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Jeff Reynolds

Location: California, USA
Jeff Reynolds, recently retired bass trombonist, L.A. Philharmonic, Hollywood movie soundtrack player, Professor of music, California State University, Long Beach. Most of my life has been involved with composing, arranging, or music copying. In the twilight of my life Compline has become one of my great passions.
Currently 'jefe' leads the Trinity Compline Choir at historic Trinity Church in Nevada City, CA, USA, nestled on the west slope, northern Sierra Nevada. The classic Compline Choir was all male, all the time, back when Compline was the last office of the Monastic day.  Peter Hallock revived the idea of a Sarum Compline in North America in 1956 with his now-famous Compline Choir. Our group is a spin-off of his idea. He is now retired, but his legacy continues every Sunday night at Saint Mark's Cathedral in Seattle. Our 14 voice quire uses some females on the alto part, due to the lack of counter tenors in our little berg. It's a 'midi' choir, using ATBarB, ATTB, or AATB voicing on the harmonized tunes. Most of the singers are instrumentalists which helps with the reading if not the sound. I have had to virtually start from scratch to find music for our voicing. I got busy with my Sibelius 6 software and have produced maybe 800 transcriptions, transpostions, arrangements, editions, my own compositions, and realizations of chant and music mostly from the Renaissance and late middle ages. You can download many of them, for FREE from our website. http://www.trinitycomplinechoir.org
"In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum" is the heart of the Compline idea. It's also page 6 or 7 in the realized Order for Compline that we use.
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Recently, a new idea was born: an all-female Compline Choir with the fetching moniker: Voces angelorum. I tried to find presidence for this (outside of the Convent) and could find none. This group may be ground-breaking. I call it: "Colorized Convent" as the Sisters chant in mostly unison and Vocem will color it up with some harmony. I percieved a need for more women to be part of the Compline experience and solicited a dozen ladies posessing a straight, non-wobbly tone, and the ability to read music at a moderate pace. I ordered about 40 published works that I thought would work for women. Then I got to work transcribing appropriate Compline music and an Order for Compline for a chantress, a speaker, unison women, SA, SSA, SAA, SSAA, and SSAAT. The tenor part in a 5-part setting is just that: a part. The gender is still female. It beats writing out more than 3 ledger lines below the treble staff. The sound of the group is...well...angelic. The ace-in-the-hole for the group is the sound of the low altos. The 3 'anchor women' have a just-great tone (and amplitude) all the way down to low C, low B, and low A, respectively. Our 150 year old nave of wood and plaster is especially sympathetic to the sound of Vocem. To get things rolling, I'm conducting (until I work myself out of a job) and find it difficult not to sing with the girls. However, there are no clergy or other male sounds to get in the way. All-women, all the time.
"Life is short. Compline is shorter. You can do both."
regards, as always, jefe
 

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