Peter Anglea
Peter Anglea

Composer, Developer, et al.

Psalm 150


Psalm 150Several months ago, my friend and fellow Rivertree Singers member, T. J. Ellis, approached me about commissioning an anthem for Greenville ARP‘s (Associate Reformed Presbyterian) centennial, where he serves as Music Director. I leapt at the chance to contribute something to their special service. Having heard and enjoyed my Jubilate Deo, their centennial committee requested a setting of either Psalm 100 and/or Psalm 150 in a similar stylistic vein. Fast forward a bit, and this new setting of Psalm 150 was premiered by the Greenville ARP Chancel Choir on November 9th, 2014. They were great to work with and I even got the opportunity to crash one of their choir rehearsals and conduct them through it.

Psalm 150 is available for purchase from Beckenhorst Press. It has also received the coveted Editor’s Choice label from J.W. Pepper.

Piano and SATB choir unite in an enthusiastic setting of Psalm 150.  A vigorous combination of scripture and a spirited accompaniment in a fresh presentation of this well-known psalm of praise.

Be Merry!

Be Merry

Earlier this year, The Choirs of All Saints Northampton and the Northampton Bach Choir from Northampton, UK included my arrangement of Angels We Have Heard on High on their latest CD recording, “Be Merry!“. The choirs are directed by Lee Dunleavy and accompanied by pianist Stephen Meakins. The CD is out now and I just recently received a copy of the recording. It’s fabulous. This is the first commercial recording of any of my works outside the United States. Actually, it’s probably the first commercial recording of any of my pieces, anywhere, period (please correct me if I’m wrong).

On this disc, the choirs knit together the old and the new, and reflect Northamptonshire’s American connections in the all-American list of composers.

The CD can be purchased online here.

There Is a Fountain

There Is a Fountain incipit

Full sheet / Half sheet

It’s been over a year since I released a new hymn tune; I’ve had this one sitting on the back burner for quite a while. This is a new tune to accompany William Cowper’s text, “There Is a Fountain.” It’s based on a simple pentatonic melody I wrote several years ago for an entirely different sort of project. If you know where this came from, you’re either a Peter Anglea super-fan (hi, mom) or a skilled googler (hint: see tune name). Either way, you should definitely leave a comment.

Read More

After the Final Curtain Call

Me and my friends acting in Midsummer Nights Dream

Those of you who know me (or who just follow my activities online) know that I enjoy the occasional acting gig. Theater (theatre?) is a hobby of mine and although I can’t claim to be awesome at acting, I’ve had several opportunities come my way in the past few years especially.

This week, I just finished a 9-show run as “Lysander” and “Robin Starveling” in Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Greenville Shakespeare Company. In addition to acting, I wrote original music and designed the sound cues (see some samples below).

Whenever a show is over, when the last line has been said, and when the final curtain call has been taken, people always ask, “So, how does it feel?” I can always summarize my feelings in three simple statements…

1. I’m sad it’s over.
Granted, you would expect anyone to say that. I am legitimately sad that I will not be going back to the theater this weekend to do another couple shows. This play, in particular, has been the single most entertaining play I’ve been a part of. Period. Having said that…

2. I’m glad to get my life back.
Now my calendar is free. I do not have 3+ evening rehearsals a week. I do not have 3+ shows to do this weekend. I am gaining (easily) 10 hours of my week back now that it’s over. It’s time to go for a long jog, catch up on summer reading, or just tackle the sink full of dirty dishes.

3. I’m excited about the next show.
Fortunately for me, Midsummer isn’t quite done. After a month and a half break, we’re coming back for four more shows September 4-6. And after that, I’m very excited to reprise my other all-time favorite role as Freddie Filmore in a staged 1940s radio drama of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” And even if I don’t have another acting opportunity lined up, I still get excited at the future prospect of cracking open a new script, going to a first table reading, and jumping into another character in another world.

And I suspect all those who have ever tread the boards feel about the same way.

Check out some of the original music I wrote for this production (basically the end result of a week-long diet of nothing but Simon & Garfunkle). If you’re in the Greenville, SC area, do consider coming to one of our September performances. Tickets will be available soon via www.summershakespeare.org.

Angels We Have Heard on High


Angels We Have Heard on HighJust released from Beckenhorst, Angels We Have Heard on High is my first published seasonal choir anthem. I’m happy to say that it also made the Editor’s Choice list at J.W. Pepper.

