LA Master Chorale Appoints New Composer-in-Residence


Shawn Kirchner Appointed
Swan Family Composer in Residence


Music Director Grant Gershon and the Los Angeles Master Chorale Board of Directors are thrilled to
announce that Shawn Kirchner has been appointed to a three year term as the Swan Family Composer in Residence beginning July 1, 2012. Gershon states, “Shawn is one of the most prodigiously gifted composers and arrangers in the choral world today. We are eager to increase his visibility and impact on the music scene at large with this appointment. Shawn is an artist of deeply compelling musicianship and skill, whose music the Chorale has performed more often (outside of the works of Morten Lauridsen) than any other American composer.”


In fact, Morten Lauridsen is the only other composer in the Master Chorale’s history to have been appointed a residency (1995 – 2001, under the direction of Paul Salamunovich). Dr. Lauridsen notes, “I congratulate Shawn on now being named Swan Family Composer in Residence for the Chorale. I know that his continued association with Grant Gershon and the singers will be equally fruitful and will inspire him to create
brilliant and exciting new works for our beloved Chorale.”



Shawn has been a tenor in the Master Chorale for eleven years and composing since the age of eight. The Chorale has sung many of his works in the past, including popular arrangements featured on its annual “Holiday Wonders: Festival of Carols” concerts as well as three world premieres: Memorare and Heavenly Home in 2010 and Behold New Joy: Ancient Carols of Christmas in 2011. “It is a great honor and privilege for me to accept the Composer in Residence position,” states Kirchner. “The Master Chorale represents the summit of achievement for American choirs, whether approaching any symphonic work in the repertoire, however forbidding, or paring itself down to a handful of singers for music of the greatest intricacy.  It is any composer’s dream to collaborate with such a choir, and with the person at the helm responsible for such achievement, Grant Gershon.”

In his new role with the Chorale, Kirchner assumes a range of duties which include composing a new work in each year of his term; creating new arrangements for Chorale concerts; consulting with Music Director Grant Gershon and Associate Conductor Lesley Leighton regarding programming concerts; and partnering with Gershon and senior LAMC staff to create and implement a commissioning program. Other responsibilities include interacting with students participating in such education programs as Voices Within and the High School Choir Festival to teach about composing music; and representing the Los Angeles Master Chorale at national choral music conferences.



More Kirchner News

Shawn’s popular arrangement of Wana Baraka was selected to be performed earlier this month by the Nairobi Chamber Choir at the Diamond Jubilee Pageant celebrating the 60-year reign of her majesty Queen Elizabeth, II.


Shawn’s first commission as Swan Family Composer in Residence will premiere on next season’s “The American Concert” program: June 2, 2013 at 7 pm.



The Swan Family


This residency is made possible by a generous contribution from the Swan Family: two generations of
committed subscribers with deep choral roots and advocacy for the Los Angeles Master Chorale. The Swan Family includes longtime subscriber and former LAMC
Board member Philip A. Swan, his sisters Karen Steen and Sara Swan, their father (also a subscriber) Philip V. Swan and their late-mother Sally Swan, who was an ardent admirer of the Master Chorale.


Describing the impetus behind the Swan Family’s gift Philip A. Swan explains, “Our family has been a huge fan of the Chorale for many years. Our gift is a way to help make this great organization standout even further by creating an enduring legacy through musical works that will forever be associated with the chorus. We are delighted our gift will enable Shawn Kirchner, who is a bright light in the Chorale and beyond, to let his creative juices flow to create music that will become a permanent part of the choral repertoire.”

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