Faculty Profile

Doug Buchanan

Contributing Faculty in Music (Composition) (2014)

Contact Information

buchanad@dickinson.edu

Weiss Center for the Arts
717.245.1568
http://www.dbcomposer.com

Bio

Recognized for his “sense of creative imperative” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) and for music “filled with terrific orchestral color and weight, not to mention feeling” (The Baltimore Sun), Douglas Buchanan (b. 1984, Westfield, NY) is an active composer, conductor, performer, and educator in the greater Baltimore/D.C. area. He currently serves as Composition Faculty at Dickinson College, Music Theory and Musicology Faculty at the Peabody Conservatory, Artistic Director of the Maryland Choral Society, Co-Founder and Director of Voices Rise: A Baltimore Choir of Hope, and Organist and Choirmaster of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Baltimore. He completed his DMA in Composition under the tutelage of Michael Hersch at the Peabody Conservatory, receiving the Philip D. Glass Prize in Composition and the Edward T. Cone Memorial Award in Music Theory. Previous degrees include Composition (M.Mus., the Peabody Conservatory), Music Theory Pedagogy (M.Mus., the Peabody Conservatory), and Piano Performance (B.Mus., the College of Wooster), where he trained as an organist with John Russell, and as a conductor with Jeffrey Lindberg and Nancy Ditmer. Buchanan’s compositions have been praised for their “ability to get under the skin of [the music’s] core material,” (The Scotsman) wherein his cross-disciplinary musicianship is evident. His works are frequently linked with poetic texts and visual art, creating a network of images, words, and music akin to the mythic experience of ritual. In August 2017 he was the recipient of the Sackler Prize in Music Composition, a substantial national award commissioning a new opera to be premiered in 2019. From 2016-2018 he will serve as Composer-in-Residence for the Dallas Chamber Symphony, funded by a grant from the TACA Foundation and culminating in the performance of Crossroads, a chamber symphony featuring the Dallas Street Choir with poetry written by the Street Choir’s members. His piano cycle Colonnades, which included text and photography by the composer, received both a Presser Award from the Peabody Institute and an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award; its sequel, Welkinharmonie, for solo organ, was supported by a residency at the Shin Pond Artist’s Retreat, and culminated in a performance in October 2015 at the National Cathedral. Other notable collaborations include: commissions from the Peabody and Annapolis Operas, the Montreat Music conference, Rhymes with Opera, and Shostakovich collaborator Yevgeny Yevtoshenko; residencies with the LUNAR ensemble, the Broken Consort, and the Canticle Singers of Baltimore; and performances and readings by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, the Peabody Children’s Chorus, the Peabody Symphony Orchestra (which awarded Buchanan the Macht Award for Outstanding Orchestral Composition), the Hebrides Ensemble, and the Symphony in C (which granted Buchanan their Young Composers Award for his work Malleus). Previous composition study includes lessons with Libby Larsen, Nicholas Maw, Chen Yi, Sally Beamish, Alasdair Nicolson, Jack Gallagher, and Melissa Hui, and masterclasses with Christopher Rouse, Christopher Theofanidis, and Karel Husa. An advocate for young composers, he teaches privately in Baltimore and has served as coordinator and composition mentor for the Baltimore Choral Arts Young Composers Readings.

Education

  • B.Mus., The College of Wooster, 2006
  • M.Mus., The Peabody Conservatory, 2008
  • D.M.A., 2013

2018-2019 Academic Year

Fall 2018

MUAC 131 Intro to Art of Composition
So you think the art of composing epic symphonies died with guys like Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky? You think you need to wear a wig and be dead to compose great music? Think again! All around us, in concert halls, community centers, schools, private and public galleries, in large cities, small towns and even in isolated, rural settings, new music in the great Classical tradition is being performed and heard, music created by living composers, music of recent and current generations, your generation no less, music by people you may meet or already know. And you, too, can learn to develop a sophisticated, articulate musical voice of your life and times. Think: Symphony for the 21st century. In this one-semester, half-credit course, students learn about the living art and discipline of music composition through lectures on its history and current practice, listening assignments, and incremental composition exercises resulting in completed, small-scale works. Students will learn how the elements of sound comprise tools for conveying artistic expression, order, and meaning. Prerequisite: Ability to read music in both treble and bass clefs.

MUAC 133 Composers' Forum
All around us, in concert halls, community centers, schools, private and public galleries, in large cities, small towns and even in isolated, rural settings, new music is being performed and heard, music created by living composers in the venerable tradition of composers such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky. You may never have heard such music, as it is a small fraction of programming on mainstream media. Nevertheless, this amazingly diverse repertoire passionately voices and reflects contemporary life, experience, and society. This is music of recent and current generations, your generation no less, music by people you may meet or already know. This half-credit course offered each semester explores such music, recent and contemporary (20th- and 21st-century) compositions and composers in the Western art-music tradition. Students will become acquainted with a wide variety of styles, will gain deeper understanding of the elements of sound as tools for artistic creation, and will hone analytical listening skills.

MUAC 231 Counterpoint
Permission of Instructor Required

MUAC 233 Composers' Forum
All around us, in concert halls, community centers, schools, private and public galleries, in large cities, small towns and even in isolated, rural settings, new music is being performed and heard, music created by living composers in the venerable tradition of composers such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky. You may never have heard such music, as it is a small fraction of programming on mainstream media. Nevertheless, this amazingly diverse repertoire passionately voices and reflects contemporary life, experience, and society. This is music of recent and current generations, your generation no less, music by people you may meet or already know. This half-credit course offered each semester explores such music, recent and contemporary (20th- and 21st-century) compositions and composers in the Western art-music tradition. Students will become acquainted with a wide variety of styles, will gain deeper understanding of the elements of sound as tools for artistic creation, and will hone analytical listening skills.Prerequisite: 134.

