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The English Symphony Orchestra releases The Bremen Town Musicians with Gemma Whelan, narrator. Ricardo Morales premieres There’s a Land Beyond the River, for clarinet and piano.

The Arc in the Sky with The Crossing received a 2020 Grammy nomination for Best Choral Performance, and the Canticle / Alleluia CD by Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble helped win the 2020 Classical Producer of the Year Grammy for Blanton Alspaugh. Hal Leonard publishes The Star-Spangled Banner, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, and Alleluia.

Recent commissions include Conspirare (The Dawn’s Early Light, with the L.A. Guitar Quartet)Piffaro (Ave Maris Stella with Variant 6), iSing Girlchoir (America the Beautiful), the Choral Arts Society of Washington (Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow), and Knox Presbyterian Church, Cincinnati (Go Forth into the World in Peace), and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra (Chorale Fantasias from VespersA Birch in Winter, including Kile’s Where Flames a Word, won the 2020 Estonian Recording of the Year for Voces Musicales (Voces Tallinn). Kile continues work on libretto and music for his first opera, The Book of Job, premiering in multiple cities, 2022/23 season.

TEN NEW CDs • The Dawn’s Early Light, Conspirare with the L.A. Guitar Quartet. Canticle and Alleluia, the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati and Craig Hella Johnson, helped win the 2020 Classical Producer of the Year Grammy for Blanton Alspaugh. The Arc in the Sky, The Crossing and Donald Nally, nominated for the 2020 Grammy Best Choral Performance. The English Symphony Orchestra in 2021 releases The Bremen Town Musicians, in its orchestral version, with narration by Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones). Three releases include Kile’s Where Flames a Word: Estonia’s Voces Musicales (2020 Estonian Recording of the Year), Chicago Chamber Choir, and New York City’s Khorikos. In This Blue Room, an all–Kile Smith vocal CD, Lyric Fest, including his 45-minute cycle of the same name for mezzo-soprano and baritone. CanticleThe Arc in the Sky, and Where Flames a Word are in constant rotation on Classical MPR’s Choral Stream. A Child’s Afternoon, flute & organ, Fantasmagoria, Anna and Erik Meyer.

PERFORMANCES • The Arc in the Sky, The Crossing, 2019 Chorus America National Conference (Philadelphia), Cantus Ensemble (London), Conspirare (Austin), Ghostlight Chorus (NYC), Vocal Arts Ensemble (Cincinnati), Northwestern University (Evanston, IL).

The Consolation of Apollo continues its run of multiple national and international performances, complete and excerpted, inspired by the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 8. Choirs include two in England—The 24 and the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain—the Auckland Youth Choir, University of Waterloo (Canada), Kansas City Chorale, Verdigris Ensemble (Dallas), Ars Nova Singers (Colorado), Red Shift (Baton Rouge), Charlotte (NC) Master Chorale, Choral Arts Society (Washington, DC), Huntsville Community Chorus (Alabama), Stare at the Sun (Chicago), Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 11 Choir. Where Flames a Word receives three performances in Estonia with Voces Musicales, three in Chicago (in May at Northwestern, twice in October by the Chicago Chamber Choir), three in Roanoke, and three by the Madison Choral Project.

Spirituals for Piano Trio, commissioned and performed by the Arcadian Trio in multiple concerts, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Trio, Kansas City, MO. Anna and Erik Meyer perform their flute and organ commission A Child’s Afternoon multiple times.

Kile’s Shakespeare setting And Good in Every Thing, L.A. Choral Lab. The Robert Lax poem my son my son, Khorikos in NYC, Serbia, Montenegro. The carol I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (Hal Leonard), Red Shift, Baton Rouge. The West Coast premiere of O Rex Gentium, Seattle’s Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble. Jubilate Deo, Ursinus College. A new Easter anthem, Sing, Choirs of New Jerusalem, First Presbyterian Church of Barrington (IL).

