Samuel Adler: Choose Life



Samuel Adler








Second Piano Concerto








The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra & Chorus




Timothy Koch






Alan Feinberg






Mary Creswell






Don Frazure








Samuel Adler, composer




Samuel Adler was born in Mannheim, Germany, on March 4, 1928. A prominent and important educator, Adler has enjoyed what might be called the patronage of the American University, which is the twentieth century equivalent of the seventeenth century's church and the eighteenth century's court. Just as composers in the past often owed their allegiance to and drew their salaries from religious leaders or noblemen, so a large number of professional composers today are employed by colleges and universities, where they have many duties besides writing music. Adler's career is typical. In addition to being the creator of over 400 published works, many of which are regularly performed by major ensembles, he has also been a teacher, administrator, and author of textbooks. In 1966 Adler became Professor of Composition at the Eastman School of Music, a position from which he recently retired; in 1974 he became chairman of the Composition Department; in 1984 he was named Mentor of the University of Rochester. He has published books on orchestration, musicianship, and choral conducting. And, like his counterparts two and three centuries ago, he is an accomplished conductor.




Adler came to the United States from his native Germany at the age of ten. He was educated at Boston and Harvard Universities, and he holds four honorary doctorates. He studied conducting with Serge Koussevitsky and composition with Aaron Copland, Paul Hindemith, Hugo Norden, Walter Piston, and Randall Thompson. When he was in the United States Army, he founded and conducted the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra. Because of that orchestra's great psychological, cultural, and musical impact in Europe, Adler received the Army's Medal of Honor.




Adler's father was a cantor and composer of Jewish liturgical music. Thus it was appropriate for him to become, in 1953, Music Director of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas. The following year he was appointed Music Director of the Dallas Lyric Theater. In 1957 he became Professor of Composition at North Texas State University. He relinquished these positions when he accepted his post at Eastman. In 1984-85 he was Honorary Professorial Fellow of the University College in Cardiff, Wales. In 1988-89 he was Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar at several American universities, colleges, and conservatories.




He has received numerous awards and grants, including four National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a Ford Foundation award, Rockefeller Foundation grant, Guggenheim Fellowship, the Charles Ives Award, the Lillian Fairchild Award, the Deems Taylor Award for his book Orchestration, the Boston University distinguished Alumnus Award, the Music Teachers National Association "Composer of the Year" Award, the Eastman School's Eisenhart Award for distinguished teaching, and commissions from the Koussevitsky Foundation, Kentucky Arts Commission, Sinfonia Foundation, City of Jerusalem, Barlow Foundation, Dallas Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Oklahoma City Symphony, Cleveland Quartet, and Welsh Arts Council.




Adler's music has been performed by the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Pops, Houston Symphony, National Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, New Orleans Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, Fine Arts Quartet, Pro Arte Quartet, and others. His works are recorded on RCA, Vanguard, Crystal, Lyrichord, Mark, Turnabout, Gasparo, Golden Crest and Vox Records.








Acrostics is a concerto for harpsichord, flute, oboe, clarinet, violin and cello. The work was written in 1985 as a Christmas present for my good friends Barbara Harbach and Thomas George. Barbara had been performing the Harpsichord Concerto by DeFalla and I thought I would write a companion piece for that work and score it for the same combination of instruments. Acrostics was the result. The work was premiered in the fall of 1986 by Barbara Harbach, harpsichord, and members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in Buffalo, New York.




Acrostics is in four movements or games. The first movement marked fast and energetic tosses ideas back and forth between the players with the harpsichord acting as a sort of accompanying 'umpire' keeping the other instruments going in tempo. As the tempo marking indicates this movement churns continually and the ideas are all very energetic from beginning to end.




The second movement is a gentle dance beginning with a fluffy introduction leading to a waltz-like section followed by a musette which sounds a little like an ancient chant of a stylized 'Greek' dance. I have always liked these dances which stem from the classical ballet rather than from the dance floor.




