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Michael Bussewitz-Quarm

Composer / Miller Place
Member since May 2018
Michael Bussewitz-Quarm has become one of America’s most recent emerging composers, specializing in choral works commissioned by consortiums around social and environmental issues. Newly published by Peermusic Classical and recently awarded a performance in the International Society of Contemporary Music’s New Music Days 2017 in Vancouver, BC, Michael received the finalist-honorable mention distinction for The American Prize in the category of choral music composition, recognizing "My Name is Lamiya: Don’t Call Me ’Refugee’”. Michael’s most recent works include the commissioned work “The Road That Has No End", “Nigra Sum", and the final edition of Requiem Dies Magna, premiered by Long Island Voices and Sound Symphony under Michael’s direction in 2017. Michael is currently under commission by the Women’s Voices Chorus of Chapel Hill, NC. for “Only Time to Love: Gaaggee Zaag’aa" and The First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh with Calvary United Methodist Church for the former’s 125th anniversary celebration, for “Awake!”. Current choral projects include the “Child Refugee Awareness" Choral Consortium Project and “The Great American Choral Reef Challenge”, both actively recruiting choirs and the latterto be premiered on and around Earth Day, 2019. With these songs, Michael hopes to bring attention to the children of the global refugee crisis as well as the urgency to respond to climate change. Michael has recently launched three additional consortiums, one for Women’s and Treble Choirs at the Collegiate and High School levels called "Radium Girl" Commissioning Consortium which will be written to bring attention to women’s and worker’s rights, the commissioning choirs of The Unarmed Child, to be premiered during the 2019-2020 choral season, and the commissioning choirs of Mass of the Refugee for SATB choir, violin, cello, oud, piano and percussion for state premieres in 2020-2021. The cornerstone work of his catalog, Requiem Dies Magna, was composed with the intention of healing and to honor the first responders and survivors of the 9/11 attacks. It has grown to speak to those who have survived the loss of a loved one. and the complex stages of grief and path to finding peace. Michael’s choral compositions include settings to poems as diverse as those byEugene Field (“The Duel” of gingham dog and calico cat fame), Robert Frost (“The Pasture” and “The Road Not Taken”) and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (“Daybreak” and “The Rainy Day”). The song “If They Could Speak” for soprano solo and piano marks Michael’s collaboration with contemporary designer and poet Roseanne Pellicane and honors the firefighters who lost their lives at the World Trade Center. Deeply rooted in community, Michael composed “The Silver Swan” in memory of Pfc Joseph Dwyer, a medic from Long Island who lost his battle with PTSD. Originally from Long Island, New York, Michael grew up as a baritone saxophonist and as accompanist and a tenor in the school’s chorus. Michael attended Ithaca College (BM ’94), for piano performance and music education, and Queen’s College (MM ’99) for music education. Michael is also active in advocating for the transgender community. “It is my fervent wish to spread knowledge and understanding of the transgender community through guest speaking and by simply being present in the lives of the talented musicians and artists surrounding me.”

My Style

Functional tonality, occasionally non-functional tonality. Lyrics, paintings, and atmospheres of the spaces around me have songs to them. I hear them, and I make them heard. My focus for the past three years has been predominately choral and vocal solo, with piano, organ, and orchestral accompaniments. Writing for concert band experience as well.

Active Projects

Rainbow of Friends: A Trans Ally Project with the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles

SATB, SSAA, TTBB, SAB, 2-part, Unison, SongStyle
2 · Medium Easy
5-7 mts. minutes
PLEASE NOTE: This Consortium is in collaboration with major commissioner, Knoxville Gay Men’s Chorus. Purpose: The purpose of the choral work will be to support trans youth by drawing from experiences of trans individuals of when they came out to their loved ones. The text will be set from stories from members of the collaborating choir, Trans Chorus of LA, which will be shared with the lyricist, Chantal Sellers and composer, Michael Bussewitz-Quarm. The lyrics will cover stories that share a range of experiences, both those experiences that are challenging, and those experiences that are embracing. It will speak of acceptance in one verse, rejection in another verse, possibly homelessness in another, (these are just general examples of the verses and will fluctuate, based on the stories shared with the lyricist and composer). From these stories, verses will be written. Each choir that sings “HowDid You Feel?” will be creating an aesthetic and empathetic experience for all, as we have all experienced the struggle of acceptance, regardless of gender identity or other characteristics we identify with that make us unique, and beautiful. Special Testimonial Section There will be a powerful section which will be presented as an option for choirs to include. In this section, trans members will have the opportunity to tell their story while the choir “vamps” softly in the background, interjecting “How did you feel?” intermittently. In accordance with Trans Chorus of LA’s mission, the overall tenor of the commissioned work will be positive. It will embrace and celebrate the beauty of the trans spirit. Composer and Commissioner hereby agree as follows: Consortium Commissioners of “How Did You Feel?” a. Consortium commissioners commission Michael Bussewitz-Quarm to write “How Did You Feel?” for their groups, lasting approximately 5-7 minutes. b. For the consortium commissioners, multiple arrangements for will be made for accessibility and reach to all choirs: including SSAA, TTBB, SAB; 2-Part Mixed; 3-Part Treble; Unison; Song Squad c. As with the SATB version (1a), instrumentation will be piano and at the discretion of Composer, also include parts for strings and rhythm section. d. Piece will be determined in collaboration with stories shared by the transgender participants chosen by Trans Chorus of LA. e. Knoxville Gay Men’s Chorus will have the exclusive rights to perform the work during the 2020 Gala Choruses Festival in Minneapolis. Individual Choirs in this consortium will appear on a separate page listed “Joined by: name of choir, city, state, name of director”, appearing on the page along with Trans Chorus of LA bio, composer bio, and lyricist bio Text will be written by lyricist, Chantal Sellers. All text used in Piece are subject to approval by the Trans Choir of LA. Statement from Trans Choir of LA: The Trans Chorus of Los Angeles along with composer Michael Bussewitz-Quarm is entering into a music expression of the Trans-narrative experience through song. We are so excited to enter into this because it has not been seen or heard ever before. These Trans identified voices will show the choral world that is all about the voice and not the gender associated to vocal parts in the past. What is also so amazing this work is in alignment with our mission to collectively change the trans-narrative of victimization to VICTORIOUS! The Trans Chorus of Los Angeles is leading the way in the choral world by being visible, bold and proud! We are a chorus of transgender, gender non-conforming/gender non-binary & intersex Individuals using our voices to bring awareness, understanding, power and VICTORY for the Trans Community. We want every Trans-identified individual to hear and appreciate the lyrics of our signature song, "YOU HAVE MORE FRIENDS THAN YOU KNOW!"
FUNDED
release date
Jan. 1st 2020
$75 / ensemble
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