We Sing...

Today's program, "We Sing...”, is built upon the myriad emotions and experiences that a male might have as a singer and member of a choir.  Men have sung together for all of recorded history, and certainly even earlier; those songs have reflected the world around them and the feelings that they must surely have felt, whether those songs was sung around a campfire, in a place of worship, in someone's home, or in a concert hall.

Any current choral educator knows that it can be a difficult thing for guys to be comfortable and open as singers and members of choirs.  The world is not always so understanding and accommodating to the idea of men singing.  So, "We Sing..." is meant as a celebration of the ideas and circumstances in which the act of singing can have a profound effect: singing to praise, in times of war, to dream of possibility, of joy, and of love.  We're thrilled to be performing today at the American Choral Directors Association National Convention, but really, we're thrilled to just have the chance to sing.

We hope you enjoy!

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PROGRAM NOTES

"We sing...to praise"
 
Nanacpachap Cussicuinin is an anonymous Christian hymn, written to praise the Virgin Mary sometime before 1622.  It is thought to be the first notated vocal polyphony in the Americas.  It was included in a manual for priests by Juan Pérez Bocanegra, a third-order Franciscan priest who taught Latin at a university in Lima and also sang in Cuzco.  The setting performed by the Men's Chamber Choir was arranged by Dr. Eugene Rogers; Dr. Rogers is the Associate Director of Choirs at the University of Michigan, where he teaches conducting and conducts the renowned the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club.
 
Nicolas Gombert (c. 1490-1556) wrote over a hundred motets in his lifetime. O Gloriosa Domina appears in a series of motet books published in 1539.  Gombert wrote this motet, and several others, specifically for men's voices; the pitch-level performed today appears to be the original.  Like "Nanacpachap Cussicuinin", O Gloriosa Domina is a prayer to the Virgin Mary.  It was edited by Jameson Marvin, who was the conductor of the Harvard Men's Glee Club from 1978-2010.
 
"We sing...in times of war"
 
Veljo Tormis (b. 1930) is renowned for his work with Estonian folk songs and folk themes; his works are often philosophically pointed, theatrical and dramatic in nature.  Türgi sõja laul, from Mistelaulud (a collection of Men's Songs, published in 2003), is a story of a soldier explaining his larger-than-life exploits in battle with the Turks.  True to Tormis' style, the song has apparent folk-like elements, utilizing a characture of a soldier who embellishes his experiences to almost comic effect.
 
Michael McGlynn's reflective, sorrowful One Last Song stands in direct contrast. The quiet and hymn-like song tells the story of a soldier in his last moments during the Great War (1914-1918) who, according to a social media post McGylnn wrote to the choir, was "probably only a little older than the young men singing this."  McGlynn (b. 1964) is the founder of the acclaimed Irish choral Ensemble "Anuna"; his works are performed around the world.
 
 "We sing...to dream of possibility"
 
Composer Joshua Shank is a frequent collaborator with the Flower Mound High School choirs, having written "when god decided to invent" (2006), "Naalah" (2008), and "Imaginary Lines" (2012) for the FMHS Jaguar Chorale.  When asked to compose a piece for the Men's Chamber Choir, he wanted to draw upon the experiences that the singers in the choir experience as young men who are intertwined with their families, peers, community and the world. The members of the choir were asked to share their thoughts and dreams; those words have become the text to me(n).  We are honored and proud to premier this selection at the ACDA National Convention.
 
"We sing...of joy"
 
Here Comes the Light was originally written for mixed voices in 2007.  It was then arranged for the men's barbershop quartet, CruzControl, by John Yane, in 2013.  The text, from the Bible books of Matthew and Isiah, is originally conceived for Advent; still, the text is applicable beyond a specific season with its focus on hope for a brighter future.
 
"We sing...to love"
 
Twin Cities - based composer Timothy C. Takach is both an award-winning composer and an accomplished singer; Takach was a founding member and long-time bass fixture in the professional men's group "Cantus".  His composition Goodbye, Then was commissioned in 2012 by the ACDA of Minnesota and the Minnesota Music Educators Association; the SATB voicing of the piece was commissioned by the Flower Mound High School Jaguar Chorale.  Don Wilhide's poem covers the range of emotions one feels when preparing to say goodbye to someone close. We are proud to conclude our program today with the original voicing, written by one of Minnesota's most talented composers, and accompanied by Takach's wife, composer Jocelyn Hagen.
 

