were the heights of the Baroque and Renaissance.

At this point, we realized what needed to be done and took steps in that direction; namely, a series of major works representative of various schools of composition. Commissioning seemed the best way in which to get the job accomplished.

We next considered the relationship of the boy choir in the field of music, and the likely composer to undertake the initial step in this proposed series of commissions.

The medium of boy choir has in it many of the qualities of a chamber group. Not only does it produce sounds more suitable to such a group than to the concert hall, but its voicings are very similar to those of a chamber group. We then began to look for the most likely composer for this initial work. We knew, of course, that we were looking for a master of chamber music.

Ernest von Dohnanyi, the noted pianist and composer, and composer-in- residence at Florida State University, was selected since his concerted chamber works have long been highly valued by the world's greatest artists, and since his compositions have always had a freshness and youthful enthusiasm about them. He is a composer of melody with a touch of modern inventiveness. These outstanding qualities in his work led us to choose him

 

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