You know the story if you live in this country. On May 25, 2020, a Minneapolis police officer ended the life of George Floyd during an arrest that may have had something to do with a counterfeit bill. The officer in question knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, cutting off his air supply and killing him. Three other officers were on the scene and did not interfere with this act; Floyd was already handcuffed and lying...

For many years, I have read and enjoyed the poetry of Sara Teasdale. Her overall style is most lyric, one that lends itself to musical settings. For a number of years, I have sent my student composers to her as they went looking for texts for their first attempts at classical songwriting. And yet I had not indulged myself; I came close on a couple of occasions, but nothing landed on paper. 

In 2019 I was planning my “retirement...

                    

Heidelberg graduate Ben Lupo wanted to commission a choral work for his a cappella choir at Bryan High School in Bryan, Ohio. Ben was one of those students who lived for a challenge and I knew that his choirs would be trained the same way. Whenever possible, I encourage the folks who are commissioning a new choral work to suggest a text for my consideration....

One play explores the depths of darkness and tragedy. The other playfully undermines our expectations of love and war. To create music for both Oedipus Rex and Lysistrata, performed in the same evening, was both a challenge and a delight. Work on this project began in the summer of 2019, with careful readings of both plays and a bit of background research on music in ancient Greek theater. Our Heidelberg production made its de...

When Joan and I first arrived in Tiffin in the summer of 2000, Bob and Donna Overholt became two of our newest friends. They welcomed us to Heidelberg, took us out to dinner, and later invited us to stay at their home while we waited for the moving truck to arrive. Over the years, we worked together on so many projects; Joan and I valued their help and support greatly. When Bob passed away suddenly, it only seemed natural to w...

Almost 20 years after Langston’s Lot, my first song cycle on the poetry of Langston Hughes, my dear friends and colleagues Gail Levinsky and Jackie Edwards Henry asked me to create a second set. This time, they requested Hughes poems that would reflect a female point of view. Fortunately, Langston provided some fine choices! As before, this cycle provides seven movements involving a broad selection of themes, as provided by Hu...

With Organist Tony Williams, after the concert

My association with the Southeastern Composers Forum goes back to 1990, when I was a new arrival at Mississippi State University. I have always appreciated this regional organization’s commitment to new music and its acceptance of many different compositional styles. One of my special memoires was helping to sponsor the group’s annual conference at MSU, back in 1999.

Once a member,...

I have always enjoyed my time in theatre, either as a music director or as a composer.  During my years at Heidelberg. I have worked with several wonderful directors; when current director Stephen Svoboda arrived on campus, I immediately asked about the possibility of collaborating on a production. Stephen had programmed two dramatic works for the upcoming season, one of which was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night....

Joan was invited by Pastor Don Loving, of Milan Presbyterian Church, in Milan, Ohio, to give an organ recital in honor of the congregation’s ongoing celebration of 200 years as a congregation. Memorial Day weekend may seem like a strange time for such an event, but in this case, it was perfect. This was a traditional time of celebration for the congregation, with people coming back to town to participate. Special displays in t...

Doug, Melissa, Allison 

It was an honor to have my Four States of Mind, for oboe and piano presented at the annual conference of the International Double Reed Society, held at Lawrence University, in Appleton, Wisconsin last summer. Melissa Bosma, who first performed the pieces at Heidelberg where we were colleagues, submitted the piece for performance at this international convention and it was accepted. Wonderfully expressive...

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© 2017 by Douglas McConnell

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