About Joseph Gentry Stephens
Joseph Gentry Stephens (Born 1972) began his musical training at the age of ten in the public school bands of Arkansas High School in Texarkana, Arkansas. An all-state percussionist, Stephens then attended the University of Arkansas at Monticello earning a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance with a Vocal Emphasis and the University of Northern Colorado earning a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting.
The music of JGS has been performed in over 20 countries across the globe. Stephens Music was started in 1999 as a self publishing site that now offers over 40 choral works for mixed SATB Chorus.
About Ingrid Showalter Swift
Ingrid Showalter Swift was born in Charlottesville Virginia in 1963. She was raised in Roanoke, Virginia among the Blue Ridge Mountains and wrote her first poetry at age 6. She then returned to Charlottesville to attend The University of Virginia. After moving to Boston, she studied at North Eastern University and the Museum of Fine Arts. She presently resides in Weston Massachusetts. She is a mother, a poet, a painter, an antique dealer and a shower singer. She is published in many anthologies, chap books, magazines and web sites and joyfully finished her first book of poetry “Thin as Parchment/ Red as Rubies”. Collaborations between Swift and Stephens include: You Having Walked This Earth, Gimmewicks and Glimmerricks, Laugh You Fool, Serengeti Song, Thunder Souls, My Silence Now Speaks For Me, RO and Tine, What Wondrous Walk of Feet and Wing, In the Sun In the Sand By the Sea and most recently I Wish and Being Not Proud.
About the Music
Dynamic, tempo and other markings are intentionally omitted from unaccompanied works in order to allow each work to evolve in each performance. The lack of such markings harkens back to the traditions of chant and early choral styles in which melodic, harmonic and textual devices determined the interpretation of the music.
Lauda Sion commissioned by Saint Xavier Catholic Church, Buffalo, Minnesota (2013)
Joy commissioned by the Houston High School Concert Choir, Germantown, Tennessee (2013)
A five part mass featuring text from the Liber Usualis, John F. Kennedy, The Declaration of Independence, William Blake, Carl Sagan, and Joseph Gentry Stephens.