When I moved to Orlando in 2010 to join the music production faculty at Full Sail University, it didn’t take long to identify an issue with my new home. As a seasoned freelance composer, I saw depressingly few opportunities to have my music performed here and virtually no concert activity dedicated to new music. However, because of the amazing universities here and the theme parks, Central Florida has a surprisingly high concentration of talented composers for a city that, in 2023, is only the 63rd largest city in the US.
In 2011 I founded the Central Florida Composers Forum, and since its inception, we’ve given dozens of performances of contemporary chamber music and also partnered with organizations like the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, Orlando Contemporary Chamber Orchestra, Orlando Story Club, Burrow Press, and Emotions Dance.
The one thing we have avoided trying — until now — is to mount a concert of new choral music entirely written by local, living composers. This has never been done in Orlando’s history. The costs associated with a project of this scope are daunting. Paying sixteen singers to learn all contemporary repertoire (even repertoire that is accessible and expressive), along with the accompanying pianist, additional instrumentalists, venue rental costs, and marketing all quickly drive up the very real need to procure more funds than ticket sales will provide alone or run the very real risk of a painful financial loss to our group.
Yet, a concert like this is necessary. And it would be awesome.
This groundbreaking event would illuminate our community's creative talent, stimulate growth in our music scene, and make contemporary classical music accessible and more visible to all.
The title for this concert is Thresholds: Choral Doorways into Loss, Hope, and Spirit, and would include world or regional premieres by Alex Burtzos, Stan Cording, Alan Gerber, Troy Gifford, Charlie Griffin, ChanJi Kim, Bradon Martin, and Chaz Underriner.
Funded by Orlando, FL (June 2023)