Eric Whitacre working on “October”
Eric Whitacre is one of the most well known composers of our time, much of his work already standard repertoire including choral pieces “Water Night”, “Cloudburst” and “Sleep”; and his pieces for wind ensemble, “October” and “Ghost Train”. I’ve played the last two (as I’m no vocalist) and remember the rehearsals and performances as some of the best music I’ve ever participated in.
Brigham Young University has one of the largest choral programs in the US with around 500 members. At the top of the program are the BYU singers, with only 40 voices, conducted by Dr. Ronald J. Staheli. They’ve toured and recorded extensively, including a fantastically received compendium of Eric Whitacre’s a capella works.
Whitacre’s music is stunning by itself, and the BYU Singers’ sensitive interpretations deliver some of the best modern choral music I’m aware of. Listen for yourself — I’m not sure who’s performing “October” in the recording below, but they’re pretty good as well: