Solidarity in Song – Composers

From a diverse pool of composers around the world we chose four meaningful works for voice.

Oseh Shalom – For Cantor and SATB Chorus with Piano
Joshua Fishbein
A singer and pianist, Joshua Fishbein (b. Dec. 30, 1984) composes both vocal and instrumental music. Currently, Fishbein is A.B.D. for the PhD in Music Composition at UCLA. He has won prizes from the ACDA, The American Prize, the Belvedere Chamber Music Festival, BMI, the Boston Metro Opera, the Cantate Chamber Singers, the Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble, Chorus Austin, the Guild of Temple Musicians, the Delaware Valley Chorale, The Esoterics, the Hollywood Master Chorale, the National Lutheran Choir, and WomenSing. Fishbein completed his M.M. in Composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he won first prize in the Conservatory Artsong Competition. Earning undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Music Composition at Carnegie Mellon University, Fishbein won the Harry G. Archer Prize in orchestral composition. A native of Baltimore, Fishbein studied piano and theory at The Peabody Preparatory. His Hebrew choral music was included in the Baltimore Choral Arts Society’s Student Composer Project, Shalshelet’s International Festival of New Jewish Liturgical Music, and the Max Helfman Institute for New Jewish Music. Fishbein’s teachers include Roger Bourland, Paul Chihara, David Conte, Nancy Galbraith, Ian Krouse, and David Lefkowitz, and Lawrence Moss. He has choral music published by ECS Publishing and Transcontinental Music Publications.


Music In My Soul – For SATB Chorus with Piano, Bass, and Drums
Mike Strikland
Pianist and composer Mike Strickland has been influenced by many styles of music and has evolved into a one-of-a-kind piano artist. Born and raised in Jackson Mississippi, he grew up listening to great composers and performers of that time including BB King, Henry Mancini, Ramsey Lewis, Vince Guaraldi, and the Beatles. These influences gave Mike the foundation for his own musical style which includes popular, blues, boogie-woogie, and jazz genres as well as original works. As a composer, Mike has always been inspired and driven by melody. He also loves to experiment with motion and texture, using the piano as his own orchestra. He has developed his own unique style of piano artistry and has racked up some impressive achievements. In addition to his original music airing for 7 seasons on CBS Sports PGA Golf, his music has also been heard on the NBC, FOX, and ABC television networks as well as several major motion pictures. In 2009, Mike’s positive message song/animation “Spread Joy” was also featured on ABC Good Morning America. He has established himself as a prolific recording artist, releasing 21 CDs to date on his own label, MSP Records. His CDs have sold over 350,000 copies and are distributed in the USA and digitally throughout the world. Mike’s performances are a wonderful balance of artistry and showmanship, all with a deep connection to his audience. This nationally touring pianist and recording artist performs as a solo pianist, with his duo or trio, and as a guest soloist with orchestra bringing his custom orchestrations to the stage. Mike continues to perform, teach, arrange, produce and record. So far in 2013-14, Mike has published several new original arrangements for full orchestra and plans to publish many more of his unique solo piano arrangements of popular and original music for pianists around the world. His 22rd CD, “Fantasy” is scheduled to be released later this year.


Hail to the spirit that unites us
Michael Steer
Michæl Maxwell Steer’s most celebrated achievement in the first part of his life was to conduct the world premiere of Nicholas Nickleby in 1981 at the Aldwych Theatre, while London Director of Music of the Royal Shakespeare Company. A chorister at Canterbury Cathedral, he later ran away to Paris at the age of 15 hoping to study with Olivier Messiæn but in fact began his professional life three years later as a silent film pianist at the National Film Theatre, London. In the interim he had built up a large church choir in Kingston Surrey over four years and studied privately under the guidance of harpsichordist Jane Clark and her husband, composer Stephen Dodgson. His organ teachers were Allan Wicks (Canterbury Cathedral) and Alan Harverson (RCM). His conducting with Nicholas Conran (Surrey U), included a masterclass with the legendary Sergiu Celibidache. As a harpsichordist Steer broadcast on BBCr3 and recorded with leading baroque music performers – Roy Goodman, Nancy Hadden, Jeremy Barlow and others – performing and directing Falla’s Harpsichord Concerto for Capital Radio on a specially-restored Pleyel, performed in the UK premiere of Stockhausen’s Die Jahreslauf with Music Projects /London, and toured Europe and the US with several baroque ensembles. Read more about Michael Steer on his website.


Refuge for Unaccompanied SATB Chorus
Devin Farney
Based out of San Francisco, Devin Farney is an internationally performed composer. Devin received his BM from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music (2006) and his MM from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (2009). He and his music have been a part of the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France, the International New Music Festival in Darmstadt, Germany, the ANALOG Art’s “Iron Composer” competition, and more. His works have received notable performances and honors/awards – most recently his composition ‘Fire And Ice’ was a winner of the Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition. Devin is equally at home in the worlds of concert and film/popular music. His compositions have been commissioned and performed under the baton of up-and-coming conductors, performers, and ensembles. His music has been sought and used by established filmmakers, playwrights, and other artists. Currently he is a nominee for ‘Best Emerging San Francisco Artist of 2013′ by The Deli Magazine.


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