About Joseph Gentry Stephens
Joseph Gentry Stephens (Born 1972) began his musical training at the age of ten in the public school bands of Arkansas High School in Texarkana, Arkansas. An all-state percussionist, Stephens then attended the University of Arkansas at Monticello earning a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance with a Vocal Emphasis and the University of Northern Colorado earning a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting.
The music of JGS has been performed in over 20 countries across the globe. Stephens Music was started in 1999 as a self publishing site that now offers over 40 choral works for mixed SATB Chorus.
About Ingrid Showalter Swift
Ingrid Showalter Swift was born in Charlottesville Virginia in 1963. She was raised in Roanoke, Virginia among the Blue Ridge Mountains and wrote her first poetry at age 6. She then returned to Charlottesville to attend The University of Virginia. After moving to Boston, she studied at North Eastern University and the Museum of Fine Arts. She presently resides in Weston Massachusetts. She is a mother, a poet, a painter, an antique dealer and a shower singer. She is published in many anthologies, chap books, magazines and web sites and joyfully finished her first book of poetry “Thin as Parchment/ Red as Rubies”. Collaborations between Swift and Stephens include: You Having Walked This Earth, Gimmewicks and Glimmerricks, Laugh You Fool, Serengeti Song, Thunder Souls, My Silence Now Speaks For Me, RO and Tine, What Wondrous Walk of Feet and Wing, In the Sun In the Sand By the Sea and most recently I Wish and Being Not Proud.
About the Music
…crafting a unique minimalism and clarity
Dynamic, tempo and other markings are intentionally omitted from unaccompanied works in order to allow each work to evolve in each performance. The lack of such markings harkens back to the traditions of chant and early choral styles in which melodic, harmonic and textual devices determined the interpretation of the music. Some critics of this regard such practices as laziness or heresy, however, JGS continues to use this practice for all unaccompanied works.
Texts used range from the Liber Usualis, Holy Bible, The Tibetan Book of the Dead as well as various poems by Ingrid Showalter Swift, Taigu Ryokan, William Blake and others by Stephens.
Special Thanks to the Choral Public Domain Library
The Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL), is an Internet-based free sheet music website which specializes in choral music.
Begun in December 1998, CPDL is one of the world’s largest free sheet music sites. The goal of CPDL is to host a large collection of music scores and other supporting files (such as midi or other sound files) which can be freely downloaded and used. Most of the scores on CPDL are modern editions based on older works whose copyright has lapsed (or which are otherwise in the public domain), but some scores are newly composed and offered for download by the composer.
- All music is free to download, print, and copy and is licensed under the classical music section of BMI. Please take a moment to tell us about your next performance of choral works by JGS on the Report a Performance page. There is no fee to perform the music of JGS, however, we appreciate receiving programs and recordings from your concert. Programs and recordings may be submitted via email at email@example.com.
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