work details

A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass

cantata-concerto on poetry of Amy Lowell

  • Instrumentation: SATB (divisi), soprano, and marimba
  • Completed: June 2010
  • Duration: 17 minutes
  • Texts: Amy Lowell (1874-1925) from A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass
  • Video:
    • A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass

      ACDA National Conference - Movement 4 "A Winter Ride" with Houston Chamber Choir

  • Audio:
    • A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass

      Houston Chamber Choir

      Scott Simpson, marimba
      Stacey Weber and Stephanie Handal, sopranos
      Robert Simpson and Dominick DiOrio, conductors
      (click to purchase)

    • A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass - I: Listening

      Houston Chamber Choir

      Live performance in the Yale Divinity School Marquand Chapel, April 2012. Brian Shircliffe, audio engineer.

    • A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass - II: At Night

      Houston Chamber Choir

      Live performance in the Yale Divinity School Marquand Chapel, April 2012. Brian Shircliffe, audio engineer.

    • A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass - III: Hora Stellatrix

      Houston Chamber Choir

      Live performance in the Yale Divinity School Marquand Chapel, April 2012. Brian Shircliffe, audio engineer.

    • A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass - IV: A Winter Ride

      Houston Chamber Choir

      Live performance in the Yale Divinity School Marquand Chapel, April 2012. Brian Shircliffe, audio engineer.

  • Gallery:
    • Conducting Houston Chamber Choir in a performance of A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass on tour at Yale's Marquand Chapel
      April 2012

  • Press:
  • Quotes:
    • The Houston Chamber Choir premiered Dominick DiOrio's "A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass", a four movement robust choral virtuosic showcase inspired by the imagist poetry of turn-of-the-century Nobel Laureate Amy Lowell. When he said that he had written for a professional choir who could do just about anything, he wasn't kidding."

      Joel Luks, CultureMap

  • Published:

    G. Schirmer - Dale Warland Choral Series

  • REVIEWS from the Dallas ACDA Convention!:

    From "Musical Mayhem Blog": "The same was true of the Houston Chamber Choir directed by Robert Simpson They sang a quite difficult program with great skill and a very broad dynamic range. The focus of their program was Dominick DiOrio's kaleidoscopic "A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass" for SATB and marimba. Those of you looking for a fine choral piece with percussion by a rising young composer should definitely look at this piece." 

    From “The Tenor Diaries Blog: “Robert Simpson led his professional chamber choir from Houston in an exciting performance, one that I sadly had to hear in the acoustically bereft Opera House. Of particular merit were the movements from Dominick DiOrio’s ‘A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass.’ Not only is this a very exciting work, I don’t think that these ears have ever heard a marimba played so amazingly. Stephen Tobin’s virtuosity was quite breathtaking.”

    From “Music and the Sacred Blog“The late afternoon saw performances of the Houston Chamber Choir under the direction of Robert Simpson, an advocate for new music by Texas composers. The concert featured music about weather and included compositions by Parry and emerging conductor-composer Dominick DiOrio whose ‘A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass’ contained beautiful choral writing and a dynamic part for virtuoso marimba.”

  • Program Note:

    I first encountered the work of poet Amy Lowell in a song cycle by the composer Zachary Wadsworth. Immediately taken by the vivid images and inherently musical nature of the text— to say nothing of Zach’s poignant and evocative musical setting—, I immersed myself in the writings of this turn-of-the-20th-century poet. I was ecstatic to find that Lowell held Milton in high regard and wrote with a transcendentalist bent reminiscent of Whitman— two artists for whom I have a great affinity. This cantata-concerto is the culmination of a love affair with her word, at once both youthfully vivacious and elegantly burnished.

    The music makes virtuosic use of the marimba, hence the use of the term cantata-concerto. While always in service to the spirit and emotion evoked by the text, it requires a percussionist of professional caliber. The choral parts and the soprano solo also demand singers of the highest level—able to produce a stark pianissimo and a flexible and powerful fortissimo—all with exceptional tonal clarity and expressive declamation of the poetry. The Houston Chamber Choir is ideally suited to these challenges, and the work has been written with their particular agility, intelligence, and interpretational zeal in mind. This work is a gift to them and to their artistic director, Robert Simpson, in thanks for the opportunity to sing regularly with such a world-class ensemble of musicians.

