21st Century Choral Music: What’s Next?

A presentation by Jocelyn Hagen
created for the World Choral Symposium, July 2017


(Jocelyn Hagen) Today I’m going to talk about the future of choral music by looking at where we are today. What are the current trends?

I’m going to divide these trends into 6 sections or sub-topics: text selection, movement, under-served and lesser known cultures and languages, fusion with popular music, let’s get social, and technology.


Trends: looking beyond traditional literary and sacred texts

quotes (Malala, Joan Szymko)

 LINK: https://www.graphitepublishing.com/product/malala/

Speeches/Political texts/Courtroom transcripts (Buck v. Bell, Scot Hanna-Weir, What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?, Melissa Dunphy) \



found texts / internet texts (Telegram, Jocelyn Hagen)

nonsense texts (Miniyama Nayo, Paul John Rudoi, Nyon, Nyon, Jake Runestad)



lesser known or secular Latin texts (Vespertilians, Jocelyn Hagen)


composers writing their own texts (Privilege, Ted Hearne)

combining of multiple texts (Sitio, Dominick DiOrio)

LINK: https://www.graphitepublishing.com/product/sitio/

sourcing text from the ensemble (me(n), Joshua Shank) link: read text

LINK: https://www.graphitepublishing.com/product/men/

commissioning texts from living poets (Tony Silvestri, Euan Tait)

Inventive (Red Red Noun, Timothy C. Takach)

LINK: https://www.graphitepublishing.com/product/red-red-noun/


large form: Toxic Psalms, Carmina Slovenica

small form: Bring Me Little Water, Sylvie, Moira Smiley


in-between: Hands, Jocelyn Hagen


Afka Hooyo, Timothy C. Takach (Somalian)

LINK: https://www.graphitepublishing.com/product/afka-hooyo-mother-tongue/

A Sto Cemo, Moira Smiley (Bosnian/Croatian)


Sofðu unga ástin mín, Jocelyn Hagen (Icelandic)

LINK: https://www.graphitepublishing.com/product/sofdu-unga-astin-min/

En Paz, Jesús López Moreno (Mexican)

LINK: https://www.graphitepublishing.com/product/en-paz-peace/





Controlled Burn, collaboration with rapper/writer Dessa


Someplace, incorporates beat-boxer

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/290241787″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]


Hummingbird, collaboration with composer/electronic musician Peter John (Spearfisher), incorporates popular synth sounds, beats

Look Out Above, collaboration with Dessa


Other: Elastic Heart, Timothy C. Takach (complex & refined arrangement of Sia tune)


Gravedigger, Timothy C. Takach (complex & refined arrangement of Dave Matthews Band tune)


Alleluia/Hallelujah MASHUP, Steve Hackman (mashup arrangement of Randall Thompson’s Alleluia and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah)


Larger than Life , Pinkzebra

LINK: https://www.jwpepper.com/Larger-Than-Life/10568074.item#/


Justice Choir

LINK:  http://www.justicechoir.org

Beer Choir

LINK:  https://beerchoir.com

Virtual Choir




Hummingbird, Jocelyn Hagen & Spearfisher, SATB choir, soprano solo, piano and/or electronics


Voices of Light, Richard Einhorn (Music composed for silent French film The Passion of Joan of Arc, 1928) chorus, orchestra, soloists

LINK:  http://www.richardeinhorn.com/vol/volhomepage.html

The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (Premiering in 2019) Jocelyn Hagen, mixed choir, orchestra, & video projections

Become a member of the consortium and premiere this new work in 2019!


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