This from Beckenhorst:

A bright new arrangement of the traditional carol. Exciting rhythmic accompaniment introduces the lively first verse and chorus which contrasts with a quiet, contemplative second verse and chorus. The anthem ends with a strong, dynamic invitation to “come”, ”see” and “adore” the newborn King. A great piece for Christmas Eve.

And this from J.W. Pepper:

From the effervescent joy of the angels’ announcement, to the wonder of the scene in Bethlehem, to the shepherds’ return to their flocks, this buoyant setting renders each carol verse in colorful music to tell a timeless story. With expressive and joyful moments, voices and piano bring the song of the angels to any concert hall or worship space.

Click here to purchase from Beckenhorst.

I love to hear about performances of my works (few though they be), so if you’re planning to use it, please leave me a comment below!

Jubilate Deo

Jubilate Deo cover Announcing my newest published choral piece: Jubilate Deo.

A few weeks ago, Jubilate Deo was picked up by Hinshaw Music and rushed to print in time for its performance at the ACDA Southern convention by the Rivertree Singers. The recording above is by the Rivertree Singers and is also the official “demo” track.

This superb setting of the traditional Latin text from Psalm 100 fairly dances off the page in joy! Singable, natural-sounding mixed meter, a memorable melodic line, and a buoyant feel throughout make this one of the most appealing and musically satisfying works you will hear. Highly recommended!

View on J.W. Pepper.

God Moves in a Mysterious Way

Dwight Gustafson

This is a story that I have only shared with a few people to date. Given recent happenings, it seems appropriate and timely to share here now.

I, like many of my friends and colleagues, was saddened to hear about the passing of Dwight Gustafson. It would be an understatement to say that my life has been impacted by his. The legacy he left at my alma mater (to say nothing of the opportunities I had to be under his baton, few though they were) benefited me directly and indirectly in numerous ways that I probably won’t even realize this side of heaven.

But God also used an “accident” in his life to shape the direction of my life and current church ministry.

Read More

11 Awesome Things from 2013

2013 was full of exciting moments for me. Here’s a summary of the most noteworthy happenings/accomplishments in my life this past year, in no particular order.

Music stuff

1. Comedy of Errors with Summer Shakespeare

Comedy of Errors cast

This year was my third time being in a Shakespearean comedy with the Greenville Shakespeare Company. And this year, I also wrote the original music cues for the production. You can listen to some of the sound clips.

2. Performance at Piccolo Spoleto Festival

Rivertree on the shore

I sang with the Rivertree Singers at the annual Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC this summer. My own piece, Jubilate Deo, was on the program and got good reviews.

3. Wrote some hymns

incipit

I started out the year by writing a few new hymn tunes for general use. It was both a writing exercise for me as well as a means of creating material for possible future arrangements. One hymn tune was MACKEY, for the text “If You Will Only Let God Guide You.” First Baptist Church of Lebanon, PA commissioned it to honor their senior pastor on the occasion of his retirement. It’s now been inserted into every one of their hymnals for them to sing in the future.

4. Remixed Eric Whitacre’s VC4 song, “Fly to Paradise”

Whitacre

Perhaps the most unexpected happening this year might have been the notoriety that resulted from crafting a remix of “Fly to Paradise” which caught the eye (and ears) of the composer himself, Eric Whitacre.

5. Christmas concerts with Rivertree Singers

Rivertree Singers

Always a highlight of the Christmas season, the Rivertree Singers gave two concerts in Greenville (at Daniel Chapel on Furman’s campus and 2nd Presbyterian downtown) and one evening of music for guests at the Biltmore house.

Tech stuff

6. Best of Conference presentation at HighEdWeb 2013

award

I went to Buffalo, NY to attend and present at a conference for higher education web professionals. Out of 70+ presentations in 6 different tracks, mine was voted Best in Conference by peer evaluations. A very prestigious honor in my industry, the award has resulted in a lot of additional attention to my work and that of my talented coworkers at BJU, particularly our work with Responsive Web Design.

7. Launched the new BJU.edu

BJU.edu screenshot

After several months of planning, designing, programming, writing, and testing, our office launched the latest redesign of BJU.edu on December 16th – just in time to enjoy a relaxing Christmas break. Here’s some of the technical details behind-the-scenes for those interested.

8. Helped create two award-winning mini-sites

edustyles

Two other mini-sites that our office created this year (LIFEatBJU and Why Choose BJU) won a total of seven eduStyle design awards this year once again bringing extra attention to the work we’re doing at BJU.

