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Jonny Priano

Composer / Pittsburgh, PA
Member since July 2019
Jonny is a high school choral director and composer based in Western Pennsylvania. He is the Composer-in-Residence for the University of South Dakota Chamber Singers and several of his published pieces have been given the distinction of J.W. Pepper Editor’s Choice. He loves the commissioning process because it allows him to form connections with choirs around the country through a work that fits the unique needs and preferences of each group.

My Style

Jonny's music is often celebrated for its lush harmonies that are achieved through linear voice leading. As a high school choral director, he understands the frustration of tuning complex chords that have been approached from challenging intervals and uses this as motivation to approach complex chords in the simplest manner possible. This makes Jonny's music accessible for high school and collegiate choirs alike. His style is highly impressionistic with a focus on creating texture and word painting through the voices. He allows the text stress and meaning to dictate the melody and rhythm of the music. Jonny often composes for SSATB to balance the typically higher ratio of female voices to male voices in high school groups.

Active Projects

Featured Compositions

Listen to works by Jonny Priano

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Do Not Fear

SATB divisi
"Do Not Fear" tells a dramatic story through a text that is inspired by I Chronicles 28:20. This piece is published through Colla Voce. The recording is by the University of South Dakota Chamber Singers.
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SATB a cappella (with optional accompaniment)
"Lullaby" is a setting of a poem by Christina Rossetti. The piece can be performed a cappella or with the optional accompaniment. This piece is published through Hal Leonard. The recording is by the University of South Dakota Chamber Singers.
now playing

Come, Gentle Night

SSA accompanied
"Come, Gentle Night" is a setting from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Lyrical melodies and word painting bring Juliet's soliloquy to life with a dark tone that foreshadows the end of the story. This piece is published through Alfred Music.


David Holdhusen
Aug 7, 2019
It has been my privilege to work with Jonny Priano on several of his manuscripts.  I find his music to be deeply moving and inspirational while at the same time interesting both melodically and harmonically.  Beyond this, Jonny is a joy to work with.  He is very giving of his time and provides valuable insights into his music while also allowing the conductor and ensemble to form a unique interpretation and express his music in a way that is deeply personal.  Each time my ensemble has performed a piece he has written for us, the choir has fallen in love.  This is a testament not only to the beauty of his music, but also the passion with which he writes and the humility of his soul.
Adam Zagotti
Aug 2, 2019
When I realized I wanted to commission a new work for a concert, Jonny was my first and only choice. I loved the process of collaboration and his openminded approach to our collaboration. I posed a composition for choir with no text at all and the final product was nothing less than stunning. Jonny is a true artist and someone I look forward to collaborating with again.
Jul 27, 2019
I cannot adequately convey how much I look forward to a new piece from Jonny. It is always musical, always filled with teaching moments, and always filled with harmonies that make a choir and audience embrace the sound. I have done 4 of his pieces in the past, and am doing 2 more this year. His “Festival Gloria” shows his rhythmic diversity, and his “There is a River” makes me weep it is so gorgeous. Please consider joining this consortium and being one of the fortunate ones to premiere a “Priano.” - Dr. Clark Roush, Endowed Chair for the Performing Arts, York College
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