 
ABOUT THE FLOWER MOUND HIGH SCHOOL MEN'S CHAMBER CHOIR
 

The Men’s Chamber Choir is the flagship men’s organization of the Flower Mound High School choral program. The group sings primarily a cappella literature of a variety of styles from a variety of time periods. The Men’s Chamber Choir also performs at a variety of concerts around Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX.    In 2010, the choir received a Gold Diploma and was named Winner of the Category at the American International Choral Festival in St. Louis, MO.  In 2014, the choir was named Grand Champion of the Festival di Voce in Dallas.  In 2015, the choir was invited to sing at the Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention in San Antonio. 

Students from the Men’s Chamber Choir have been active participants in both local and state solo and ensemble contests, and singers in the choir have been involved with all-region and all-state choirs.  Graduates have gone on to successful music study at major college institutions both in Texas and nationwide.

MCC 
ABOUT THE DIRECTORS
 
Mark Rohwer pic
 

Dr. Mark Rohwer is the Director of Choral Activities at Flower Mound High School in Flower Mound, Texas. Rohwer has been at FMHS since its opening in the fall of 1999. Prior to his appointment at Flower Mound High School, he served on high school faculties in Mesquite, Texas and McHenry, Illinois. Rohwer holds degrees in music education from Northwestern University, the Eastman School of Music, and The Ohio State University. 

Under Rohwer’s direction, Flower Mound High School choirs have received consistent and numerous Sweepstakes Awards at UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Contests, and have received Outstanding Performance or Best in Class Awards in Houston, San Antonio, New York, Washington, DC, and Breckenridge, CO.  In 2007 and 2012, the FMHS Jaguar Chorale performed at the Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention in San Antonio; in 2008, the Jaguar Chorale performed in Kansas City as part of the Southwestern American Choral Directors Association convention. In 2015, the Men’s Chamber Choir performed at the Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention in San Antonio. And, in 2017, the Men’s Chamber Choir will perform at the national convention of the American Choral Directors Association.  FMHS choirs have performed at the Texas State Capitol, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, cathedrals in Salzburg, Vienna, Barcelona, San Juan and Seville, as well as at the Vatican in Rome, Italy.

Rohwer has been an active member of both the Texas Music Educators Association and the Texas Choral Directors Association.  Currently, he is the TMEA Region 2 President and the Texas Music Adjudicators Association Vocal Vice-President. He is a guest lecturer as a part of the summer Masters Degree program at the University of North Texas. From 2011-2013 Rohwer was the High School Division Vice President of the Texas Choral Directors Association.  In addition, he has served on the staff of summer All-State Choir Camps at Baylor University, the University of North Texas, Texas Christian University, and the University of Texas – San Antonio.

Rohwer has served as a clinician and conductor throughout Texas.  He has been published in the Southwestern Musician, the Journal of Music Teacher Education, The Choral Journal, the International Journal of Community Music, Texas Music Education Research, and the Southwestern ACDA Publication, Common Times. Rohwer has presented sessions and research on a number of topics at the Texas Music Educators Association convention in San Antonio, as well as in other parts of the country, and as far away as Auckland, New Zealand.

 Lindsay Swartwood copy

Lindsay Swartwood is in her third year as the Associate Director of Choral Activities at Flower Mound High School.  A native of Denton, she was a member of the Denton High School choral program, where she sang in the Texas All-State Choir three times and sang at ACDA under the direction of Mark Baker.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Texas Tech University.  While at Tech, she sang in the University Choir under the direction of Dr. John Dickson and Dr. Rick Bjella, and performed at TMEA (2008) as well as Carnegie Hall (2010). 

Swartwood is currently the TMEA Region 2 Vocal Division Treasurer and was most recently awarded the 2016 TCDA "Young Director of Distinction" Award. In 2017, she served as Alto Section Leader for the 2017 Texas All-State Treble Choir.  Prior to her appointment at Flower Mound High School, Ms. Swartwood directed choirs in Krum ISD and Mesquite ISD. Choirs under her direction have received Sweepstakes Awards at UIL contest and have been successful at Solo and Ensemble, Region, and State contests.  Her professional affiliations include active memberships in ACDA, TCDA, and TMEA.