PUBLICATIONS • The Star-Spangled Banner, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, and Alleluia are published by Hal Leonard under the Craig Hella Johnson Series. Of the Father’s Love Begotten, premiered at Westminster Choir College, is published by GIA in its Westminster Choral Series. Kile continues to add to his catalog of works distributed by MusicSpoke. (Photo credit: Sam Brewer)

Biography

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Grammy-nominated composer Kile Smith has gained international acclaim with commissions from The Crossing, Conspirare, Piffaro, Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble, Helena Symphony, Choral Arts Society of Washington, Lyric Fest, Westminster Choir College, Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Newburyport Chamber Music Festival, the Pennsylvania and iSing Girlchoirs, Choral Arts Philadelphia, and Gaudete Brass, with major choral works heard in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, Canada, England, and New Zealand. Gramophone called Vespers “spectacular” and Audiophile Audition, “easily one of the best releases of the year of any type… a crime to pass up.” Ten CDs with his music have been released since 2018.

The Arc in the Sky with The Crossing received a 2020 Grammy nomination for Best Choral Performance, and his Canticle with Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble helped win the 2020 Best Classical Producer Grammy. The Philadelphia Orchestra featured The Bremen Town Musicians in their 2021 “Our City, Your Orchestra” chamber music series.

Kile has also been performed by the L.A. Guitar Quartet, Seraphic Fire, The 24, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Sophia Philharmonic, the Grand Rapids and Delaware symphonies, Orchestra 2001, and Network for New Music. His first opera, The Book of Job, will premiere in multiple cities in the 2022/23 season.

 

310 words:
The music of Grammy-nominated composer Kile Smith (b. 1956) is hailed nationally and internationally by critics, performers, and audiences for its strong voice, sheer beauty, and “profoundly direct emotional appeal.” Gramophone called the “sparkling beauty” of Vespers “spectacular.” The Philadelphia Inquirer called it “ecstatically beautiful,” American Record Guide, “a major new work,” Audiophile Audition, “easily one of the best releases of the year of any type… a crime to pass up,” and Fanfare, “a magnificent achievement.”

The Arc in the Sky with The Crossing received a 2020 Grammy nomination for Best Choral Performance, and his Canticle with Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble helped win the 2020 Best Classical Producer Grammy for Blanton Alspaugh.

Other commissions include The Consolation of ApolloThe Waking SunWhere Flames a Word, and others for The Crossing, who have commissioned Kile more than any other composer, The Dawn’s Early Light for Conspirare and the L.A. Guitar Quartet, and works for Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble, Piffaro the Renaissance Band, Helena Symphony, Choral Arts Society of Washington, Lyric Fest, Westminster Choir College, Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Newburyport Chamber Music Festival, the Pennsylvania and iSing Girlchoirs, Choral Arts Philadelphia, Relâche, Orchestra 2001, American Guild of Organists Philadelphia Chapter, Gaudete Brass, Red Shift, Mélomanie, and the Philadelphia Sinfonia. He’s also completed commissions for organist Alan Morrison, the Association of Anglican Musicians, the Episcopal Cathedral of Boston, and many others. He’s composed for Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster David Kim and principal horn Jennifer Montone. His music has been performed throughout the US, in Europe, and by The 24 and others in the UK. Kile received an Independence Foundation Fellowship for his first opera, The Book of Job. Nine CDs with his music have been released since 2018. Kile has hosted Fleisher Discoveries on radio and podcast since 2002, and is a contributor to the arts and culture magazine Broad Street Review.

540 words:
The music of Grammy-nominated composer Kile Smith (b. 1956) is hailed nationally and internationally by critics, performers, and audiences for its strong voice, sheer beauty, and “profoundly direct emotional appeal.” Gramophone called the “sparkling beauty” of Vespers “spectacular.” The Philadelphia Inquirer called it “ecstatically beautiful,” American Record Guide, “a major new work,” Audiophile Audition, “easily one of the best releases of the year of any type… a crime to pass up,” and Fanfare, “a magnificent achievement.” Conductor Craig Hella Johnson said, “his voice is unlike any other.”

Other commissions include The Consolation of ApolloThe Waking SunWhere Flames a Word, and others for The Crossing, who have commissioned Kile more than any other composer, The Dawn’s Early Light for Conspirare and the L.A. Guitar Quartet, and works for Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble, Piffaro the Renaissance Band, Helena Symphony, Choral Arts Society of Washington, Lyric Fest, Westminster Choir College, Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Newburyport Chamber Music Festival, the Pennsylvania and iSing Girlchoirs, Choral Arts Philadelphia, Relâche, Orchestra 2001, American Guild of Organists Philadelphia Chapter, Gaudete Brass, Red Shift, Mélomanie, and the Philadelphia Sinfonia. He’s also completed commissions for organist Alan Morrison, the Association of Anglican Musicians, the Episcopal Cathedral of Boston, and many others. He’s composed for Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster David Kim and principal horn Jennifer Montone. His music has been performed throughout the US, in Europe, and by The 24 and others in the UK. Kile received an Independence Foundation Fellowship for his first opera, The Book of Job. Nine CDs with his music have been released since 2018. Kile has hosted Fleisher Discoveries on radio and podcast since 2002, and is a contributor to the arts and culture magazine Broad Street Review.

