Shubho Lhaw Qolo (2019) – 8′

For Solo Viola, Harp, 2 Percussion, and Strings* (2,1,2,1)

*may be performed with chamber strings or full sections



“I remember being moved by not only the beauty but also the tonality of this composition.”
—Lanson Wells, Journal of the American Viola Society, Spring 2024, Volume 40 No. 1


Awards, Performances

  • Winner, Ensemble Metamorphosis – 2023 Call for Scores
  • Winner, Sewanee Summer Music Festival – 2020 Call for Scores
  • Winner, Warren County Summer Music School – 2020 Promising Young Composers Competition
  • Second prize, Ohio Federation of Music Clubs – 2020 Collegiate Composition Contest
  • Second prize, Vienna Academia Musica – 2021 International Music Competition, Orchestra Category
  • Runner-up, One Found Sound – 2023 Emerging Composer Award

Premiered November 2019 with Alyssa Warcup as the soloist under the baton of the composer at Mixon Hall in the Cleveland Institute of Music

Other Performances: 

  • Upcoming performance by Ensemble Metamorphosis with Saša Mirković as the soloist in Belgrade, Serbia. More details TBA
  • Upcoming performance October 21, 2023 by the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra with Arturo Ziraldo as the soloist, under the baton of Maestro Julian Kuerti in Miller Auditorium at Kalamazoo, MI
  • April 30, 2021 with Stanley Konopka of The Cleveland Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Marcelo Lehninger in Kulas Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music



Program Notes

Shubho Lhaw Qolo means “glory to the voice” in Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus Christ. The music is inspired by an adapted Christmas hymn by St. Ephrem the Syriac who lived in the fourth century. Modern settings of the text are commonly sung by Christian communities in both Aramaic and Arabic around Christmas season throughout the Middle-East.

One of the great powers and mysteries of music is that it can leave us feeling that musical time transcends clock time. Shubho Lhaw Qolo explores notions of timelessness as well as concurrent temporalities and directionalities. The notation reflects the superimposed, independent temporalities which operate at once in the music, thus barlines are not always shared by all instruments. The different time-layers integrate and interact with one another throughout the music, just as the different playing techniques do. Throughout the piece, different sounds come in and out of focus; textures, like colors, bleed into each other. The soloist and the orchestra operate on different and independent sonic universes at the beginning, however, as the piece progresses, they approach integration right up to the final cadence where they finally commune with my own re-harmonization of the classic “Amen”.

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