yrmusic.comartistsbiosJerald Thomas Hawhee

Jerald Thomas Hawhee (b. 1958)

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A native and life-long resident of Iowa (born 1958 in Fayette County) Jerald Thomas Hawhee studied composition with Alf S. Houkom at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa where he received his bachelor's degree with a double major in history and philosophy in 1980. He subsequently studied briefly with Donald Martin Jeni at the University of Iowa while doing graduate work in musicology.

Since 1992, Jerald Thomas Hawhee has devoted full time to composition, choosing to work outside the ìtraditionalî academic system. A number of his choral works (many being settings of his own texts) have been published in recent years by Yelton Rhodes Music of Los Angeles, and he is affiliated with ASCAP. A prolific choral arranger, specializing in music for the smaller amateur ensembles he directs, he is also an enthusiastic promoter and editor of early music.

Mr. Hawhee's catalog of original works is broad and eclectic, including art songs, chamber music, choral/liturgical pieces in English, Latin and Hebrew, and orchestral works including Transformation and Triumph Symphonic Variations, (finalist, ASCAP/Nisim prize, 2003) and his first symphony, Jerusalem: From Despair To Hope (composed as his entry in the prestigious 1997 Leonard Bernstein Jerusalem International Composing Competition, and a two-time ASCAP/Nisim finalist (2000 and 2002)). Mr. Hawhee received top honors in the 2002 Waging Peace Through Singing Competition sponsored by the Carlton Savage Endowment for International Relations and Peace at the University of Oregon, Eugene for his Shiru ha Shalom (with an original text in Hebrew) and has been a finalist or received honorable mention in a number of prestigious competitions over the years. Recent commissions have included A Winter Journey (words and music, 2002) for high school chorus, and For a Muse of Fire: A Celebration of the Shakespearean Cosmos for large S.A.T.B. (divisi) chorus, percussion and piano (premiered in May 2001 by John Kelly and the Des Moines Concert Singers), his sixth commissioned work, and his first major choral work to secular texts.

Of his composing style Mr. Hawhee states, "I write the kinds of music that I, as a thoughtful and well-informed listener, enjoy hearing myself. While I will write in just about any style and employ a wide variety of different techniques, I do not resort to gimmicks or shock theatrics to reach an audience; I try to write from the heart and the imagination with as much craft and honest professionalism as I can muster.

ìI write music (and words) always with an eyeóand an ear--to the future. I want to leave something behind that will last. I try to write music that is widely accessible, but also tasteful, thought-provoking and uplifting, always seeking the highest common denominator. It is my modest hope that all who play and hear my music will be transported, forgetting their differences, and, if only for a moment, be brought together in a transcendent unity. It is for the building of bridges between all people of good will that I compose.î

Visit Jerald Thomas Hawhee's website at http://www.commonerachoralmusic.com/

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YRM PUBLISHED WORKS:
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YR6717 Light Descending
YR6709 Love Is Kind
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YR6710 Nasu Naharot Kola...
YR6700 Nes Gadol Haya Sh...
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YR6715 Out Of Your Sleep
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