The third 'game' is a real slow movement featuring sustained tones with quiet melodic passages offset or accompanied by chords.




The finale is once again a very energetic fast moving piece which is almost a perpetual motion all the way through. All the instruments play continuous fast figuration with only a few lyrical passages to calm the atmosphere though the frantic pace continues in constant dialogue between the six players.




Each of the movements is quite short and the work as a whole takes a little less than fifteen minutes to perform.




Second Piano Concerto




The Second Piano Concerto was commissioned by the Friends of Today's Music for the Music Teachers Association of California for the 100th Anniversary of the organization in 1997 and premiered at their convention in San Francisco July 7, 1997.




The work is in four rather brief movements:




First movement marked FAST AND JUBILANT is an energetic dialogue between the orchestra and the piano soloist. Out of the agitated passage work emerge two lyrical themes. The first is stated by the piano, but constantly interrupted by the orchestra and finally it comes into its own played again by the soloist and developed immediately by the winds and then the strings. The development of both the passagework and the two parts of the theme constitute the main body of the first movement throughout. It never rests except for some orchestral "pyramids" which build up chords and act almost like cadence points or temporary resting places in an otherwise over-active environment. The movement ends with a series of 'secco' chords alternating between the piano and the orchestra.




The second movement marked QUITE SLOWLY and EXPRESSIVELY is introduced by a rather etherial series of chords performed by the winds and the celesta. This is followed by a long first theme played by the soloist and taken up by various members of the orchestra then elaborated by the piano. After a chorale-like passage in the brass, the piano introduces a new, even more romantic tune which is the basis of the 'B' section. It has a pastoral feeling to it and plays itself out slowly leading back to the beginning and a return of the 'A' theme with variations. The movement ends very quietly on an A major chord.




This is followed by a scherzo marked JOYOUS and PLAYFUL. A rousing beginning leads to a jolly waltz. These two characteristics pervade the entire movement, except for a middle section which acts as a Trio and a very rhythmic and uneven feeling with constantly shifting meters. The return of the initial material again much varied, and the witty appearance of the 'trio' fragments bring the movement to a rather abrupt ending.




The final movement marked TRIUMPHANTLY begins with the percussion section setting a festive mood, and after an exchange of staccato chords between the orchestra and the soloist, the strings introduce a long first theme accompanied by arpeggios in the piano. This theme recurs after each contrasting section to build an old-fashioned rondo-finale form. The work ends full of good spirit with a great deal of dialogue between soloist and orchestra.




Choose Life




Choose Life, written in the summer of 1986, was commissioned by Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, supported by a generous grant from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition. It is a celebration of life, opening with an insistent reiteration of a single widely-spaced chord, gathering excitement by the addition of constantly accelerating percussion gestures to the entrance of the chorus, stating the biblical passage: "I set before you life and death, the good and evil; choose life that you may live." This injunction has always inspired me and, when Bob Shaw (asked for) this work, I felt I wanted to deal with this most exciting challenge.




Today, perhaps more than ever before, we are concerned with the quality of our lives. This concern prompted me to try and gather today guideposts from sources stemming back to the Bible itself and extending all the way into our time. An ancient philosopher once said, "All is determined, but free will is given." This enigmatic statement has always perplexed me, as it must most people. It has come to mean, as far as I'm concerned, that though, when we are born, the final outcome of our life, death, is already predetermined "into life," all else is in each individual's hands, why we sojourn from the womb to the grave.


To make a difference, to leave the world a better or worse place from what we found it to be, is our choice. I realize this is a highly humanistic interpretation of the problem of predestination, but it has seemed to me as the only sensible one.




I have never been overly concerned about immortality but have always been reminded of one of my father's sayings about the subject: "One creates one's own immortality by the achievements in one's life which have made a difference." Using this criterion, this work offered me an opportunity to wrestle with some fundamental and vexing questions, which I'm certain are problematical to all people. If we choose life, what can we do to live it to the fullest and to leave the world enriched because we have lived?




