Over the past ten years I’ve had opportunities to perform

the music of 25 talented composers whom I‘ve gotten to

know both musically and personally. All their music was

performed by the good but modest forces available to me,

the children’s choirs at Pocantico Hills School where I had

taught music and the Adult Choir at Church of the Savior

(which I still direct). There are other wonderful composers

I know who either by the level of difficulty or the lack of opportunity I’ve not been able to perform. But allow me to enthusiastically recommend any on the following list of

my colleagues.

                                                       --BILL VOLLINGER


CHARLES O. BECK (COBI) is from Ohio, and has developed a uniquely personal voice in his

composition. Highly recommended is the CD collection of his "Kaleidoscopes", most of which

are "equitonal", where each key is given equal value. The effect is both lovely and moving.

“A Pure Heart”, was commissioned for our  church choir, and really loved it. Listen to it here.

Get further information by contacting him at http://www.swan-cross.com/

JERRY CASEY is also from Ohio. She's written many works in a variety of styles and idioms,

including a gently gracious setting of "Take Time To Be Holy" which my church choir sang.

"Seven" (a suite for orchestra) and "Gli intrighi d'amore" (for woodwind quintet) are available

on CD from MMC recordings. A great place to find out about her music (and shop!) is her

website: http://www.jerrycaseymusic.com/ Jerry recently completed a dazzling new anthem

for our church choir, trumpet & piano, “The Lord God Almighty Is His Name”.

ALLEN COHEN is a gifted composer of orchestral, chamber and vocal music, an incredible

pianist and author of books on Howard Hanson and the American musical theater (and oh

yes, his children’s joke book “So Funny I forgot to Laugh”). My middle school chorus

commissioned his choral ballad “Benedict Arnold and Major Andre”. You may visit his

website at http://www.allencohen.com

SETH COLANER is a talented young composer with a unique voice. Soprano Mari Hughes

sang his powerful “Psalm 22” at the conclusion of our Maundy Thursday evening service,

as the altar vestments were removed. You may hear this performance by clicking this link.

Visit his website at http://www.freighttrainmusic.net/sethcolaner.html

WALLI DEPUE What a man! I got to know him when he took the time to congratulate me on

a new CD. Professor emeritus from Bowling Green University, Walli’s unique and moving

masterpiece, “The Bird Frog and Tree Club” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. On the more

modest level I’ve worked on, choirs I’ve directed have done his “Harry Wuzanelf”, “Ave Rarla”

& “True?”. Discover the wonderful world of Walli at http://mustec.bgsu.edu/~wallace/

DONNA KELLY EASTMAN has won numerous awards, and composes music both with charm

and with expertise. One of my elementary school choruses performed three of her set "Our

Friends at the Animal Fair" with considerable gusto. Among other works, "Just Us", a work

for mezzo-soprano and flute is available at Capstone Records, as are other works. Pay her

a visit at http://www.sai-national.org/phil/composers/deastman.html

FRANK FELICE a former rock bass player, creates electroacoustic music that is both witty

and moving, and teaches composition at Butler University. His CD "Sidewalk Music" I have

enjoyed many times over and is available at Capstone Records. We commissioned “The Ring

Cycle”, a cool work that had my middle school choir use their cellphones as they sang with

an electronic background. Frank’s dark & fun website is http://www.frank-felice.com

DOMENIC GUASTAFERRO is a man of many talents, composer, singer and teacher. He composes

in a considerable variety of styles from way out to way in. Our church choir recently performed

his lovely anthem for Pentecost, “Prayer of St. Augustine”. And his musicaI based on the Parables

of Jesus is great! http://alphaandomegatheater.vpweb.com  I look forward to the first performance

of Dom’s unique and lovely ballet,“God’s Juggler”.

JAMES NATHANIEL HOLLAND was a fellow NJ-er who founded NJ Camerata and now lives

in Costa Rica. Predominantly an opera composer, he writes attractive and lyrical music such

as his dramatic opera "Germain" and the playful comedy "Discontented Housewife". My fourth

graders enjoyed premiering his swayful Haitian style song "Allo!". Find more of Mr. Holland’s

opuses at http://www.casaholanda.com/composer/jamesnathanielholland.html

I met ELLEN LINDQUIST at the Adirondack Festival of Music where I got to hear some of her

music, including her haunting “Nakoda” for unaccompanied alto flute, named for a female

alpha wolf killed by a hunter. This led to her commission to write “The Bears Wake Up” for

my elementary school chorus, with a text by Marilyn A. Johnson. Be sure to check out her

lovely website at http://www.ellenlindquist.com/

LARRY LOCKWOOD is a classmate from Manhattan School of Music who I've gotten to know

again after 30 years. He has rejected his early atonalism and creates music that 's simple,

lovely and immediately recognizable, whether it’s chamber music or an opera. Hear his work

at http://www.lockwoodmusic.com/ including the sweet "Tifillot".  I’ve performed both "Scent

of Pine" and “Our Father” (a setting of Martin Luther’s commentary on the Lord’s Prayer).

DEEANN MATHEWS is not only a gifted performer and composer, she also attributes her gifts

to the Giver himself. She is an articulate teacher on the Bible, and faithfully sends me a Bible

verse and commentary every day (when her computer is working). Our church choir performed

her adaption of Psalm 136, “His Mercy Endures Forever” and “In Christ”. She lives on the Left

Coast, in San Francisco, and is an expert on the subject of © !

