2018 Composers-in-Residence

2018 Composers-in-Residence


Paul Mealor
2018 COA Nationals for Top Choirs
NYC + Carnegie Hall
March 22-24, 2018

Composer Paul Mealor catapulted to international stardom in April 2011, when 2.5 billion people (the largest audience in broadcasting history) heard his Motet, Ubi caritas performed by the choirs of Westminster Abbey and Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, conducted by James O’Donnell at the Royal Wedding Ceremony of His Royal Highness Prince William and Catherine Middleton (now TRH The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge) at Westminster Abbey. It has since topped the Classical singles charts in the USA, UK, Australia, France and New Zealand.

Then, Mealor topped the Classical Charts for six weeks with his bestselling album, A Tender Light (featuring Tenebrae Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) in November 2011. Mealor broke records by being the first classical composer to hold both the classical and pop chart No 1’s at the same time in December 2011, securing the UK Christmas No 1 with his piece for The Military Wives Choir and Gareth Malone, Wherever You Are.  In April of 2012, Mealor was voted the nation’s favorite living composer during the UK Classic FM Hall of Fame.

Born in St Asaph, North Wales in 1975, Paul Mealor studied composition privately as a boy with William Mathias and later with John Pickard, and at the University of York with Nicola LeFanu (BA Hons, 1997, PhD, 2002) and in Copenhagen with Hans Abrahamsen and Per Nørgård. His music has been commissioned and performed at many festivals and by many orchestras and choruses and has been broadcast on every major TV and Radio station throughout the world.

Since January 2003, he has taught in the Music Department at the University of Aberdeen where he is Professor of Composition.

Mealor wrote a number of works for HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee and has recently completed his first symphony Passiontide – a large work for soprano, baritone, choir and orchestra. He is currently working on a number of pieces for chorus and orchestra. Mealor also just finished filming a program on the music of Benjamin Britten and appeared in the BBC 2 program, The Choir.


Rosephanye Powell
2018 COA Nationals for Top Choirs
NYC + Carnegie Hall
April 5-7, 2018

2018 Festival for Choirs | East Division
Atlanta, Georgia
May 4, 2018

Dr. Rosephanye Dunn Powell has been hailed as one of America’s premier women composers of choral music. She has an impressive catalogue of works published by some of the nation’s leading publishers, including the Hal Leonard Corporation, the Fred Bock Music Company/Gentry Publications, Oxford University Press, Alliance Music Publications, and Shawnee. Dr. Powell is commissioned yearly to compose for university choruses, professional, community and church choirs, as well as secondary school choruses. Dr. Powell’s works have been conducted and premiered by nationally-renowned choral conductors, including, but not limited to, Anton Armstrong, Philip Brunelle, Bob Chilcott, Rodney Eichenberger, Tom Hall, Albert McNeil, Tim Seelig, André Thomas and Judith Willoughby.

Her work has been auctioned by Chorus America and her compositions are in great demand at choral festivals around the country, frequently appearing on the regional and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, as well as Honor Choir festivals. Dr. Powell’s compositions include sacred and secular works for mixed chorus, women’s chorus, men’s chorus, and children’s voices.

Dr. Powell serves as a Charles Barkley Endowed Professor and Professor of Voice at Auburn University. She holds degrees from The Florida State University (D.M. in vocal performance, University Fellow), Westminster Choir College (M.M. in vocal performance and pedagogy, with distinction), and Alabama State University (B.M.E., summa cum laude). Dr. Powell served on the faculties of Philander Smith College (AR) and Georgia Southern University prior to Auburn University.

Recent commission and premiere highlights include: Gospel Trinity, a four-movement work for narrator, soloists, choir and orchestra (or rhythm section), composed for the New Music Initiative, Brehm Center at Fuller Theological Seminary; Friendship, composed for the Jacksonville (FL) Children’s Chorus; With What Shall I Come (SATB), composed for the St. Olaf Choir 2015 Winter Tour in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Dr. Anton Armstrong, conductor, and premiered at Carnegie Hall; Why We Sing (TTBB), composed for the 2014-2015 touring season of Cantus Vocal Ensemble; Bright is the Ring of Words (TTBB), composed in celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the University of Pittsburgh Men’s Glee Club, (March, 2015); The Lord Is My Light and My Salvation (SATB), composed for the NCMEA High School Choral Section for the 2014 North Carolina Honors Chorus; The Cry of Jeremiah, a four-movement sacred work for narrator, chorus, organ and orchestra, commissioned by the American Guild of Organists, premiered at the Lincoln Center, NY (May 2014); I Want to Die While You Love Me (SSAA), composed for the 2013 Women’s Choirs Commission Consortium of the American Choral Directors Association; Great is the Lord!, composed for the Downtown Minneapolis Churches for their February 2013 Choral Festival (MN); I Will Sing, commissioned and premiered by the Oxford Civic Chorale, Oxford, MS; Arise Beloved, commissioned by OurSong (Atlanta, GA) one of four works premiered as part of the group’s choral cycle “And Nature Smiled,” performed at the internationally-acclaimed Spivey Hall; Christmas Give, a suite of five songs for SATB and orchestra, composed for the Baltimore Choral Arts Society Christmas CD “Christmas at America’s First Cathedral” released by Gothic Records; and Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit, arranged for The Sofia Chamber Choir “Vassil Arnaudov”- Bulgaria, Southeastern Europe.

An accomplished singer and voice professor, Dr. Powell’s research has focused on the art of the African-American spiritual, the art songs of William Grant Still (dean of African-American composers), and voice care concerns for voice professionals (specifically, music educators, choral directors, and choral singers). She travels the country and internationally presenting lectures, song demonstrations, and serving as a workshop clinician, conductor, and adjudicator for solo vocal competitions/auditions, honor choirs, choral workshops and festivals.

As a researcher, Dr. Powell’s recent articles include Keeping the “Choir” in Showchoir published in the Amercan Choral Directors Journal; William Grant Still: His Life and His Songs and The African-American Spritual: Preparation and Performance Considerations both published in the prestigious NATS Journal of Singing. She served as the editor and wrote the introduction for William Grant Still: An Art Song Collection which is published by William Grant Still Music.

In 2009, Dr. Powell received the “Living Legend Award” presented by California State University African Diaspora Sacred Music Festival in Los Angeles. She was listed in the first edition of the international publication Who Is Who in Choral Music. And, she has been included in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and Outstanding Young Women in America in recent years. Dr. Powell is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the College Music Society (CMS), the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and the Music Educators National Conference (MENC).


Jake Runestad
2018 Choral Convergence Festival
NYC + Carnegie Hall
April 12-14, 2018

Jake Runestad is an award-winning and frequently-performed composer of “highly imaginative” (Baltimore Sun) and “stirring and uplifting” (Miami Herald) musical works. He has received commissions and performances from leading ensembles and organizations such as Washington National Opera, the Netherlands Radio Choir, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Virginia Arts Festival, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Seraphic Fire, Craig Hella Johnson and Conspirare, and many more. Jake’s visceral music and charismatic personality have fostered a busy schedule of commissions, residencies, workshops, and speaking engagements, enabling him to be one of the youngest full-time composers in the world.

Jake Runestad holds a Master’s degree in composition from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University where he studied with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts. Has has also studied extensively with acclaimed composer Libby Larsen. A native of Rockford, IL, Mr. Runestad is currently based in Minneapolis, MN and his music is published by JR Music. Find out more at: JakeRunestad.com