Random stuff

9. Emceed weddings for the third and fourth time

wedding

As a musician, you expect to get asked to play for weddings with some frequency. But, after a friend’s wedding this summer and my brother’s wedding this fall, somehow I’ve managed to emcee more wedding receptions than weddings I’ve played for…

10. Horsed around for Faculty Body

facultybody

This is just a goofy one, but doing comedic sketches for a few thousand students, faculty, staff, and friends at school is pretty memorable.

11. Ran my first 10K

Map of my 10k run

I took up jogging for exercise a year and a half ago and have now run a 5K and a 10K. My (somewhat ambitious) goal time was 1:00:00. I ended up crossing the finish line at 1:00:45… close enough.

 

Now, I’m looking forward to 2014 in which I will:

  • Have the most prestigious choral performance of my life thus far
  • More than double the number of pieces of music I have in print (more on that soon…)
  • Act in a comedy (or two)
  • Build a website worthy of a Webby Award
  • Run a half-marathon

Fly to Paradise

This past week I released a remix of “Fly to Paradise,” Eric Whitacre’s new piece for virtual choir which debuted earlier this summer, on my SoundCloud account. Shortly after posting it, it was shared across Eric’s social media profiles by the man himself, congratulating me on a job well done. Because of that, I thought I might share a little bit about it and story behind the unexpected attention it received.

The (very) beginnings of a remixWhen Virtual Choir 4 was released to the world back in July, there was a bit of confusion on the part of several Whitacre fans who did not anticipate the arrangement to be heavily influenced by electronica, techno, and the like. There seemed to be a calling for a remix that (a) featured a more traditional accompaniment and that (b) featured the choir and soloists more prominently. I began working on a remix to accomplish just that shortly after the assets were released for download. (Personally, I neither love nor hate the original, but I do feel a bit apprehensive sharing a video with my friends starring a PG-13 anime angel… the animation of which was pretty clunky, IMHO.)

I decided on a pretty standard instrumentation for my remix early on—strings, piano, and supporting winds, brass, and percussion in places. It took a few weeks of tinkering on-and-off until I came up with a few bars that felt right. I shared this on SoundCloud as a “preview” of what I was working on—in reality it was all that I had done at the moment. :) It was enough, though, to spark my imagination for the rest which I finished in just a couple of days.

Fast-forward to Wednesday night. I spent a few hours before bed making some more tweaks to my remix and recording the last few instrumental bits. I remember thinking, “I could keep tweaking this thing for days and days. But I’ve got other projects I need to move on to and this is leaching too much of my free time. It’s not perfect, but let’s just post it and be done with it.” And so, at midnight, I released it to the world, posted about it on Facebook and Twitter and got ready for bed.

As I crawled into bed, a little while later (knowing full well that I would pay for this late-nighter in the morning), I decided to check my phone out of curiosity to see if anyone had played it yet, even though I was sure most of my friends were asleep. I noticed a notification in Twitter… someone had mentioned me just 30 seconds ago. But not just anyone… apparently Eric Whitacre was getting an early start on the day over the pond in London! For a second, I was shocked. Then I remembered that he normally cross-posts on Facebook, as well. Could it be? Sure enough, less than an hour after posting it, my music had been endorsed by the composer himself to over 150,000 fans.

The message that graced my phone at 1am.

Then the comments, likes, shares, and plays started rolling in. And I didn’t fall asleep for another hour and a half. Yeah, Thursday was rough…

But I had my virtual “15 minutes of fame.” I got some fan mail, received a handful of fan tweets, and read dozens of very positive comments on Facebook and SoundCloud. Apparently, for many Whitacre fans, my remix was what they wished the original had been like. Sorry, Eric, but… mission accomplished.

As of now, my remix is one of the most listened to, commented on, and liked of the 80+ remixes uploaded to the Fly to Paradise Remix group on SoundCloud. If you haven’t already, listen to it below and download it here, if you like it. (Incidentally, I burned through my 100 download limit imposed by SoundCloud in the first 24 hours, so now it’s on Dropbox). Enjoy!

Comedy of Errors

Comedy of Errors

This summer has been full of exciting events and projects thus far. First Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston with the Rivertree Singers, then a hymn commission, now Comedy of Errors with the Greenville Shakespeare Company. This is my third year in the GSC troupe and this year I have the exciting opportunity to be the sound designer. This means I’m writing all the theme music, scene transition cues, and compiling the sound effects. I’ve posted a few short samples on SoundCloud.

You won’t want to miss this hour of fun and comedy. Tickets are only $6 and can be purchased online via summershakespeare.org.

Hope to see you there!