"... the work by the contemporary American composer Dominick DiOrio evocatively expressed the traditional conception of the season’s weather, with high soprano tones that sounded like the sunlight shining through bare branches and aggressive notes that captured the cold wind’s bite."
In truth, the contemporary works are very much in the spirit of their predecessors. It is true that such techniques as syncopation, and, in the Petersson Tempest adest floridum, the injection of spoken text, are distinguishing features in the modern compositions. And I have to confess that at the conclusion of DiOrio’s Verbum caro factum est, the repeated exhortations to the Virgin Mary (“Maria!”), made me think of Tony in West Side Story. But I chalk that reaction up to what my voice teacher once pointedly and good-naturedly described as my “very active mind.”
... for this Christmas concert, Dunphy used a mixture of American jazz and dream choirs, sung magnificently by the newly named Mendelssohn Chorus. My fear that I would hear atonal music that I usually only can stomach when performed by modern ballet dancers dissipated within seconds: This music made me want not only to eat more pies, but more importantly listen to sounds that made me feel at home, but also lyrics that made me think. ...
It was the first time that I saw the brilliant new conductor, Dominick DiOrio, wearing a festive red jacket, conducting over 70 singers, and the three musicians—Eric Schweingruber on the trumpet, Nathan Pence on bass, and Travis Goffredo on drums—leading to one of the most joyful holiday choral experiences.
The two works by Patriksson and the other modern works, Richard Burchard’s Creator alme siderum and Dominick DiOrio’s Verbum caro factum est, provide harmonic and stylistic differences from the older pieces, but their roots are planted in that style, so the contrast is not jarring. The Petersson and DiOrio were commissioned for this joint project. I found DiOrio’s piece singularly exciting.
Arts and culture expert St. John Flynn chats with conductor, composer and educator Dominick DiOrio! Deemed a "triple threat", Dominick is a former member, guest composer and guest conductor of the Houston Chamber Choir!
Watch or listen to this episode here as Dominick recalls his wonderful adventure with the Houston Chamber Choir, including his commissioned work that was later featured in our album Soft Blink of Amber Light, and as he shares his passion for music and teaching. After the episode, indulge in Dominick's favorite songs by listening to his playlist!
In much of the music the composers and arrangers display a considerable degree of harmonic imagination, and the perfect intonation of Willow Consort is an essential ingredient in clarifying the harmonies employed. Equally impressive is the ensemble’s ability to sing in hushed tones without losing tonal body (the opening of Dominick DiOrio’s “I Am” is a good example).
Of the contemporary selections, “Woods in Winter” by the American composer Dominick DiOrio, was among the strongest, with a striking opening of ethereal harmonies in female voices, as the men sang the words. The work took surprising harmonic turns and led to pianissimo processions of harmonies, sung by the choir with almost preternatural richness and balance.
Sandström--beautifully self-contained and carefully controlled, rich, blended ensemble sound. ...
Gibson--gorgeous music, with elegantly woven electronics that twinkle as the stars do. A chorus as one voice, woven together with artistry and constant care.
Dominick DiOrio is a conductor and composer of mostly choral works, who is also associate professor of music on the conducting faculty at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. His duties on the faculty include leading NOTUS: a select, new-music chamber chorus. NOTUS is one of 24 choirs in the world invited to perform at the 12th World Symposium on Choral Music in Auckland, New Zealand in 2020.
As a composer, Dominick DiOrio is the only person thus far to win The American Prize in both Choral Composition and Choral Performance.
DiOrio, who teaches choral conducting at Indiana University, adapted and sewed together several Whitman excerpts in a sentimental, neo-Romantic style, with thrilling climaxes (crisply marshaled by conductor Col. Jason K. Fettig) that captured the overheated rhetoric of Whitman’s verse. There were literal moments, like the elegiac part for solo trumpet in “The Mystic Trumpeter,” while in the more rhapsodic middle section, the band accompanied the impassioned vocal lines with mysterious tremors of marimba, harp and glockenspiel.