The text was finalized after several most useful suggestions from Bob Shaw, who felt that earlier attempts were "too theological" and felt a more humanistic approach might be more appropriate. I completely concurred with his assessment of my first text suggestions and feel that the present version is much more of a contemporary interpretation of many of our most perplexing problems. What I wish to stress in this work is that, of all the earth's creatures, we human beings are the only ones that know we are alive, and this realization is the divine spark within all of us and permits us to ponder the kind of life we choose to live. Throughout the ages we have received suggestions for and descriptions of the "good life," and I have selected a collection of some of these wise guideposts in this celebration of life and our humanity.




The music combined with the texts tries to capture the excitement of being fully alive: its ecstasy as well as its vicissitudes, its triumphs as well as its defeats. It is difficult for a composer to describe his music, and I would like to let it speak for itself. However, in order to give this work a more authentic and immediately perceptible nature, I have used some ancient chants which, to me, lend special flavor to the music. Finally, the words of Isaiah, "Arise, shine, for your light has come," seem to cry out for a "Halleluyah, Amen" at the end, which is my affirmation that most people want to choose a life that will unite humankind in a future of hope and successful survival.




Samuel Adler




Choose Life


Part I


Orchestral Introduction




See, I have set before you this day


Life and good, death and evil!


I command you this day to love the Lord your God,


To walk in His ways,


To keep His commandments,


His statutes and His ordinances,


That you may live, and multiply, and be blessed.


I call heaven and earth to witness this day


That I have set before you life and death.


Therefore choose life, that you may live.


To love the Lord your God,


To harken to His voice, and to cleave unto Him;


For this is your life and the length of your days.


Choose life, that you may live.


from Deuteronomy 30: 15-20


It has been told you, O man, what is good,


And what the Lord requires of you.


Only to do justly, and love mercy,


And walk humbly with your God.


Micah 6: 8




Observe what is right, and do what is just.


For soon my deliverance shall come,


And my salvation be revealed.


Happy is the person who does this,


He who holds fast to it.


Isaiah 56: 1-2




Tenor Solo


I have done a good and kindly deed;


O heart, rejoice!


I have done a good and kindly deed.


Now I am no longer lonely.


Someone lives, There lives a man


Whose eyes grow moist


When he thinks of me; O heart, rejoice.


There lives such a man!


No more, no, no more am I alone,


For I have done a good and kindly deed.


O heart, rejoice!


The days of sadness have come to an end.


I will do a thousand kindly deeds.


I feel already how everything loves me.


For I love everything. I pour out joy of understanding.


Thou my last, my very sweetest, clearest,


Purest, most ingenuous feeling: ú


Kindliness, Kindliness!


I will do a thousand kindly deeds.


Oft-time through nature's richness I wander,


And there the trees and climbing plants will follow me.


The herbs and flowers overtake me.


I am hemmed in by outstretching roots.


Tender branches bind me fast;


Leaves do enfold me,


Soft as a tenuous shimmering waterfall.


Many hands reach out to me;


Many cool, green hands completely surround me.


In love and loveliness, I stand imprisoned.


For I have done a good and kindly deed.


I'm full of joy and kindness


And no more lonely.


Rejoice, rejoice, O my heart.


Franz Werfel






Seek the Lord while he can be found,


Call to him while he is near.


Let the wicked give up his ways,


Let him turn back unto the Lord,


And he will surely be pardoned.


Isaiah 55: 6-7




Tenor Solo


I have done a good and kindly deed.


I have done a thousand kindly deeds and will always.




My plans are not your plans,


Nor are my ways yours, says the Lord.


Isaiah 55: 8


But as the heav'ns are high above the earth,


So great His glory to all that hope in Him.


No longer shall you need the sun for light by day,


Nor the moon by night,


For the Lord shall be your light.


Your God shall be your everlasting glory.




Part II


Mezzo-soprano Solo


And God saw that everything He had made,


And behold, it was very good!


Genesis 1:31




And God said: “This world which I have made,


I place in your hand. Hold it and keep it in trust.”