  • Movements:
    1. Listening
    2. At Night
    3. Hora Stellatrix
    4. A Winter Ride
  • Performances:
    • March 24, 2012 (Premiere) 
      “A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass”
      Houston Chamber Choir; Robert Simpson, artistic director
      Stacey Weber and Stephanie Handal, sopranos; Scott Simpson, marimba
      St. John the Divine – Houston, TX
    • March 25, 2012
      “A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass”
      Houston Chamber Choir; Robert Simpson, artistic director
      Stacey Weber and Stephanie Handal, sopranos; Scott Simpson, marimba
      St. Luke's Episcopal Church - Beaumont, TX
    • April 13, 2012
      New England Tour
      Houston Chamber Choir; Robert Simpson, artistic director
      Stacey Weber and Stephanie Handal, sopranos; Scott Simpson, marimba
      Trinity Wall Street – New York, NY
    • April 14, 2012
      New England Tour
      Houston Chamber Choir; Robert Simpson, artistic director
      Stacey Weber and Stephanie Handal, sopranos; Scott Simpson, marimba
      St. Luke's Parish – Darien, CT
    • April 15, 2012
      New England Tour
      Houston Chamber Choir; Robert Simpson, artistic director
      Stacey Weber and Stephanie Handal, sopranos; Scott Simpson, marimba
      Yale University - Marquand Chapel – New Haven, CT
    • October 9, 2012
      "Vox Battuta: Voices, Percussion, and Combinations"
      Indiana University Contemporary Vocal Ensemble
      Sean M. Gill, marimba; Dominick DiOrio, director 
      Indiana University Jacobs School of Music - Auer Hall - Bloomington, IN
    • November 4, 2012
      Depauw University Chamber Singers 
      Gregory Ristow, director 
      Depauw University - Green Center for the Performing Arts - Greencastle, IN
    • March 15, 2013
      Houston Chamber Choir
      Stephen Tobin, marimba; Robert Simpson, artistic director
      Meyerson Symphony Center - 4:30pm 
      ACDA National Convention Performance - Dallas, TX
    • March 15, 2013
      Houston Chamber Choir
      Stephen Tobin, marimba; Robert Simpson, artistic director
      Winspear Opera House - 8:00pm 
      ACDA National Convention Performance - Dallas, TX
    • March 17, 2013
      Depauw University Chamber Singers 
      Gregory Ristow, director 
      Indianapolis, IN
    • June 7, 2014
      Houston Chamber Choir
      Robert Simpson, artistic director; Scott Simpson, marimba
      The Church of St. John the Divine - Houston, TX
    • November 15, 2014
      Pacific Lutheran University Choral Union
      Richard Nance, conductor; Miho Takekawa, marimba
      Pacific Lutheran University - Lagerquist Concert Hall - Tacoma, WA
    • December 14, 2014
      Yale Recital Chorus
      Max Holman, conductor; Garrett Arney, marimba
      St. Thomas Episcopal Church - New Haven, CT
    • May 9, 2015
      Chicago Choral Artists
      Michael Costello, artistic director
      Ebenezer Lutheran Church - Chicago, IL
    • May 10, 2015
      Chicago Choral Artists
      Michael Costello, artistic director
      Grace Lutheran Church - River Forest, IL
    • December 6, 2015
      Ithaca College Choir
      Janet Galván, conductor; Gordon Stout, marimba
      Ford Hall - Ithaca College School of Music - Ithaca, NY
    • May 1, 2016
      University of Maryland Chamber Singers
      Dominick DiOrio, guest conductor
      UMD School of Music - College Park, MD
    • February 12, 2017
      CCM Choral Showcase
      CCM Chamber Choir
      Earl Rivers, conductor
      University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music - Cincinnati, OH
    • March 22, 2017
      Hofstra University Chamber Choir
      David Fryling, conductor; Bryan Wysocki, marimba
      Bangor Area High School - Bangor, PA
    • March 23, 2017
      Hofstra University Chamber Choir
      David Fryling, conductor; Bryan Wysocki, marimba
      Holy Family Catholic Community, Middletown, MD
    • March 24, 2017
      Hofstra University Chamber Choir
      David Fryling, conductor; Bryan Wysocki, marimba
      Trinity Episcopal Church, Solebury, PA
    • March 25, 2017
      Hofstra University Chamber Choir
      David Fryling, conductor; Bryan Wysocki, marimba
      Rocky Hill Congregational Church, Rocky Hill, CT
    • March 26, 2017
      Hofstra University Chamber Choir
      David Fryling, conductor; Bryan Wysocki, marimba
      St. Andrews UMC, Cherry Hill, NJ 
    • April 28, 2017
      Hofstra University Chamber Choir
      David Fryling, conductor; Bryan Wysocki, marimba
      Cathedral of the Incarnation - Garden City, NY