Orange County Choral Society

Orange County Choral Society Announces Coral Composition Winners

Winning composition to be premiered at the Chorus' 6th Annual Stars and Stripes Forever Concert in San Juan Capistrano, CA.


Hunitngton Beach, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/04/2010 -- The Orange County Choral Society (OCCS) is pleased to announce selection of the first and second place winners of its First Annual Magnum Opus Composition Competition. According to Christopher Gravis, OCCS Artistic Director, first place was awarded to Daniel McDavitt from Urbana, IL for his composition entitled "Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal" – an eight-part a cappella arrangement. In addition to a cash prize of $1,000 and a professional recording of the work, McDavitt’s composition will be premiered at the Orange County Choral Society’s 6th Annual Stars and Stripes Forever concert to be held July 3 at Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano. Second place honors and a check for $500 went to Elaine Hagenberg of Des Moines, IA for her composition “A Child of Peace.”

Daniel McDavitt is an active conductor, composer, and arranger. Born and raised in Missouri, he earned a BA in music and humanities and an MM in choral conducting from Brigham Young University, and is currently completing a DMA in choral conducting and literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During the 2010-2011 academic year, he will be a visiting faculty member at Knox College in Galesburg, IL, where he will teach music theory, music history, and will serve as Acting Director of Choirs. Recently, he has directed the BYU University Chorale and the University of Illinois Chorus, and is the artistic director of the Heritage Singers. He lives in Urbana, IL with his wife Jenika.

The Magnum Opus competition was created by the Orange County Choral Society specifically to encourage the creation of new choral works by today’s gifted composers. In late 2009, OCCS issued a nationwide invitation requesting composers to submit an original composition or arrangement of American folk song, patriot theme or American hymn-tune for the competition. More than 25 composers from the U.S and around the world submitted their compositions and five semifinalists were selected and evaluated by a distinguished three-member panel consisting of: Jo Michael Scheibe – chair of the Thornton School of Music's Department of Choral and Sacred Music at the University of Southern California; Frank Ticheli - an American composer of orchestral, choral, chamber and concert band works and professor of composition at the University of Southern California; and, Christopher Gravis - Artistic Director, Orange County Choral Society.

The Chorus’ Magnum Opus Composition Competition was made possible through a generous grant by the Robert & Doreen Marshall Fund for Dramatic Arts & Classical Music. The OCCS is a nonprofit 501( c ) 3 performing arts organization, dedicated to promoting the appreciation of choral music in Orange County through accessible and affordable performances of masterworks concerts.