Dan Forrest was born in Elmira, New York, in 1978. He holds an M.Mus. in Piano Performance from Bob Jones University and a D.M.A. in composition from the University of Kansas. Dr. Forrest’s work has become well established in the choral repertoire in the U.S. and around the world, and has received numerous awards and distinctions including the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer’s Award, the ACDA Raymond Brock Award, the ALCM Raabe Prize, and many others.
A Basque Lullaby - Vanguard Premieres Contest 2004 (Honorable Mention)
“A Basque Lullaby” (author unknown) is the third and final movement of Bedtime Fancies, a suite of three a cappella choral settings of children’s poems. The stanzaic form alternates between homophonic sections of pandiatonicism and a six-voice imitative refrain which repeats the word “lullaby.” In its original context in Bedtime Fancies, the Lullaby serves as the final poem to be sung to a child at bedtime, lulling him off to sleep, and fading away to a peaceful silence. (Notes by the composer, 2004)
You Are the Music - Vanguard Premieres Contest 2006 (Winner - Emerging Composers Category)
I had been searching for a text celebrating the joy and beauty of music-making; my search ended with the discovery of this inspired poem, and I set out to paint its beauty in both its small details and its larger meaning. The opening horn calls represent the “door, opening wide” into time and space, allowing reflection on this idea of music coming from one’s life. A solo soprano presents the “pent-up melody” coming forth from one person—“your spirit’s harmony”—before the idea is taken up by the full choir. A contrasting middle section reminisces about the life of this music-maker, and draws analogies between music and creation. Opportunities for text-painting abound: “different chords,” “waves within a tide,” “single notes,” “a glorious throng,” and “a thousand cadences.” The triumphant return of the opening melody signifies the overwhelming dawn of the truth of these ideas upon the observer. A reflective closing section provides a poignant tribute, remembering this one whose music emanated from her very life. As the final bars die away, the “door” is slowly shut; but the music continues on in the lives of all those whose music-making is an expression of their spirit. (Notes by the composer, 2006)