Requiem for chorus and orchestra was originally begun in 1992. I wasnít pleased with the direction it was heading in so I put it aside. I came back to it a couple years later and scrapped all but the opening for the chorus. Again, I worked on it for a few months and didnít like the direction in which it was headed so I put it aside. Finally in 1997, I decided to tackle the project and finish it. I followed the lyric outline for Mozartís Requiem and wrote the vocal parts first with orchestration notes interspersed in the manuscript. I then went back and deciphered my hieroglyphics for the soloists and chorus and expounded upon my orchestration notes. It took about six months to compose the final score and then another six months to enter it all into Finale publishing software.
The reason I wrote a requiem was that all the great composers had written such a mass and my music tends to be dark, heavy, and intense. What could be more dark and intense then a mass for the dead?
An astronomical amount of work went into getting this piece recorded. Mary Ann Beatty, soprano soloist happens to be a Latin teacher and she spent a great deal of time with me on the text. Thomas Yang, violinist, met with me to go over the score and plan a strategy on how to approach rehearsals and recording sessions. He also suggested William Chin to conduct the work. Thomas, Bill, and I met and revised our strategy while coordinating our calendars for the best time to rehearse and record. The first set of dates ended up not working out due to musicianís schedules. We went through the process again and came up with an October date which was conducive to the vocalists, musicians, and Our Lady of the Waysides sanctuary schedule.
We set up a rehearsal for the soloists and one for the chorus both with piano accompaniment. The instrumentalists had their own rehearsal before we went into combined rehearsals. Recording sessions lasted four hours over two nights due to the complexity of the work and a lighting mishap the first night which set us back a half hour. John Towner, the engineer on all of my recordings, set up a stereo mix which worked great for editing the takes. Twenty-three musicians have a tendency to over power twenty vocalists. John and I spent approximately twenty hours in the studio editing and mixing the project. Now after almost twelve years of composing and saving my pennies, the Requiem is finally recorded.