MUAC 333 Composers' Forum
All around us, in concert halls, community centers, schools, private and public galleries, in large cities, small towns and even in isolated, rural settings, new music is being performed and heard, music created by living composers in the venerable tradition of composers such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky. You may never have heard such music, as it is a small fraction of programming on mainstream media. Nevertheless, this amazingly diverse repertoire passionately voices and reflects contemporary life, experience, and society. This is music of recent and current generations, your generation no less, music by people you may meet or already know. This half-credit course offered each semester explores such music, recent and contemporary (20th- and 21st-century) compositions and composers in the Western art-music tradition. Students will become acquainted with a wide variety of styles, will gain deeper understanding of the elements of sound as tools for artistic creation, and will hone analytical listening skills.Prerequisite: 234.

MUAC 335 Comp Studies I: Orchestration
Permission of Instructor Required

Spring 2019

MUAC 131 Intro to Art of Composition
So you think the art of composing epic symphonies died with guys like Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky? You think you need to wear a wig and be dead to compose great music? Think again! All around us, in concert halls, community centers, schools, private and public galleries, in large cities, small towns and even in isolated, rural settings, new music in the great Classical tradition is being performed and heard, music created by living composers, music of recent and current generations, your generation no less, music by people you may meet or already know. And you, too, can learn to develop a sophisticated, articulate musical voice of your life and times. Think: Symphony for the 21st century. In this one-semester, half-credit course, students learn about the living art and discipline of music composition through lectures on its history and current practice, listening assignments, and incremental composition exercises resulting in completed, small-scale works. Students will learn how the elements of sound comprise tools for conveying artistic expression, order, and meaning. Prerequisite: Ability to read music in both treble and bass clefs.

MUAC 134 Composers' Forum
All around us, in concert halls, community centers, schools, private and public galleries, in large cities, small towns and even in isolated, rural settings, new music is being performed and heard, music created by living composers in the venerable tradition of composers such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky. You may never have heard such music, as it is a small fraction of programming on mainstream media. Nevertheless, this amazingly diverse repertoire passionately voices and reflects contemporary life, experience, and society. This is music of recent and current generations, your generation no less, music by people you may meet or already know. This half-credit course offered each semester explores such music, recent and contemporary (20th- and 21st-century) compositions and composers in the Western art-music tradition. Students will become acquainted with a wide variety of styles, will gain deeper understanding of the elements of sound as tools for artistic creation, and will hone analytical listening skills.

MUAC 232 Counterpoint
A two-semester, one-credit course in 16th- and 18th-century contrapuntal rules, styles, and genres taught in one-on one lessons. May be taken out of sequence. Two semesters, 0.5 credit each semester. Prerequisite: MUAC 115 or 125 or substantial evidence of previous compositional experience, advanced theory placement by exam (e.g. into MUAC 126, 245 or 246) and permission of instructor.

MUAC 234 Composers' Forum
All around us, in concert halls, community centers, schools, private and public galleries, in large cities, small towns and even in isolated, rural settings, new music is being performed and heard, music created by living composers in the venerable tradition of composers such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky. You may never have heard such music, as it is a small fraction of programming on mainstream media. Nevertheless, this amazingly diverse repertoire passionately voices and reflects contemporary life, experience, and society. This is music of recent and current generations, your generation no less, music by people you may meet or already know. This half-credit course offered each semester explores such music, recent and contemporary (20th- and 21st-century) compositions and composers in the Western art-music tradition. Students will become acquainted with a wide variety of styles, will gain deeper understanding of the elements of sound as tools for artistic creation, and will hone analytical listening skills.Prerequisite: 233.

MUAC 334 Composers' Forum
All around us, in concert halls, community centers, schools, private and public galleries, in large cities, small towns and even in isolated, rural settings, new music is being performed and heard, music created by living composers in the venerable tradition of composers such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky. You may never have heard such music, as it is a small fraction of programming on mainstream media. Nevertheless, this amazingly diverse repertoire passionately voices and reflects contemporary life, experience, and society. This is music of recent and current generations, your generation no less, music by people you may meet or already know. This half-credit course offered each semester explores such music, recent and contemporary (20th- and 21st-century) compositions and composers in the Western art-music tradition. Students will become acquainted with a wide variety of styles, will gain deeper understanding of the elements of sound as tools for artistic creation, and will hone analytical listening skills.Prerequisite: 333.

MUAC 336 Comp Studies I: Orchestration
Drawing on the experience gained in MUAC 231/232, students will learn the complexities, challenges, and best practices in composing for all standard, Western, acoustic instruments. Students will arrange works by other composers for instrumental combinations and will also create original works for large chamber ensembles of mixed instrumentation. When possible, the works will be read and/or performed and recorded. Two semesters, 0.5 credit each semester. Prerequisite: MUAC 246, 231, 232, 233, 234 and permission of instructor.

MUAC 436 Comp Studies II:Portfolio/Proj
Drawing on the experience gained in MUAC 435 students will revise and refine works created earlier in their previous composition courses to achieve a polished portfolio of works for a variety of instruments, ensembles, and media. Students will also continue to develop new works of greater depth and sophistication. When possible and at the discretion of the professor and the director of the relevant ensemble(s), a work will be read, recorded, and possibly performed. This class is required for all composition students undertaking Honors and recommended for seniors who wish to continue their composition work achieved in MUAC 435. Prerequisite: MUAC 435 and 401.