The world is charged with the grandeur of God.


It will flame out like a shining from shook foil;


It gathers to a greatness like the ooze of oil


Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?


Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;


And all is seared with trade;


Bleared, smeared with toil.


And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell;


the soil is bare now, nor can foot feel being shod.


And for all this Nature is never spent;


There lives the dearest freshness, deep down things;


And though the last lights off the black West went,


Oh, morning,at the brown brink eastward, springs —


Because the Holy Ghost over the bent


World broods with warm breast and with


ah! bright wings.


"God's Grandeur"


Gerard Manley Hopkins




Tenor and Mezzo-soprano Solos with Chorus


Praise the Lord from the Heavens.


Praise the Lord, all His angels on high.


Praise Him in the heights.


Praise the Lord in the highest of heavens.


Praise the Lord, all His hosts.


Praise Him sun, moon and all shining stars.


Let them praise the name of the Lord.


For He commanded and they were created.


For He established them forever and ever.


Praise Him, for He has fixed their bounds,


So they cannot be moved.


Praise the Lord from the earth,


Ye sea monsters of all deeps,


Fire and hail, snow and frost,


Stormy wind fulfilling his command!


Mountains and all hills,


Fruit trees and all cedars.


Beasts and all cattle,


Creeping things and flying birds.


Praise Ye the Lord, ye kings of the earth;


Praise Him all people and all princes of the world.


Young men and maidens together, praise the Lord.


For His name alone is exalted;


His glory is above the earth and heaven.


He has raised up a horn for His people.


Praise the Lord, praise the Lord!


Psalm 148




Halleluyah, Amen.




Orchestral Interlude


Mezzo-soprano Solo


What is your innocence


What is your guilt? All are


naked, none is safe.


And whence is courage; the unanswered question,


the resolute doubt —


dumbly calling, deafly listening — that


is misfortune, even death,


encourages others


and in its defeat, stirs the


the soul to be strong?


He sees deep and is glad, who


accedes to mortality


and in his imprisonment rises


upon himself as


the sea in a chasm, struggling to be


free and unable to be,


in its surrendering


finds its continuing.


So he who strongly feels,


behaves. The very bird,


grown taller as he sings, steels


his form straight up. Though he is captive,


his mighty singing says


satisfaction is a lowly thing,


how pure a thing is joy.


This is mortality,


this is eternity.


"What Are Years"


Marianne Moore






Teach me your ways, Oh Lord.


Lead me in your paths.


Psalm 27: 11




I wait for the Lord,


My soul doth wait,


And in His word do I hope.


Psalm 130: 5




Create in me a clean heart, oh Lord,


And renew a steadfast spirit within me.


Psalm 51: 10




May the words of my mouth


And the meditations of my heart


Be acceptable in your sight,


My Rock and my Redeemer.


Psalm 19: 14




Mezzo-soprano and Tenor Duet


If there should be crying


that nobody hears


Or hands that spill empty


eyes that spell fear


Then let me be chosen


to fill those hands


and dry those tears.


Let me be appointed


to put up stakes,


drop crumbs


or leave something behind


so when night closes in


refusing the dawn


and when the hope that was given


is already gone


at least I can lend you


from the sigh of the wind


or the sweep of a wing


soaring upward


a little grace


a little sign.


“Night Song”


Carol Adler




Mezzo-soprano and Tenor Solos and Chorus


If I am not for myself, who is for me?


If I am for myself alone, what am I ?


And if not now, when?




To love God truly, one must first love people.


If anyone says he loves God but despises


his fellow beings, you know he lies.




Let your house be open wide, and let the


needy be members of your household.




Which is the right path to choose? One


that is honorable in itself and also wins


honor from others.




You are not required to complete the work,


but neither are you at liberty to abstain from it.




The world is sustained by three things:


truth, justice, and peace.




How greatly God must have loved us


to create us in His image;


yet even greater love did He show us


in making us conscious that


we are created in His image.




