CURRENT NEWS & EVENTS
RENO, NV: All those attending the Western Regional A.C.D.A. Convention Feb. 29 - March 3rd are invited to stop by our booth in the exhibit hall. It will be the "debut" of Shawn Kirchner Publishing (SKP) at an American Choral Director's Association convention, and a great chance to meet and to share music. In addition to the pieces currently available through Santa Barbara Music Publishing and (soon) Boosey & Hawkes, SKP is now offering many recently-written pieces whose copyrights have been retained. Pieces for choirs of all levels are available, from treble choirs through professional-level mixed ensembles.
WEBSITE NEWS: A new website is in the works, but in the meantime, please browse the many titles available here, under MUSIC.
Sunday, February 12th at LA's Walt Disney Concert Hall, 7 pm
The Los Angeles Master Chorale presents Bruckner's Mass in E Minor, Bruckner's motet Os Justi, and Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms. Grant Gershon, conducting. Tickets and information: lamc.org
Shawn Kirchner (b.1970) is a composer and songwriter active in the musical circles of Los Angeles. His choral compositions are performed throughout the United States and abroad in concert halls, churches, schools, and on radio, television (and YouTube!). He is best known for his arrangement of the Kenyan song Wana Baraka. The Los Angeles Master Chorale has often presented Kirchner's choral pieces in their concerts at LA's Walt Disney Concert Hall, and commissioned his 2007 setting of the Pablo Neruda sonnet, Tu Voz and his most recent concert suite, Behold New Joy: Ancient Carols of Christmas. The Master Chorale's final concert of the 2009/2010 season featured a premiere of his "bluegrass triptych," Heavenly Home: Three American Songs, which received mention in the LA Times concert review as "effectively" written works of "sophistication." Kirchner's pieces are published by Boosey & Hawkes, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and Shawn Kirchner Publishing (available through this website.)
In addition to composing, songwriting has become a career focus for Kirchner in recent years. His songs combine emotional warmth with carefully crafted lyrics, and are written in a range of styles including bluegrass, folk, country, gospel and jazz. Kirchner's bluegrass and country songs can be heard on the CD Meet Me on the Mountain, and his original jazz tunes are featured in club and concert performances of the Shawn Kirchner Quartet.
Kirchner also maintains an active performing career as a singer and pianist. A tenor with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, he sings regularly with the Chorale and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall and at the Hollywood Bowl in collaborations with the world's leading conductors and composers. Under the Master Chorale’s music director Grant Gershon, he has sung in several projects with Steve Reich, including two recordings for Nonesuch Records and a performance at Lincoln Center in honor of the composer’s 70th birthday. His solo appearances with the Master Chorale include work with Meredith Monk, Ariel Ramirez’ Missa Criolla, and Arvo Part's Miserere. Kirchner's work as a pianist includes performances with the Master Chorale at Disney Hall and on tour as well as free-lance work in recitals, concerts, and studio sessions. Before moving to the Los Angeles area, he was a vocal coach/pianist in Chicago, and played for Neil Rosenshein’s studio at the Lyric Opera’s Center for American Artists. Initially trained in classical music, his improvisational skills now encompass many styles.
Kirchner's growing list of TV/Film credits includes his work as music director/arranger for the 2004 CBS Christmas Eve special Enter the Light of Life, and his singing on such feature film soundtracks as Avatar, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Horton Hears a Who, National Treasure II: Book of Secrets, Lady in the Water, License to Wed, the Lorax, Race to Witch Mountain, Sex in the City II, The Rite, and X-Men: First Class.
Long active as a church musician, Kirchner is pianist/organist/composer-in-residence at the La Verne Church of the Brethren in La Verne, CA where he shares music leadership of a thriving program with fellow LA Master Chorale singer, conductor, and music educator, Nike St. Clair. He has served as music coordinator for several National Youth Conferences as well as providing leadership for many other Church of the Brethren national and regional events.
Kirchner was raised with his triplet brother and sister in Cedar Falls, Iowa. His principal piano teachers were Joan Smalley and George Katz, and Susan Beasley and Graeme Cowen were his mentors in choral music. He studied at Manchester College, where he earned a BA in Peace Studies under Kenneth Brown, and was mentored in songwriting by the poet/songwriter Steve Kinzie. He spent his junior year abroad, studying Chinese language, literature, history and music at the Dalian Foreign Language Institute in Dalian, China. He earned an MA in Choral Conducting from the University of Iowa, where he studied with William Hatcher and Richard Bloesch. In recent years, Kirchner has been mentored in choral arranging and music philosophy by Alice Parker.