The choir has a special interest in locally composed pieces and commissioned works. BCCS has commissioned pieces
to mark many special occasions in its history, including Richard Averre's Magnificat
for the 10th anniversary,
Richard Wargo's Voices in the Mist
for the 15th anniversary, Gregg Smith
for the 20th year, and Steven Sametz
's Nunc Dimittis
, He Brings Us Joy
for the 25th
anniversary. In 1997,
the choir commissioned Will Ayton
to compose a setting of Psalm 95 entitled O Come, Let Us Sing
to mark Elma Heckler's 20th year as Artistic
the choir premiered
Shepherds and Angels
in December 1999 in honor of Elma's retirement. To celebrate the group's 30th
season, BCCS commissioned its
largest-scale work: Rachel and her Children - Small Hands, Relinquish All
by Philadelphia composer Robert Maggio
The work for BCCS, mezzo-soprano
soloist, youth choir and a wind and brass ensemble was funded by a major first-time grant from the Philadelphia Music
Project of the Pew Charitable
Trusts. It was premiered in Doylestown, Langhorne and Philadelphia, under the direction of Thomas Lloyd
For the 2010-2011 season, BCCS and composer Ricky Ian Gordon will premiere a new work entitled "Down the Road" in the choir's
final concert of the season. A 15-minute suite for choir, solo voice and piano, the work is based on Gordon's own earlier
compositions: his widely performed Langston Hughes settings for solo voice. "While the choral versions will be completely new,
the songs themselves are already recognized as outstanding music in their earlier incarnation," notes Tom Lloyd, "and this is
what will make the premiere both unusual and at the same time very exciting."
Gordon's piece was commissioned by BCCS through the generous support of the Karen and Michael Noland Commission Fund, which
was envisioned and created in the spring of 2010 specifically as a funding source for newly commissioned works such as this.
The new work will also be available to other choirs through Gordon's publisher Williamson Music.
For the 2011-2012 season, BCCS will commission two composers familiar to the Society: one local composer, Jay Fluellen, and
one composer from outside our area, Carl MaultsBy, to compose two
20-minute works for full choir and jazz quintet to be performed in a concert with other sacred choral music from African-American
traditions. Jay Fluellen and his quintet will be the featured performers. These pieces were also funded through the
Karen and Michael Noland Commission Fund.
Commissions of additional works, by two as-yet-to be named composers, one local, and one from outside the area, will also occur
in the 2012-2013 season.