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Fred West



Frederick N. West studied composition at Western Washington University with the eminent Dr. Edwin LaBounty. LaBounty’s seminars were famous for providing a different instrumental ensemble each week for his students’ compositions. Mr. West also studied choral conducting with Dr. Robert Scandrett and instrumental conducting with William Cole. Mr. West has continued his conducting studies in summer workshops with Dr. Rodney Eichenberger, Weston Noble, and the very distinguished Robert Shaw.

Mr. West has composed prolifically for chorus and his compositions have been often premiered with the City Cantabile Choir and the Seattle Peace Chorus, both under the direction of Mr. West.

His major compositions are:

1987 The Christmas Cantata, for strings, chorus, percussion and Balkan womens’ choir. This piece draws heavily on Balkan rhythms and solo techniques.

1990 Upon This Land, an environmental oratorio created under a prestigious grant by the Bullitt Foundation, was originally composed for the 20th anniversary of Earth Day and calls for greater stewardship of the environment. It was performed last spring for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day by the Seattle Peace Chorus. The work is scored for brass quintet, celli, timpani, assorted hand percussion, double winds, full chorus, and a quartet of vocal soloists.

1998 Mass for the Children was dedicated to the composer’s daughter and relates the hopes and dreams of parents for their childrens’ future while addressing many of the most profound questions that a child asks. It is scored for flute, oboe, cello, percussion and chorus.

2002 Diarmaid and Grainne, the ancient Celtic tale which is the ancestor of Tristan and Isolde. It is scored for bass clarinet, oboe, french horn, fiddle and Irish bagpipes (euilleann pipes). This piece calls for a storyteller and is fully staged.

2007 Let America be America Again, Mr. West’s most recent large scale work, was created in response to a commission by the Seattle Peace Chorus. This work is a setting of the Langston Hughes poetry of the same name and is scored for brass quintet, oboe, timpani, congas, baritone soloist and chorus. This work has been performed at the Town Hall in Seattle, in Venezuela, and in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Mr. West has many other diverse shorter works for chorus, solo piano, solo marimba, solo voices and other instrumental ensembles.

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