Notes & Reviews:
Choral Arts newest release features the music of Eric Barnum. In "Life Stories" the composer sets poetry about love in different times and situations in life. Mr. Barnum is Director of Choral Music at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. He holds a DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington, an advanced degree in conducting from Minnesota State University as well as BA degrees in Composition and Vocal Performance from Bemidji State University (MN). Barnum's choral music has become particularly popular with high school choirs, with many of them commissioning new works from him. Robert Sparks assembled Choral Arts from Seattle's best singers for a choral concert directed by famed Swedish conductor Erik Erikson. Following the concert, the group decided to continue under Sparks' leadership, quickly becoming Seattle's premiere choral ensemble. In 2007, Robert Bode became AD, and in 2010 Bode and Choral Arts won the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence from Chorus America. Also in 2010, Choral Arts' Gothic CD, "Mornings Like This" won the American Prize for choral recorded music. In 2013, "Shall We Gather at the River" placed second in the America Prize. They have again been nominated for the American Prize in 2014.
American Record Guide, March/April 2015
Maestro Bode and his choir won the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence in 2010, and I see no need for them to give it back in 2015. Their singing flatters Dr Barnum's intentions with a rich, voluptuous sound that's captured lovingly by Gothic's engineers. Notes and texts are supplied in a handsome booklet.
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