Sayings of the Fathers


from the Talmud






To you the stars of morning sing;


From You their bright radiance must spring,


And steadfast in their vigil day and night


The sons of God, flooded with fervor ring Your praise;


They teach the holy ones to bring into your house


The breath of early light.


"The Stars of Morning"


Yehuda Halevy




Halleluyah, halleluyah,


Praise ye the Lord.


Arise, shine, for your light has come,


And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.


Isaiah 60: 1


The Lord shall reign forever,


Your God, O Zion, to all generations.


Praise ye the Lord!


Psalm 146: 10


Halleluyah, Amen






Alan Feinberg, pianist




Alan Feinberg has achieved a remarkable reputation as a vanguard pianist and musician who has charted his own unique path in music. His intelligence, integrity and affinity for an unusually wide range of repertoire place him among those few artists who are able to build a bridge between music of the past and present. With repertoire that ranges from Bach to Babbitt, Clementi to Cage, and Chopin to Carter, Mr. Feinberg's creative approach to programming places contemporary music within a broad framework as part of an ongoing, living tradition.




On January 8, 1997, Alan Feinberg's nomination for his third Grammy Award was announced, for his recording of Morton Feldman's Palais di Mari and Charles Wourinen's Capriccio, Bagatelle and Third Sonata. Mr. Feinberg's ongoing series of recordings on Decca/Argo embodies an unsurpassed artistic vision. Entitled Discover America, the discs represent years of immersion in American Music and define him as an American maverick artist. The most recent release of the series is Fascinatin' Rhythm: American Syncopation which surveys the various types of rhythmic invention that revolutionized America in the early part of the century. Classical and popular works by prominent and obscure composers are juxtaposed in a sequence that documents the cross-fertilization between various genres, bringing together George Gershwin, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Henry Cowell, Conlon Nancarrow, Jelly Roll Morton, James B. Johnson, Percy Grainger, Fats Waller, Artis Wodehouse, Scott Joplin, Charles Ives, Charles Wourinen, Willie The Lion Smith, Duke Ellington, and others.




The previous four compact discs in this Decca/Argo Discover America series focus on repertory of the 19th and 20th centuries. The American Romantic, featuring the music of Amy Beach, L.M. Gottschalk and Robert Helps, was nominated for a Grammy in the same category with Alicia De Larrocha, Evgeny Kissin, and Rudolf Firkusny. The American Romantic features works by MacDowell, Grainger, Gottschalk, Beach and Gershwin, and the American Innovator the works of Ornstein, Griffiths, Cowell, Crawford Seeger, Nancarrow, Harbison, Babbitt, Davidovsky, Ives, Adams, Shapey, Cage and Thelonious Monk.




Among other recordings of Alan Feinberg are the Grammy-nominated Babbitt Piano Concerto (New World Records), Morton Feldman's "Piano and Orchestra" with Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony, and the Amy Beach Piano Concerto with John Nelson and the New World Symphony both scheduled for release on Decca/Argo, the Ligeti Horn Trio (Bridge Records), works by Steve Reich and John Adams (EMI/Angel and Nonesuch), and the Paul Bowles Piano Concerto (Catalyst).




Mr. Feinberg has over 200 premieres to his credit, among them Mel Powell's Pulitzer Prize-winning Duplicates, as well as works by such composers as John Adams, Milton Babbitt, John Harbison, Steve Reich, and Charles Wourinen. In 1985, he was chosen to premiere Milton Babbitt's Piano Concerto which was commissioned to celebrate the American Composers Orchestra's first season at Carnegie Hall and was written for Mr. Feinberg. He is also the first pianist invited by the Union of Soviet Composers to represent American contemporary music - an invitation which resulted in performances in both Moscow and Leningrad.




Mr. Feinberg lives with his family in New York City. Since 1994, he has been Associate Professor of Piano at the Eastman School of Music.




