Marguerite L. Brooks Commissioning Fund for New Choral Music

About the Fund

Administered by the officers of the National Collegiate Choral Organization and managed by the treasurer, the Marguerite L. Brooks Commissioning Fund for New Choral Music supports the creation of new musical works, hereafter known as NCCO Marguerite L. Brooks Honorary Commissions. The Fund will support the creation of one new work every two years, and the work shall also receive its world premiere performance at the next-occurring biennial conference of the National Collegiate Choral Organization.

portrait of Marguerite L. Brooks

Every two years, the NCCO officers will convene a selection committee of no fewer than five NCCO members who are leaders in the profession, whose sole duty will be to choose the composer who shall receive the NCCO Marguerite L. Brooks Honorary Commission. In line with Professor Brooks’ lifelong advocacy on behalf of composers from many varied backgrounds, the full list of commissioned composers supported through this fund must represent a spectrum of gender, ethnic, and racial diversity.

The world premiere performances of the NCCO Marguerite L. Brooks Honorary Commissions shall be an honor bestowed once every two years upon one of the choruses performing at the biennial conference, as determined by the NCCO officers in their sole discretion. A permanent record of the commissioned composers, their created works, and the choruses and conductors who first performed them shall be publicly listed by NCCO.

Marguerite L. Brooks served for thirty-five years as chair of the choral conducting program at the Yale School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. Her hundreds of former students are active in all corners of the choral profession, including collegiate choral music. She has been a national board member, a charter member, and an honorary life member of the National Collegiate Choral Organization.

Recipients

NCCO is proud to announce that composer Stacy Garrop has been chosen to receive the inaugural NCCO Marguerite L. Brooks Honorary Commission by a panel of NCCO members who are leaders in the profession.

Dr. Garrop's new work will be approximately 5 minutes in length for mixed chorus with additional instruments. Titled Thy Silver Pinions, the work focuses on the theme of hope, setting excerpts of poems by Emily Dickinson and John Keats.

Dr. Garrop is an award-winning, nationally recognized, freelance composer and lecturer whose music is centered on dramatic and lyrical storytelling. Her catalog covers a wide range of genres, with works for orchestra, opera, oratorio, wind ensemble, choir, art song, and various sized chamber ensembles including string quartet, piano trio, and saxophones. For more information about Dr. Garrop, please visit her website or her all-things-composition blog.

Giving

We welcome your contributions to the Marguerite L. Brooks Commissioning Fund for New Choral Music.

This fundraising campaign is in part a result of individual efforts by current and former members of the Yale Camerata, a vocal ensemble sponsored by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music consisting of singers from the Yale and greater New Haven community, of which Marguerite L. Brooks served as the founding conductor. Please note that the support of Yale Camerata members are in their personal capacities only and not as representatives of Yale University.

To donate, you may either:

  1. Give electronically via credit card at the PayPal "Donate" link below; or
  2. send a check via post made out to "National Collegiate Choral Organization" to the following address:

NCCO Commissioning Fund
Attn: Matthew Ferrell, treasurer
1820 11th Ave. SE
St. Cloud, MN 56304

Please note, if you wish to give anonymously, choose the “check via post” option and include a short note requesting anonymity.

Thank you for your support.

Donations to NCCO, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, are fully tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

About Marguerite L. Brooks

Reprinted and revised with the permission of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music

From 1985 to 2020, Marguerite L. Brooks was chair of the choral conducting program at the Yale School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. As founding conductor of the Yale Camerata, one of Yale’s first campus/city arts collaborations, Brooks has led hundreds of musical performances featuring some of the most innovative and wide-ranging programming in the field.

For over thirty years, the Yale Camerata and its chamber chorus have brought together students, faculty, and staff from virtually every department and school at Yale as well as hundreds of Connecticut residents. The ensemble has collaborated with the Yale Glee Club, Yale Schola Cantorum, Yale Philharmonia, Yale Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Yale Concert Band, New Haven Chorale, and many other groups. It has been featured on NPR’s Performance Today, and on local Connecticut Public Radio.

Brooks has long been a champion of new music by composers of a diverse array of gender, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. The Camerata and its chamber chorus have performed music from the middle ages to the present day, and the catalogue of composers ranges from Albinoni to Argento, from Palestrina to Pärt – along with Julia Wolfe, David Lang, Tawnie Olson, Aaron Jay Kernis, Caroline Shaw, Robert Kyr, Reena Esmail, and many more.

Brooks’s broad vision for music-making has been passed on to her students. In a recent survey, alumni often cited her as their primary reason for attending Yale and as the person who influenced them the most. Many of these graduates have occupied positions of musical leadership at major churches and cathedrals around the world and in leading academic institutions. Among her students are the founding conductors of Grammy-nominated choirs Conspirare, Roomful of Teeth, and Seraphic Fire.

Brooks has also been an active clinician, guest conductor, and jurist in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. She is the recipient of many awards, including the American Choral Directors Association (Eastern Region) Helen Kemp Award for Lifetime Commitment to Excellence in Choral Music the Choral Arts New England Lifetime Achievement Award (2019), the American Choral Directors Association (Connecticut chapter) Lifetime Achievement Award (2016), and a Yale School of Music Cultural Leadership Citation (2015). She has been a national board member, a charter member, and an honorary life member of the National Collegiate Choral Organization.

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