Dan Locklair: Remarkably Prolific

Dan Locklair is a remarkably prolific composer.” And so, as the Central City Chorus prepares for its March 16 New York premiere of the composer’s Requiem, music director Bryan Zaros shares some insight into the ensemble’s choral composer portrait concert, at St. Malachy’s Church. Locklair’s nine-movement, 45-minute Requiem is set in English and uses elements of the Latin Mass, along with non-traditional solo movements featuring additional Biblical texts. The Requiem premiered in Fall 2015 in Winston-Salem, as part of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church’s All Saints’ Day celebration, led by John Cummins, and was composed in memory of the composer’s parents. Other programmed works on the “Light Eternal” concert include: Arise in Beauty, Calm on the Listening Ear of Night, and O Light of Light.

Zaros continues. “I first came across the music of Dan Locklair through my work as the Associate Director of Music & Choirmaster at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. His Preces and Responses is often featured in our Evensong liturgies at the cathedral. Upon further review of his repertoire, I came to find a treasure trove of musical riches! Not only has he composed music in the choral realm but also music for orchestra, organ, solo voice and the stage, to name just a few genres of his output. It quickly became clear that I needed to explore more [of his music]. When I came across his Requiem, I was immediately captivated by both its imaginative sonorities and lush harmonic palette. The requiem genre is often the capstone of a composer’s output and thus an exemplar piece to showcase a composer’s musical gifts. In addition to a few other remarkable choral pieces of his that we are performing, we will be honored to perform the New York premiere of his Requiem—it is a meaningful addition to the American canon of choral music and one that will surely delight and inspire.”

Locklair adds, “What a wonderful surprise it was to learn late in 2023 that Central City Chorus, as a part of their 2023-2024 subscription concert series, had planned an all-Locklair choral concert featuring the New York City premiere of my Requiem! That the concert is to be presented in the historic and resonant Actors’ Chapel (St. Malachy’s Church) only heightened my excitement. Under Dr. Bryan Zaros’ direction, I have known of this ensemble by reputation, but have never had the good fortune to hear them in concert. The March 16 concert will change that! I eagerly await their evocative-sounding concert, ‘Light Eternal – Music of Dan Locklair,’ and hope that audience members will be moved by what they hear.”

More Locklair Requiem news: On Palm Sunday – March 24 – the Grosse Ile Ecumenical Choir will present the composer’s work in its first performance in Michigan at St. James Episcopal Church, led by David Martin.

*** Pictured above: Central City Chorus; Photo: Perry Bindelglass, courtesy: Central City Chorus