Mary Creswell, mezzo-soprano




Mezzo-soprano Mary Creswell has appeared as soloist with major American opera companies and symphony orchestras, and is in constant demand throughout the Middle West for her rich, dramatic mezzo repertoire. Her performance credits include Rosina in Il Barbiere di Seville, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Elizabeth Proctor in Robert Ward's The Crucible, mezzo and alto solos in Verdi's Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Vivaldi's Gloria, Bach's Magnificat and B Minor Mass, as well as Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and an occasional pops concert performing songs by Gershwin and Porter.




The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Opera Grand Rapids, Interlochen Festival Chorus and Orchestra, and Manchester Symphony are just a few of the organizations with which this mezzo has performed. She made her New York concert debut in 1994 upon receiving the prestigious "Singer of the Year" award presented by American Mothers Incorporated (an organization which promotes and supports mothers in the arts).




The University of Michigan awarded Mary Creswell the Elizabeth Schwartzkopf Scholarship for graduate study where she received the masters degree in vocal performance. She was also chosen by the Metropolitan Opera as a regional audition finalist.




Mary Creswell is an enthusiastic teacher of voice and has served on the faculties of Western Michigan University, Albion College, Grand Valley State University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Grace College, and Michigan State University. She spends her summers teaching and performing at the Interlochen Center for the Arts.




Don Frazure, tenor




Don Frazure, a native of Pascagoula, Mississippi, has made his mark on the stages of the South and beyond. Mr. Frazure recently returned from Chicago where he was a finalist for the Chicago Lyric Opera Center for American Artists. Other engagements have him performing tenor solos in J.S. Bach's Magnificat, singing the role of "Aristaeus/Pluto" in Offenbach's Orphée aux Enfers and performing in the Southern Arts Festival Opera Gala. Mr. Frazure sang the role of "El Remendado" in a gala performance of Bizet's Carmen with Metropolitan Opera star Denyce Graves at the Splendors of Versailles International Exhibition in Jackson, Mississippi.




Mr. Frazure's competition awards include the 1996 and 1997 second prize in the Madame Rose Palmai-Tensor Scholarship Competition of the Mobile Opera Guild of Mobile, Alabama, and the 1996 Mississippi Music Teachers Association Collegiate Artist. He has also placed first in several state and regional National Assocation of Teachers of Singing Competitions and has received the Southern Regional NATS Governor's Award for the most promising professional voice.




Mr. Frazure holds the Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance and a Performers Certificate in voice from William Carey College where he was tenor soloist in Handel's Messiah, Mendelssohn's Hymn of Praise, and Bach's Mass in B Minor. He holds the Master of Music degree in vocal performance


from the University of Southern Mississippi. During the 1996-97 season at USM he performed the tenor solos in the Mozart Coronation Mass, performed with the USM Symphony Orchestra, and sang the role of "Ferrando" in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte at the Southern Arts Festival. Currently, Mr. Frazure is a student at The Juilliard Opera Center, New York.




Timothy Koch, conductor




Timothy Koch became recognized as a champion of contemporary composers and as an interpretor of choral/orchestral masterworks during a one-year appointment (1993-94) as Assistant Professor of Conducting and Ensembles at the Eastman School of Music. He led the first Eastman-Rochester performances of Karolju by 1993 Pulitzer Prize winner, Christopher Rouse, and Symphony No. 3, "Kaddish," by Leonard Bernstein and the world premieres of Sydney Hodkinson's Divine Poems and Robert Morris' Four-Fold Heart Sutra. He also conducted the world premiere performance of Samuel Adler's oratorio, Choose Life, a major work commissioned for Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The performance was broadcast on National Public Radio's Performance Today.




In the field of opera, Koch has conducted critically-acclaimed productions of baroque, classic, romantic, and twentieth-century operatic works. Singers with whom he has collaborated are regularly featured on the leading opera stages and with the great orchestras of the world.




Koch made his European debut in 1996 conducting choral/orchestral works of Haydn at the Prague Spring Festival. While in Prague he also led a performance of the music of Petr Eben, the leading composer in the Czech Republic and Chair of the Prague Spring Festival. Eben praised Koch and his ensemble for their "perfect performance of my works."