Megan Hoggarth is the choir director at Forestwood Middle School in Lewisville Independent School District where she teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. Prior to LISD, she was the associate choir director at Rogers Middle School in Prosper ISD where she had an invited choir perform at the 2015-2016 TMEA Conference/Convention. She graduated Cum Laude and holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education with an emphasis in choral/vocal studies from the University of North Texas. She completed her first level of Kodály training at Southern Methodist University.  Megan is a current member of the American Choral Director¹s Association and the Texas Music Educator¹s Association.

Brittni Kelly is in her third year of teaching as head director at Shadow Ridge Middle School. Choirs under her direction have received consistent Sweepstakes awards at UIL Contest and “Superior” ratings at Sandy Lake Music Festival, and many students under her direction have been chosen to participate in District, Region, and TCDA honor choirs. A native of Flower Mound, TX, Brittni graduated from Flower Mound High School and earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas. She is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree from Southern Methodist University.

Mark Lewis is in his twentieth year of teaching and his sixteenth year as head director at McKamy Middle School.  Under his direction, the McKamy choirs have received consistent “Sweepstakes” at the UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest.  The McKamy Choirs have also received several awards for “Best in Class” and “Grand Champion” in numerous festivals throughout the Dallas Metroplex.  Before moving to Texas in 2001, Mark obtained a BA from Albion College, a small Liberal Arts college in Michigan.  He started his career teaching elementary music in Ionia, Michigan, where he taught for four years.  He is actively sought as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the state and is a member of Texas Choral Directors Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association and Texas Music Educators Association. 

Anna Castaneda Gann attended Lubbock Christian University and the University of Texas at San Antonio.  She was Head Choral Director at East Central High School in San Antonio and Big Spring High School in Big Spring.  She also served as Fine Arts Coordinator for Big Spring ISD and Music Director at First United Methodist Church of Big Spring.  In 2014, she and her family relocated to the Dallas area, where Anna decided to take a break from directing HS choirs and she teaches private voice at Flower Mound High School and Marcus High School.  Her students have excelled at Solo and Ensemble competitions and All State auditions.  She has served as a UIL and ICHSA (a cappella competition) adjudicator and choral clinician throughout Texas.  

Robin Tercero Montgomery holds a Master of Arts degree in Vocal Pedagogy from Texas Woman’s University where she studied with Joan Wall, a nationally recognized vocal pedagogue and former principle performer at the Metropolitan Opera. She received her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Southern Methodist University where she studied with modern music specialist Linda Anderson-Baer. Ms. Montgomery has taught private voice lessons at Flower Mound High School since it opened in 1999, and her students have earned acceptance to study voice at many schools including the University of North Texas, Indiana University, and Belmont.

Lauren Morgan has a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Texas Christian University. She has been teaching private voice for 14 years and has sung professionally throughout the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. She has been a member of the Ft. Worth Opera chorus, sung roles with Lyric Stage, Plano Repertory Theater, and Theatre Arlington. In addition, she and her husband run the Ft. Worth-based theater company, Stolen Shakespeare Guild, which performs the works of Shakespeare.

Eddie Ranne is in his 13th  year as a private voice instructor at FMHS. Previously, he served for 25 years as choral director at Lewisville High School, Lewisville, TX.  Mr. Ranne holds B.M. and M.M. degrees from  the University of North Texas, where he studied with Harold Heiberg and sang in A Cappella Choir under the direction of Frank McKinnley.


  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Debbie, Jeremy and Zachary Rohwer (nice job today, guys -- proud to share the stage with you!)
Chuck and Gail Swartwood
The singers in the Flo Mo Choir!  Thanks for your support.
Mr. Bill Watson, Ms. Missy Head, and Ms. Gail Krause – LISD Performing Arts
Tim Takach, Robert Stovall, Brad White, and Dr. Eugene Rogers – objective listening and encouragement
Joshua Shank – thanks for a powerful and inspiring piece!
Mrs. Rosemary Calderon – choreography 
FMHS Band, Orchestra, and Theatre Faculty – y’all are the best!!
Mr. Darrin Hicks - FMHS Percussion Faculty
Minuteman Press - Lewisville, TX
FMHS Men’s Chamber Choir Friends and Parents
The 2013-2016 Men’s Chamber Choirs – we stand on your shoulders
The guys of the 2016-2017 Men’s Chamber Choir for changing the world, one song at a time  
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 About the Lewisville Independent School District

About Flower Mound High School

About the Flower Mound High School Choirs