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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Peter Hallock dies

See the announcement here--I'm sure there will be obituaries coming soon and I'll link to them here.

I've known Peter for a long time. I never worked with him directly (sang in the Compline Choir or the Cathedral Choir), but attended the Compline services at St. Mark's in Seattle on and off from the time I was an undergraduate. And of course, many of my friends worked regularly with Peter. And I managed to work with him on a number of occasions.

I was honored to be asked to conduct the Tallis 40-part motet, Spem in alium, for Peter's 40th Anniversary at St. Mark's. And I also conducted a concert celebrating his 70th birthday at St. Mark's with Choral Arts, which was followed by a recording of the works on that program.

It was great fun to look through piles of Peter's music in order to choose repertoire. And the process of speaking with Peter about his music and rehearsing, performing, and recording was fun as well. Peter wrote most of the big pieces on the program for Easter (Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem, The Song of Moses, and Exsultate Deo, as well as Phoenix), and they were usually finished at the last moment, ink barely dry on the page. Peter enjoyed the opportunity to look again at these scores and do some minor revisions. It wasn't surprising to find him, just before one of the recording sessions, pasting in a change in a trombone part!

I've continued to perform Peter's music, including a performance of Song of Moses a year ago with one of my choirs at UNT, which you can find on YouTube. And at Highland Park UMC we did his Wash me Through and Through for Ash Wednesday--a beautiful and moving setting for that service. If you are looking for wonderful service music or a number of medium length pieces for various combinations of instruments, explore the many works published by Ionian Arts. You won't regret it.

Peter will be greatly missed. He was a marvelous musician and composer and a friend to many. I'm grateful to have known him.

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