Koch joined the faculty of the University of Southern Mississippi in 1994. There he has conducted repertoire as diverse as Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, the Verdi Requiem, the Britten War Requiem, concertos of Beethoven, Dvorak, and Poulenc, and choral music from Josquin to Penderecki. He also serves as Artistic Director of the USM Conductors Conference which annually attracts conductors, composers, clinicians and performing ensembles from across the United States and beyond. In 1998 Koch received a commendation from Mississippi Governor Kirk Fordice and the Headwae Award - Outstanding Faculty Honoree, given by the Mississippi Legislature to one faculty member from each Mississippi college and university.




Koch has conducted the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra on six occasions. He has also conducted the Illinois and Mississippi Symphony Orchestras, the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Ballet Theatre, the Millbrook Orchestra of West Virginia, and the North Carolina All-State Orchestra. He has served as Music Director of the Syracuse University Orchestra, the Illinois Symphony Chorus, and Opera Theatre of Springfield, Illinois. He has conducted in competitions in Budapest, Hungary, and Besançon, France. Koch holds degrees from Illinois Wesleyan University, the University of Illinois, and the Eastman School of Music. He currently serves as Mississippi President-Elect for the American Choral Directors Association. His teachers have included Helmuth Rilling, Kenneth Kiesler, and Donald Neuen.