ROBERT MCCONNELL is a talented musician who has earned his Bachelor’s at Northwestern

University, where he studied with Augusta Read Thomas, and completed there his Masters

in conducting. Robert was also my first composition student, and has gone on from writing

a rather Brahmsian setting of Psalm 91 for our church choir to the wonderfully modern stuff

he is now often into. No website yet, so contact me at least for now.

DAVID MESSER is a true renaissance man who now spends every available moment writing

music. (What a great thing to do!) He is a choir director and organist, and is now studying

for his masters at Julliard. My school commissioned him to write a new piece for our winter

concert, the result being “Mr. Winter”, a delightful and tuneful piece with a good message.

David is receiving visitors at http://www.davidmesser.net/

JONATHAN MILLER (not the “famous” one who won the Pulitzer Prize, but just as important)

can write both "smooth" and "crunchy" (i.e. "Chouchamayo"). I myself once published his

"Love's Domain" (it sounds like what the title suggests) and my school commissioned and

then performed his warm wonderful "Snowflake Angels". He doesn't have a website, so

you’ll have to ask me!

JAN MITTELSTAEDT lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is both an educator and composer.

She has written much music for young pianists, as well as sacred Choral music. Her music,

like herself, is both genuine and worthwhile. My church choir performed her joyful "Rejoice

in the Lord" a few years back, and were excited and happy to do so. You may visit her website

at http://www.sintsink.com/

ISAAC NAGAO is professor of music at Naruto University of Education and organist and

pianist for Tokushima Baptist Church in Japan. His work “Ancient Cities” is written for the

harpsichord. I got to know Isaac through SCI, and have performed his delicately moving

“Christ Jesus” in both it’s three-part and four-part choral versions. To visit his website

(translated into English) click this link.

BILL PHIPPS is another composer I met through the Gregg Smith Singers, who have performed

some of his choral works.  You can hear our church choir sing his beautiful and touching Lenten

anthem “Alone”, after I first heard the Gregg Smith Singers perform it. Bill is also an astounding

expert and raconteur on all types recorded music, having worked for many years at ASCAP.

DONALD H. SANBORN works in a variety of styles, from cutting-edge modern (“Elegy for the

Victims of Roswell”) to operetta (“Robin Hood”). We commissioned at Church of the Savior a

new work for trumpet and organ,“Peter’s Salvation”. You can hear trumpeter Jerry Lucadamo

and me play it at this link. Don’s wife Jennifer is also a talented composer of dramatic music.

Visit Don’s website at http://www.donsanborn.cjb.net/

GREG SCHEER may listen to rock music in his car, but yet writes choir anthems such as the

beautiful communion anthem "Bread of the World" (my choir sang it on Maundy Thursday)

and "One Generation Will Call to the Next". He also writes worship choruses, and goes electronic

in the shimmering shifting "Crossfade", available on the CD "...from everlasting to everlasting..."

at CFAMC. Look, listen & order at http://gregscheer.com/

IRA-PAUL SCHWARZ recently passed away. He was (and I believe still is) an imaginative

composer and a true gentleman, who wrote every kind of music expertly, including works for

James Galway. My first (!) graders premiered his ringing "Christmas Ev'ry Day" and loved it.

So did the audience. And I love his "Five Cats and a Porcupine". Please visit the article on him

in Wikipedia.

MARTHA SULLIVAN is both a gifted singer and a gifted composer, winning the Dale Warland

Singers Choral Ventures competition in 2003. She is an active founding member of the Pharos

Music Project in NYC. When commissioned by my elementary school chorus to write a piece for

our winter concert, she created three delightful clever settings of pages from the L.L. Bean winter catalogue. Visit at http://www.composersforum.org/member_profile.cfm?oid=2990

ELIZABETH SYDOR from Brick, NJ was both poet and composer. She passed away in 2010.

Her work ranges from the way-out ("Double Think") to the way in ("Fantasia for Orchestra")

Much of her work is for dance theater. We've done her graceful and meditative "Prayer of St

Theresa" and her ultra-joyful “Celebration for Epiphany” with great success in my church.

But there's no website for Elizabeth, so you’ll need to contact me instead.

DICK THOMPSON lives a mile from me and has been a significant mentor for my teaching

and composing. Dick writes in a jazz-classical style. He's a pro at all he does. We've performed

many of his pieces in school and church: “God’s Love” (my church choir keeps raving about it) "Parents","Sacajawea","Johnny Shiloh" are singable and great, often with wonderful texts by

Kim Rich. What talent! Visit at http://www.artsonginnovations.com/

DONALD M. WILSON is a man of broad intellect and a composer of imagination, variety, and

talent. His exciting work for narrator and choir “In the Beginning” recently won a prize at the El

Centro Religious Arts Festival. And keeping with the more modest requirements of my church

choir, Don was commissioned to write an unusual lively setting of the 23rd Psalm. You can hear

it here. Visit his website at http://mustec.bgsu.edu/~dwilson/

Other composers I know
and have performed


Comprehensive tutorials and

resources to help you get

better at playing the guitar.