Choral Music of Dan Locklair

Dan Locklair


Ann Doyle, piano
Shirley Curry, piano
David Pegg, conductor
Robert Russell, conductor

2CD SET - Digitally Remastered



[ + + + + ] “[Dan Locklair's music has] heart, lots of heart, sincerity, craft, and communicativeness. And best of all, none of these characteristics are in the slightest way condescending toward we listeners. Everything Locklair declaims is honest, forthright, and moving. This generous two-CD set covers a lot of his choral output from 1981-96, and the consistency and quality are remarkable, and the excellent mix of sacred and secular provides a fine overview of the man’s intents and interests... Enthusiastically recommended!”
Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition [July 2016]
“[the sound is] warm and clear; the remastering seems to have worked. Dan Locklair’s writing stays safely tonal but is creative and enjoyable. There is plenty here I’d recommend for any capable choir. The sacred music is reverent yet engaging, the light-hearted music is enjoyable, and it all is well written. The Brief Mass is lovely. Both choirs plainly enjoyed recording this… There’s great, worthy music here, always affectionately written and in a variety of styles.”
Estep, American Record Guide [January February 2015]
“[Dan Locklair is] best known for choral music, and a two-CD package issued by the MSR Classics label will show you why... Even in a sacred text, Locklair's not afraid to syncopate... He's not afraid of dissonance, though he never veers too far from tonality, and he writes for unusual combinations... He can switch moods from drama to reflection quickly... He's got moxie... When he writes melodies, they're extended, rather than concise or catchy... He has a sense of humor.”
Lawrence Toppman, State of the Art, Charlotte Observer [November 2014]
"The music is all tonal, readily accessible, and aurally and intellectually interesting and enjoyable for listeners, and seemingly (to my ears as a choral singer) not difficult in execution for the vocalists… There is also a good variety among a cappella and accompanied pieces, and variety in the types of accompaniment and the handling thereof. The musical styles are also widely diverse. All the music is distinctly modern, but entirely without atonality and dissonance... The performances are all impeccable, with excellent control of dynamics and crystal clear diction. These are clearly professional level and quality organizations... At such a reasonable price, this is a fine purchase, especially for choral directors and singers wanting to expand their acquaintance with and knowledge of recent repertoire. Choral music lovers will also likely find plenty to enjoy in it.”
Marvin J. Ward, Classical Voice of North Carolina [November 2014]
“The comprehensive selection of 15 choral works in this set shows the composer’s skill in a variety of styles. His music is all tonal, but there is a breadth of tonal idioms in his work such that interest never flags through the course of this collection... Both conductors and groups bring off these works to very good effect, with plenty of enthusiasm where it’s called for, as well as accuracy of intonation... Fans of contemporary choral music will not want to pass up this set, nor will the adventurous repertory collector who remains attracted to tonality. Recommended.”
David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare [November/December 2014]
“I find his choral music rewarding to sing and striking and enjoyable to listen to, and I think this recording could be a valuable resource for church musicians and teachers alike. I look forward to hearing more and more of his works either live or on disc.”
Marjorie Johnston, Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians [September 2014]
“The attractions are multiple in a new MSR Classics release of choral music by Dan Locklair... the works on this two-disc set encompass both the religious and the worldly, and span a decade and a half of creativity and thus show Locklear’s changing compositional concerns and techniques... The juxtapositions are sometimes telling, sometimes whimsical, and in the case of Brief Mass and Changing Perceptions genuinely thoughtful... The singing and instrumental backup are well-handled throughout. Locklear’s choral music is more accessible than many other modern choral works.”
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [September 2014]
The music of DAN LOCKLAIR is widely performed throughout the United States and around the world. His prolific output includes symphonic works, a ballet, an opera and numerous solo, chamber, vocal and choral compositions. Locklair’s music has been performed by such ensembles as the Helsinki Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony, The Louisville Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony and Omaha Symphony, and by the Gregg Smith Singers, BBC Singers, St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys (New York City), Cathedral Choral Society of Washington National Cathedral, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Elmer Iseler Singers of Toronto and The Oxford Players of England. His music has also been performed by
harpsichordists Igor Kipnis and Jukka Tiensuu, and organists Marilyn Keiser, Thomas Murray, John Scott, Thomas Trotter and others.

Locklair’s music has been heard in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Disney Hall, Kennedy Center, Washington’s National Gallery of Art, and in major festivals throughout the world, including the Aspen Music Festival, Spoleto USA, Chautauqua Festival, Interlochen, Brevard Music Center, Southern Cathedrals Festival, Vendsyssel Festival, Czech Festival of Choral Arts, Bergen Festival and the Internationale Orgelwoche Nürnberg Musica Sacra. Broadcasts of his music have been heard on radio around the world.

Locklair’s commissions have included works for Arizona MusicFest, Knoxville Symphony, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Binghamton Symphony, American Guild of Organists, Association of Anglican Musicians, The Choral Art Society, Virginia Chorale and Symphony, Binghamton Youth Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Mallarmé Chamber Players, Bel Canto Company and from the Barlow Endowment for Music. His tone poem for narrator, chorus and orchestra, Since Dawn, is based on Maya Angelou’s On the Pulse of Morning, a poem commissioned for the 1993 Inauguration of Bill Clinton. A movement from his Rubrics, one of the most frequently programmed pieces of late 20th century American organ music, was performed at Ronald Reagan’s funeral.