The University of Southern Mississippi Faculty Chamber Ensemble


Sharon Lebsack, flute · Patricia Malone, oboe · Wilbur Moreland, clarinet


Stephen Redfield, violin · Greg Sauer, cello · Dana Ragsdale, harpsichord


The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra


Jay Dean, Music Director and Principal Conductor




First Violin


Fernando Aguirre


Luis Cortes


Tomas Fajardo


Jorge Gonzalez*


Karen Kline


Christopher Lanier


Constanza Mier


Rigoberto Murillo


Blanca Segura


Alex Urbina




Second Violin


Carrie Bartsch


Asha Depolo


Kathryn Hoppe


Leanne King


Penny Kwiatkowski


Camilo Martinez**


Irina Shpigelman


Fidencio Solís


Rocio Tamez


Damion Wallace


Jamie Wilson






Henry Aragon


Jose Delgado-Guevara**


Karen Ellis


Soledad Guzman


Julio Martinez


Suky Salazar


Ilya Shpigelman


Olga Ziabrikova






Ludwig Alvarado


Guillermo Bonilla**


Eduardo Carpinteyro


Gustavo Carpinteyro


Mauricio Garcia


Maria del Pilar Martinez


Pilar Miñarro


Jose Sunderland


Ingrid Tithcheva


Yao-Yu Tsai


Sam Watson






Marcos Altimirano**


Anthony Englert


Mario Garcia


Gregory Johnson


Michael Jones


Alexander Lagos


Sarah Nagy






Celeste Buckhalter**


Marie Zamboni**






Jenny Smith






Jenny Covington


Melanie Hamilton**




Oboe/English Horn


David Benoit






Karen Brazell**


Camilla Keever**




Bass Clarinet


Cecilia Cedillo






Pietry Cabrera


Connie Kitzman


Mathew Rippere**






Neil Godwin


Hector Rodriguez**


Barbi Van Horn


Mary Wood






Chris Collinsworth


James Jenkins**


Janel Reed**




Trombone 1


Bret Barrow


Jeremy Farris


Peter Swann**






Clifton Hughes**






Kyle Cox


Glenn Sewell**


Homero Vasquez


Tina Whitworth












The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Chorus


Timothy Koch, Director


Rebecca Brown, Associate Director · James Graham, Assistant Director


Stephanie Gregory, Rehearsal Accompanist




Elizabeth Adams


Jeremy Adcock


Amy Archer


Jeremy Bailey


Ayanna Batiste


Joseph Benson


Eugene Blaylock


Mike Boyd


Kyle Bozeman


Rebecca Brown


Brenton Buckley


John Bultman


Suzanne Cain


Jason Cale


Kristin Cannatella


Heather Clancy


Lester Clark


Demetric Cooley


Rebecca Cooley


Patrick Creel


Ja-nice Daricek


Michael Davis


Cassandra Dean


Joanna DeLaune


Elsa Dimitriadis


Joel Dorman


Scott Driskell


Will Duncan


Tom Dungan


Benjamin Dunn


Kevin Dyess


Rod Entrekin


Heather Fairchild


Hope Fairchild


Susan Fairchild


Brooke Foster


Leigh Ann Frazure


Rachel Frazure


Adam Frost


Sue Ganas


Philip Geiger


Martha Ginn


Roy Ginn


Shirley Glaab


Aaron Glaeser


Angela Goodwin


James Graham


Thomas Green


Joanna Greene


Stephanie Gregory


Tony Hall


Arlandra Harvey


Aleicha Hatten


Christine Heath


Robert Heath


Avie Herron


Emily Hindrichs


Erin Hodges


Martha Ann Hogrefe


Eric Holland


Janeen Holmes


Taylor Horton


Reginald Houze


Cynthia Hudson


Allison Hunt


Renee Hutchins


Rebecca Irvine


Stephanie Ivy


Erica James


Jaime Jimenez


Annette Jones


Shellie Kee


Michael Kennedy


Steven Kennedy


Misty Kirby


Allan Kraft


Liesl Kundert


Ann Marie Lane


Emily Laughlin


Dustin Levine


Christine Lindsoe


Vanja Ljiljak


Melissa Lothian


Danielle Martindale


Kristin Mauritz


Kristin McCartney


Shirley McCraw


Connie McCreery


Julie McGehee


April McHan


Jonathan McKenzie


Carolyn McLarnan


Keith McLarnan


Bevin McRoberts


Ashley Mercer


Johnny Milsap


Ruth Mistretta


Beth Mitchell


Charity Mulhern


Jeff Myrick


Kimberley Nahmens


Stephanie Temple


Olga Nelson


Ron Nelson


Shanna Norman


Jessica Oliver


Bill Porter


Herman Porter, Jr.


Martha Powell


Anna Preston


Jason Priest


Jana Reesor


Mick Roberts


Katie Robertson


Patricia Robertson


Adrienne Sawyer


Carrie Sawyer


Jennifer Sciortino


Billy Smith


Susie Smith


Grant Staples


Anthony Starcher


Jonathan Steele


Anna Stevens


Rachel Stroupe


Jeff Stuart


Aleta Sullivan


Flanda Switzer


Dasha Teelin


Charles Thomas


Mary Thrash


Jacob Tolbert


Sonja Ulsteen


Diane Wagner


William Wagner


Jeff Walters


Alison Waters


Randall Watts


Emily Weatherly


Pippin Whitaker


Drew Wichman


Cydney Wilkerson


Keely Williams


Jennifer Wojtowicz


Quiona Woods


Jonathan Woodward


Rosemary Woullard


Megan Young


Max Zehner






Cover Art Design: Bill Baggett


Recording Engineer: Tom Dungan · Producer: Timothy Koch


Post-productin: Digital Editing and Mastering, Nashville, Tennessee


This recording is made possible, in part, by funding from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.






Samuel Adler




Acrostics: Four Games for Six Players (1985)


I. Fast and energetic


II. Moderately fast, with a great deal of charm


III. Quite slowly and expressively


IV. Very forceful and rhythmic


The University of Southern Mississippi Faculty Chamber Ensemble


Second Piano Concerto (1997)


I. Fast and jubilant


II. Quite slowly and expressively


III. Joyous and playful


IV. Triumphantly


Alan Feinberg, piano


The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra


Timothy Koch, conductor


Choose Life (1986)


Part I


Part II


Mary Creswell, mezzo-soprano • Don Frazure, tenor


The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and Chorus


Timothy Koch, conductor


Total Time = 69:07