OSU Hosted Guest Composers Eric Barnum and Daniel Elder


The Choral/Vocal Division proudly hosted two guest choral composers, Eric William Barnum and Daniel Elder. The composers arrived on campus on October 15th to clinic the Concert Chorale and Chamber Singers on performing their works for the choirs'  "On the Cutting Edge" concert on October 16th, a joint concert with choirs from Bartlesville High School, Elk City High School, and Jenks High School. The Concert Chorale performed Elder's set of "Three Themes on Life and Love," as well as "The Sounding Sea" and "The Sunken City" by Barnum, while the Chamber Singers performed Elder's setting of "Ave Maria" as well as "Chronologic" by Barnum.

Barnum and Elder stayed in Stillwater to attend "On the Cutting Edge" and travelled to Fort Worth, TX with the choirs on October 17th, where the Concert Chorale and Chamber Singers presented a second concert of the composers' works along with choirs from Byron Nelson High School, Richland High School, Haltom High School, and Plano Senior High School. 


As a prolific writer of vocal and instrumental music, Daniel Elder (b. 1986) ties these genres together to create forms and aesthetics that are at once lyrical and textural, drawing its roots particularly from the impressionist movement. Critics have hailed his works as “deeply affecting” and "without peer," with emotional evocations ranging from lush lyricism to jagged polyphony. Daniel’s compositions have earned recognition from The American Prize, The Simon Carrington Chamber Singers, Cantus, and many others, including a recording by the Grammy- award-winning Eric Whitacre Singers made at Abbey Road Studios as part of their 80th Anniversary Anthem Competition. The first commercial album of Daniel's choral works, "The Heart's Reflection: Music of Daniel Elder," was released in October 2013 by Westminster Choir College (Princeton, NJ) and Naxos of America, and debuted at #53 on the overall classical Billboard chart. Daniel currently resides in Nashville, TN as a full-time freelance composer. He is published internationally by Carus Verlag, Edition Peters, GIA Publications, Hal Leonard, Imagine Music, Walton Music, and Wingert-Jones Publications, while also self-publishing his newest releases directly through J.W. Pepper. More information may be found at www.danieleldermusic.com.

A conductor and composer, Eric William Barnum continues to passionately seek new ground in the choral field. Working with choirs of all kinds, his collaborative leitmotif endeavors to provide intensely meaningful experiences for singers and audiences. Barnum is currently the Director of Choral Music at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. He holds a DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington, under the direction of Dr. Geoffrey Boers. He has an advanced degree in conducting from Minnesota State University, primary study with Dr. David Dickau, as well as BAs in Composition and Vocal Performance from Bemidji State University. He has appeared as a conductor across the United States, and has had the opportunity to work with some of the most innovative minds in the choral field. His compositional voice and vision continues to gain popularity around the globe with performances from choirs internationally. He composes for choral ensembles of all types, from professional to youth choirs, and has received numerous awards and prestigious grants such as a Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship and a McKnight Foundation Grant. He has also held residencies with such ensembles as Choral Arts (Seattle, WA), Cantus (Trondheim, Norway), The Rose Ensemble (St. Paul, MN), Madison Choral Project (Madison, WI), Kantorei (Denver, CO), Magnum Chorum (Minneapolis, MN), Coro Vocal Artists (Tucson, AZ), as well as with many high schools and collegiate choirs.


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Eric Barnum rehearses with the Byron Nelson and Plano Senior High School choirs in Forth Worth, TX.

 IMG_5702.JPGDaniel Elder clinics the Byron Nelson and Plano Senior High School choirs on one of his compositions in Forth Worth, TX.

IMG_5703.JPGEric Barnum enjoys listening to Haltom and Richland High Schools rehearse one of his compositions in Forth Worth, TX.

IMG_5704.JPGEric Barnum conducts Haltom and Richland High School choirs on one of his compositions in Forth Worth, TX. 

IMG_5705.JPGDaniel Elder gives advice to Haltom and Richland High School choirs on performing his compositions.