A recipient of numerous awards, he has been honored with consecutive ASCAP Awards since 1981,  a Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, an Aliénor Award, the Omaha Symphony Society New Music Award, two North Carolina Composer Fellowship Awards and the top Barlow International Competition Award. In the American Guild of Organists’ centennial year (1996), Locklair was named their Composer of the Year.

Dan Locklair’s music is commercially available on the Koch, Naxos, Ondine, Albany, Gasparo,  Capstone, Priory, Regent, Arsis, Titanic, Raven, Pro Organo, Gothic, Loft, ACA Digital, Pro Arte Fanfare, Orion and Opus One labels. His primary publishers are Ricordi [Boosey & Hawkes and Hal Leonard, U.S. agents] and Subito Music Publishing.

A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Dan Locklair holds a Master of Sacred Music degree from the School of Sacred Music of Union Theological Seminary in New York and a DMA degree from the Eastman School of Music. Presently, Locklair is Composer-in-Residence and Professor of Music at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. [ ]

Founded in 1982, the Bel Canto Company is a professional choral ensemble dedicated to excellence in the performance of choral literature from all historical periods, and to the development of greater understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of choral music for its audiences. The Company includes 40 singers who are auditioned yearly and selected according to vocal quality, training and musicianship. To complement its regular season performances, Bel Canto Company presents special concerts throughout North Carolina and the Southeast. In addition to appearances with the Greensboro Symphony and Carolina Chamber Symphony, the Company has performed at the Summer Organ Academy at Salem College, Spoleto Festival, Summer Music Festival of the Washington National Cathedral, North Carolina Bach Festival, American Choral Directors  Association and North Carolina Medieval Faire.

David Pegg served as Artistic Director and Conductor of Bel Canto Company for 19 years. He has served as choral clinician and adjudicator for workshops and festivals throughout the Southeast. Pegg has taught in the public schools of North Carolina and Florida, and has been a member of the  faculties of High Point College, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro Music Academy, Kent State University and Salem College. He received his BM and MM degrees from the UNC Greensboro and has also studied at the University of Oklahoma, University of Iowa, University of Hartford and Westminster Choir College.

The Choral Art Society of Portland, Maine, was founded in 1972. Its mission is to perform great choral literature, enriching the cultural life of the Greater Portland community and the musical experience of its own members. Throughout its history, the chorus has earned a reputation for choral excellence through notable performances of major works for chorus and orchestra, through performances of new and obscure music, and through its popular Christmas at the Cathedral concerts. There are more than 200 singers in the Society, 65 in the Choral Art Singers and 135 more in the symphonic Masterworks Chorus. All singers are skilled amateurs, selected by audition, and participate in the management and operation of the society. The Chorus employs a music director, an accompanist and manager.

Robert Russell, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Music at the University of Southern Maine, is a native of Roanoke, Virginia. He studied religion and music at Wake Forest University (BA), choral music and voice at the University of North Carolina (MM degree), and choral literature and performance at the University of Colorado (DMA degree). Russell was appointed Music Director of The Choral Art Society in 1979.

The Prometheus Chamber Players are highly active in bringing chamber music to Maine and Greater New England. The members of the ensemble have been heard in performance in concert halls throughout North America, South America, and in Europe and Africa.

HOLY CANTICLES (1996) | for SSAATTBB choir a cappella
Nunc dimittis
Te Deum laudamus

ALLELUIA DIALOGUES (1990) | Motet for double SATB choir a cappella and handbells

INSTANT CULTURE (1985) | Choral drama for 2 SATB choirs, soloists and piano

ON CATS (1978) | for SATB choir and piano
The Lion
The Mysterious Cat
December Cats
How to tell a Tiger

BREAK AWAY! (1983) | for SATB choir and piano

DONA NOBIS PACEM (1983) | Motet for SATB choir a cappella

PROCLAIM THE LORD (1985) | for SATB choir a cappella

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1981) | Anthem for SATB choir a cappella

THREE CHRISTMAS MOTETS (1993) | for SATB choir, divisi a cappella
Quem Vidistis Pastores?
O Magnum Mysterium
Hodie Christus Natus Est

WINDSWEPT (the trees) (1992) | for SATB choir, woodwind quintet and piano
Windy Morning with a Little Sleet
Recovery (a cappella)
March Song
Still Frame (a cappella)
Wiring (a cappella)
Bay Bank
Shading Flight In (a cappella)
In the Wind My Rescue Is

FOR AMBER WAVES (1993) | for 5 SATB choirs

TAPESTRIES (1982) | for SATB choir, 4 handbells and piano

BRIEF MASS (1993) | for SSAATTBB choir a cappella
Agnus Dei

CHANGING PERCEPTIONS (1987) | for SATB choir and piano
“what do we know about life”
A. M. R.
Grief Poem
High Flight
“like the river that passes away”

EPITAPH (1987) | for SATB choir and piano

MSR Classics