Seasons with Chorale: 18
Previous LAMC solos:
Voice Part CHORALE: Tenor
Hometown: Cedar Falls, Iowa
Education/Training: MA in Choral Conducting (University of Iowa); BA in Peace Studies (Manchester University); foreign language and cultural studies at the Dalian Foreign Language Institute (Dalian, China); voice with Elsa Charlston (Chicago); piano with Joan Smalley and George Katz.
Do you also have a non-singing "day job"? If so, what do you do? I keep out of trouble (and get into some) writing music. I also attempt(!) to run my own publishing company, and have recently launched a new website that has full backstory of every piece I've ever written. I also work with several publishers: Bo
Where else do you teach/gig/conduct/sing/perform? I often work with choirs that are performing/commissioning my pieces; I share leadership of the vibrant church music program at La Verne Church of the Brethren with LAMC mezzo Niké St. Clair.
Guest Appearances: Last year, I performed with Atlanta Master Chorale at the national ACDA convention on a new piece of mine; other recent composer residencies include Lorelei Ensemble (Boston), Cal State LA, Choral Arts Northwest (Seattle), and San Diego Summer Choral Festival.
Recording/TV/Film: My Neruda settings Tu voz and Tu sangre en la mia are featured on Conspirare's Grammy-nominated recording Pablo Neruda: the Poet Sings; my Heavenly Home set is featured on a new recording from Santa Fe Desert Chorale; choral singing on three dozen feature film soundtracks.
Highlights of your musical career: Serving as LAMC's Swan Family Composer in Residence (2012-2015) and the subsequent world premieres of Plath Songs, Inscapes, and Songs of Ascent; having my arrangement Wana Baraka featured in celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee at Windsor Castle, sung by the Nairobi Chamber Choir; directing music for a nationally-broadcast CBS Christmas Eve special in 2004, Enter the Light of Life; writing and recording my bluegrass album Meet Me on the Mountain.
Favorite choral work(s): James Macmillan's Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis; Arvo Pärt's The Beatitudes; works of Heinrich Schutz and J.S. Bach, Irving Fine's Have you seen the white lily grow?
A defining moment of favorite LA Master Chorale onstage experience: LAMC's amazing 2004 Duke Ellington Sacred Services collaborative concert with the Luckman Jazz Orchestra and the mesmerizing Darius de Haas, the beaming, show-stealing tap dancer Ardie Bryant, and the incomparable Nolan Shaheed on trumpet.
What are you listening to these days? In general, I can't listen to much, because I'm always in deadline-mode trying to finish a new composition. But I can really enjoy some Dan Fogelberg, The Eagles, Dolly Parton, Soweto Gospel Choir, and Roberta Flack. And KCRW is great on drives home from evening rehearsals.
Online Headshot: bio-kirchner-shawn.jpg
Where do you live in L.A.? La Verne
What L.A. experience do you consider essential for visitors/newcomers? I consider the natural wonders of the LA area to be the essentials: hiking at Ice House Canyon in the San Gabriel mountains -- there's even snow in the winter! -- or swimming in the ocean in Santa Monica or Laguna.