As Composer in Residence for the GA Festival Chorus, Chris' work exhibits a well-tuned understanding of our particular voice and how to deliver maximum results within those limitations. In particular, his setting of How Great Thou Art evokes the warmth of the original tune while expanding the emotional impact in a modern choral environment. In short - his music just sounds great.
“Collaborating with Chris Owenby was a true delight! From the initial selection of a text to the final decisions regarding the orchestration of the piece, he kept the focus where it should be for a commissioned work: on what would be the most meaningful and useful to its recipients. The finished product perfectly balanced lyricism and power with singability, appealing to both the larger group of amateur choristers that learned it in a very short time and the professional soloists that were brought in to join them. The piece was very well received at its premiere—I will definitely be using both the piece and its composer again as soon as possible!”
Chris Owenby’s composition The Kraken fully enthralled our students and brought out the best in their musicality performing on a National stage. Chris has a unique gift for communicating and bringing a captivating energy which every single one of my students was enraptured in. He is extremely easy and enjoyable to work with, and I look forward to having him work with my students and program again!
Chris Owenby has taken a plunge into a potentially treacherous river of rehashing an old icon, but the result is a refreshing new tune and arrangement that will remind audiences why they love How Great Thou Art. There is plenty of meat to challenge a good choir and wow an audience.
“Chris Owenby excels in harnessing the energy or his audience by composing music that inspires imagination among players and listeners alike. Always open to suggestions, Mr. Owenby carefully and graciously considers ideas and thoughts of those commissioning his works and incorporates them in an interesting and authentic manner.”
“Chris Owenby is a composer who has found the sweet spot where craftsmanship, talent, and inspiration converge. His compositional voice is bright, lyrical, and joyous. In Three Short Poems of Hildegard von Bingen, Owenby deftly uses well conceived, singable vocal lines and sparkling choral harmonies to bring fresh life to these texts while at the same time paying homage to the brilliance and mysticism of the historical giant, Abbess Hidegard of Bingen. There is great and subtle depth to these settings, and I am thrilled to be the first to conduct them.”
I was fortunate enough to work with Chris on his major choral work, Light of the World. The thing that impressed me most as a choral conductor and musician was his willingness to listen to suggestions from all the various entities and incorporate them when they were right for the piece. He is a perfectionist, and is continually honing his craft, never satisfied with "almost."
What I Hope
I hope that you’ll partner with me in my mission to make the world a more beautiful and meaningful place. Life is filled with music. Let’s create it together!