Composer Profile: Caldwell & Ivory 13 April, 2015
by Jen Sper, Choral Music Specialist
The choral works by collaborators Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory are inherently singable and memorable. Often based on musical fragments from various cultures around the world, the rhythmic intensity and creative voice make their music especially captivating for young singers and ensembles – and their experience in working with groups of this age assures their success!
Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory began arranging music together spontaneously in the early 1990s when they were both working with a community-based youth choir in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Their musical partnership was further cultivated from 1993-1997 during summers spent together at the American Boychoir School in Princeton, New Jersey.
Caldwell and Ivory works have become staples in the repertoire of many of the world’s finest ensembles. Their music has been telecast on PBS and A&E and performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. Their commissions have been premiered by conductors Judith Willoughby, Anton Armstrong, Pearl Shangkuan, Cheryl Dupont and Barbara Tagg.
Sean directs the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Chorus, an affiliate organization of the Grand Rapids Symphony. He is also the choral director at Forest Hills Central High School and an affiliate artist with the Youth Choral Theater of Chicago. He lives in Grand Rapids with his wife Leah and their children, Emma, Samuel and Meredith.
Paul is Artistic Director of the Youth Choral Theater of Chicago. In recognition of his work in this capacity, he and his chorus were awarded the 2006 Chorus America/ASCAP prize for Adventurous Programming. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Chorus America and on the Advisory Board of the New Orleans Children’s Chorus. He was recognized for his contribution to the choral community nationwide at the 2008 National Performing Arts Conference when he was selected as the recipient of Chorus America’s Michael J. Korn Founders Award for Philanthropic Contribution to the Arts.
The music of Caldwell & Ivory is available through Stanton’s from both Earth Songs Music and Hal Leonard Corporation. For more information about Caldwell & Ivory and their music, please visit their website.
About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.