Ars Nova Singers

music beyond words

Boulder, Colorado USA

(303) 499-3165

Specializing in a cappella music of the Renaissance and the 20th and 21st centuries, Ars Nova Singers of Boulder, Colorado is presenting its 30th concert season in 2015-2016. The professional-core vocal ensemble conducted by founding Artistic Director Thomas Edward Morgan is composed of 36 selectively auditioned choral musicians from the Denver/Boulder metropolitan region.

Upcoming Concerts:

  Selena Wellington

Selena Wellington

The New Art: Music Beyond Words

Friday, April 27, 7:30pm - Bethany Lutheran Church, 4500 E. Hampden Avenue, Cherry Hills Village
Saturday, April 28, 7:30pm - St. John's Episcopal Church, 1419 Pine Street, Boulder

Our 32nd season draws to close with music on the edge: an adventurous exploration of the sound, color, and expression of the human voice. The program will feature modern masterworks by Scott Perkins, Anders Hillborg, Edwin Fissinger, Jonathan Dove, and more, as well as music by the winners of our 7th Colorado Composers Competition:  Selena Wellington and Bryan Grosbach. Think globally, sing locally!


  Bryan Grosbach

Bryan Grosbach

A Conversation with the Composer: Bryan Grosbach

Bryan Grosbach is a composer, and performer in the Denver area. Bryan received his Bachelors of Music in Composition in 2014 from the Metropolitan State University of Denver. Since then, he has also had his music performed throughout the U.S., Columbia, Germany and Austria. He continues to regularly write works for the Denver Pro Chorale, a group that has championed his music. Bryan’s winning composition is a choral setting of three poems by Edgar Allan Poe: Alone, Hymn, and Evening Star. Bryan attended Ars Nova’s rehearsal of the work on Thursday, April 5. This is a transcript of his conversation with the Singers and Artistic Director Tom Morgan:

TM:     Welcome, Bryan! Tell us a little about Three Poems by Poe.

BG:    Well, on a surface level, I guess you can say that it's a piece about self-acceptance. Especially in a time where, for the last several years, people have been saying: "this is the right way." And now we're learning that it's not always the right way. So the first movement is mostly about the realization that the person is different – that Poe is different. And then the second movement is sort of a moment of total despair, hopelessness – "why can't I just be like everyone else?" The last movement is about final acceptance, and not just acceptance: almost self-love for being the person that they are.

TM:     When did you start writing this piece?

BG:     I actually started writing this about six months ago.

TM:     After the competition was announced or before?

BG:    It was before. To be completely honest, I was initially writing it for another ensemble, and I was urged to submit it to the competition by Cherise Leiter, who was a former winner of the competition [and currently Professor of music at Metropolitan State College of Denver, where she teaches music theory and composition].

TM: (addressing the singers):  When Bryan entered this piece in our competition, he had on the score, in a large font, Three Poems by Poem, but he only submitted two of them. Our review committee wondered about that, but then we realized that if he had submitted all three he would have been over the time limit stipulated in the competition guidelines. So he only put in two [movements], but we liked the two we had so much that I asked him to send me the other one, so that we could perform the whole set. And I'm awfully glad he did, because I think Evening Star is my favorite one.

BG:     Oh, it's MY favorite one, so I'm very excited that you asked for it as well. Thanks for doing all three movements - I would have been happy with just the first two, but adding that third one puts me over the moon and really adds a sense of completion to the set.

TM:     It's all good, and very well-written. We're looking forward to premiering it!


1)  From Movement 1, Alone:
I could not bring
My passions from a common spring--
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow--I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone--
And all I lov’d--I lov’d alone--

2) From Movement 3, Evening Star:

And I turned away to thee,
   Proud Evening Star,
   In thy glory afar,
And dearer thy beam shall be...


Thursday, May 31, 6:30pm - Boulder Jewish Community Center, 6007 Oreg Ave (near Cherryvale and Arapahoe), Boulder

Our annual Gala and Silent Auction in support of Ars Nova's upcoming 33rd concert season. An evening of culinary delights, elegant entertainment by the Singers, and fabulous silent and live auction items.

Tickets for all performances on sale by clicking the links above; provided by our online partner, Brown Paper Tickets.