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Work Samples

"Up there," from Bessie and Ma

Excerpt from Scene I of "Bessie and Ma," music by Douglas Buchanan, libretto by Caitlin Vincent. In this aris, Bessie Coleman (Lisa Williamson), yearning to travel to France to train as a pilot, replies to Johnny Coleman's (Albert R. Lee) defeatist stance regarding her possibilities. Inspired by historical events, Bessie and Ma tells the story of two trailblazing figures from the early 20th century—Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman, the first female African-American aviator, and Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, the first female governor of Texas.

Batter My Heart, Three Person'd God

"Batter my heart, three-person'd God," by Douglas Buchanan, was commissioned by the award-winning DC-based women's vocal trio EYA: Ensemble for Medieval Music.

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About Douglas

Baltimore County

Uniting a “sense of creative imperative” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) with the “ability to get under the skin of [the music’s] core material,” (The Scotsman), Douglas Buchanan cultivates cross-disciplinary careers as composer, conductor, performer, and educator. Based in Baltimore, Maryland, he teaches as composition faculty at Dickinson College, music theory and musicology faculty at the Peabody Conservatory, and serves as Artistic Director of the Maryland Choral Society and Choirmaster and... more

Operas

A collection of operas by Douglas Buchanan.

  • Bessie and Ma: An Opera by Douglas Buchanan and Caitlin Vincent

    "Bessie and Ma," by Douglas Buchanan and Caitlin Vincent, was premiered on March 31, 2019 by the University of Connecticut Opera. Inspired by historical events, Bessie and Ma tells the story of two trailblazing figures from the early 20th century—Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman, the first female African-American aviatrix, and Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, the first female governor of Texas.
  • Lux et Tenebrae

    Premiered by the Figaro Project as part of their Contemporary Opera Trio project in 2011.

Choral Compositions

A selection of choral compositions by Douglas Buchanan.

  • Crossroads, for Street Choir and Orchestra

    "Crossroads," for Street Choir and Orchestra, by Douglas Buchanan I. Glass, Wind, and Steel II. Blues III. Inasmuch • Featuring the Dallas Street Choir, Jonathan Palant, Director • Willie Baronet, Narrator • Premiered January 20, 2018, Dallas, TX • Texts by Rickey Redd, Hadunnetti da Silva, Debra Scott, and Christina Boyer, used with permission
  • In the Golden Afternoon: I. Jabberwocky

    The University of Pennsylvania Glee Club, under the direction of Joshua Glassman, premieres Douglas Buchanan's "In the Golden Afternoon: Three Songs of Lewis Carroll," movement I., Jabberwocky.
  • The Green Fields of Amerikay

    The Broken Consort performs Douglas Buchanan's setting of "The Green Fields of Amerikay," May 6, 2016, at St. David's Episcopal Church in Baltimore.
  • "The Dream of the Rood," by Douglas Buchanan

    The Choir of St. David's, under the direction of the composer, performs Douglas Buchanan's setting of the Old English poem "The Dream of the Rood," March 30, 2018, Baltimore, Maryland.
  • The Heart that Loveth Me, by Douglas Buchanan

    "The Hearth that Loveth Me," by Douglas Buchanan, based on an anonymous poem of the 16th century. Recorded live at St. David's Episcopal Church, Baltimore; sung by the Choir of St. David's under the direction of Dr.
  • Benedicite omnia opera, by Douglas Buchanan

    Douglas Buchanan guest conducts the Handel Choir of Baltimore in the world premiere of his commissioned setting of "Benedicite, omnia opera," performed March 3, 2017, at St. David's Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • "Resurrection, Imperfect," by Douglas Buchanan

    The Choir of St. David's performs the World Premiere of Douglas Buchanan's setting of John Donne's "Resurrection, Imperfect," under the direction of the composer, April 19, 2019.

Choral Conducting

Choral performances led by Douglas Buchanan.

  • Johannes-Passion, BWV 245

    The Choir of St. David's, under the direction of Dr. Douglas Buchanan, performs J.S. Bach's Johannes-Passion, BWV 245, at the 42nd annual Baltimore Bach Marathon, March 18, 2018.
  • Ubi Caritas, by Michael Rickelton (World Premiere)

    The world premiere performance of Michael Rickelton's setting of "Ubi Caritas," performed by the Canticum Novum Chamber Chorus under the direction of Douglas Buchanan, May 22, 2014, at Old St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • O Rex gloriae, by Christoph Strauss

    The Choir of St. David's and the Washington Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble perform Christoph Strauss' "O Rex Gloriae" under the direction of Douglas Buchanan, May 3, 2019, at St. David's Episcopal Church in Baltimore.
  • Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 225

    Douglas Buchanan leads the Choir of St. David's in a performance of J.S. Bach's motet "Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied," BWV 225, at the 41st Annual Baltimore Bach Marathon.
  • J.S. Bach - Komm, Jesu, komm BWV 229

    The Choir of St. David's, under the direction of Douglas Buchanan, perform's J.S. Bach's motet "Komm, Jesu, komm" at the 43rd annual Baltimore Bach Marathon.
  • "Resurrection, Imperfect," by Douglas Buchanan

    The Choir of St. David's performs the World Premiere of Douglas Buchanan's setting of John Donne's "Resurrection, Imperfect," under the direction of the composer, April 19, 2019.
  • Jesu, meine Freude, by J S Bach, BWV 227

    Douglas Buchanan leads the Choir of St. David's in a performance of J.S. Bach's motet "Jesu, meine Freude," BWV 227, at the 39th annual Baltimore Bach Marathon.

Virtual Performances

Virtual Choir performances led, arranged, and edited by Douglas Buchanan.

Welkinharmonie

Welkinharmonie, or “sky-music,” is a meditation on the mythic cycle of creation, preservation, and destruction that is at the heart of many faith traditions, particularly Vedic Hinduism. The work draws on a number of sources: most prominently, it references the “organ masses” of the Baroque era, where chants or hymn tunes would be quoted in organ works and placed in the order in which they would appear in the service. This historical tradition was accompanied by contrapuntal workmanship, so in some senses Welkinharmonie grapples with how to create counterpoint in a musical language that freely uses consonance and dissonance, while at the same time creating a ritual progression absent of direct quotation. The texts associated with the composition serve to create meaningful resonance, providing some illumination for each individual movement. Frequently referenced themes in the work are time and meaning: how are these created, sustained, and changed? The first movement, for instance, plays with time and rhythm, culminating in a seven-fold augmentation fugue at the end. This suggests something quantum, a resonance with the study of physics that seeks to unify the infinitely small elements of the universe with the infinitely large. Ultimately, Welkinharmonie is a ruminative twenty-first century statement of faith, blending elements of myth, science, and musical study.

  • Welkinharmonie: Mandala of the Unquiet Earth

    An excerpt from Douglas Buchanan's "Welkinharmonie," for organ solo, performed at the Church of the Epiphany's Tuesday Concert series in Washington D.C. on April 14, 2015.
  • Welkinharmonie: Antiphon 1

    An excerpt from Douglas Buchanan's "Welkinharmonie," for organ solo, performed at the Church of the Epiphany's Tuesday Concert series in Washington D.C. on April 14, 2015.

Douglas's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.