The Philadelphia Inquirer called the “immediately identifiable personality” of his music “breathtaking,” listing the premiere of Vespers as one of the “Top Ten” concerts of the year. The Buffalo News called it “altogether gorgeous and haunting,” and the Philadelphia City Paper raved that it is “almost preternaturally beautiful.” Audiophile Audition pronounced it “a masterpiece of the deepest kind… Seldom do I come across a piece with such profoundly direct emotional appeal.”

Orchestras performing Kile’s music include the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Delaware, Grand Rapids, and Jackson (Tenn.) symphonies, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra, the Sofia, Sofia Youth, and Shumen State Philharmonics of Bulgaria, and the Ocean City Pops.

He has received grants and fellowships from the Argosy Foundation, the Independence Foundation, Meet The Composer, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Philadelphia Music Project. Temple University (2011) and Cairn University (2012) have honored Kile as Alumnus of the Year.

Kile has hosted Fleisher Discoveries on radio and podcast since 2002, and is a contributor to the arts and culture magazine Broad Street Review.

Kile has been composer in residence for Lyric Fest, the Helena Symphony, the Jupiter Symphony, and the Church of the Holy Trinity, Philadelphia. For 18 years Kile was Curator of the Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music, the world’s largest lending library of orchestral performance materials, at the Free Library of Philadelphia. He and his wife, soprano, organist, and conductor Jacqueline Smith, live outside Philadelphia. Their three daughters Priscilla, Elena, and Martina are all performing musicians. (Photo credits: A.J. Waltz)

At the dress rehearsal of Canticle with Boston Cecilia; conductor George Case looks on. Photo credit: Sam Brewer

Selected Commissions

Abington Presbyterian Church, Abington, Pa. • Aestas Consort
 • Ambler Symphony Orchestra, Ambler, Pa.
 • American Guild of Organists, Philadelphia Chapter • 
Arcadian Trio

 • Association of Anglican Musicians

 • Auricolae

 • Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church
 • 
Cairn University
 • Choral Arts Society, Philadelphia
 • Choral Arts Society, Washington, DC

 • Church of the Holy Trinity, Philadelphia
 • Conspirare

 • The Crossing

 • Thomas Elliott, trombone

 • Emilie United Methodist Church, Levittown, Pa.
 • English Symphony Orchestra

 • Ensemble Epomeo
 • Benjamin Flanders

 • First Presbyterian Church, Phoenixville, Pa.
 • 
Franklinville-Schwarzwald Männerchor
 • Gaines/French Duo

 • Gaudete Brass

 • Gerard Manley Hopkins Centenary Conference

 • Greenville University

 • William Ghezzi, guitar

 • Helena Symphony
 • 
Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Abington, Pa.

 • John Ilika, trombone

 • The Jupiter Symphony
 • 
Khorikos
 • Knox Presbyterian Church, Cincinnati

 • Latin Fiesta
 • 
Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra
 • Louisiana State University
 • 
Lower Merion Baptist Church
 • 
Lyric Fest
 • 
Mélomanie
 • Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia

 • Anna and Erik Meyers, flute and organ duo

 • Musicopia
 • 
Network for New Music

 • Newburyport Chamber Music Festival

 • Orchestra 2001

 • Pennsylvania Girlchoir
 • The Philadelphia Brass
 • 
Philadelphia Classical Symphony
 • 
Philadelphia Guitar Ensemble

 • Piffaro, The Renaissance Band

 • Pottstown Symphony Orchestra
 • 
Presbyterian Church of Barrington, Ill.
 • Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill

, Philadelphia • Relâche
 • Settlement Music School

 • Singing City

 • St. Eleanor Church, Collegeville, Pa.
 • St. Joseph’s University
 • Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra • Temple University Preparatory Division
 • Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia • Carolyn Tillstrom
, tuba • Ursinus College • 
Vocal Arts Ensemble, Cincinnati • The Westminster Brass • Westminster Choir College

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