Matthew Culloton and his twin brother, Michael Culloton, were born in 1976. Matthew Culloton holds a degree from Concordia College, Moorhead and the University of Minnesota. He graduated from Concordia with a B.M. in music education. At the University of Minnesota he graduated with a M.M in Choral Conducting and D.M.A in Conducting. Matthew Culloton is an adjunct faculty member at the University of St. Thomas, teaching in the Graduate Music Program. Matthew Culloton has composed around 30 pieces of choral. Culloton is the Founding Artistic Director and Conductor of The Singers. The Singers is a Minnesota group of Choral Artists. The Singers organization was founded in 2004. The organization is dedicated to giving world-class performances of the finest choral literature. The Singers is a professional choir of 40 members. The Singers and Matthew Culloton are very engaged in educational collaborations that pair the choir with school choirs around Minnesota. In 2003, Matthew received the VocalEssence/ACDA of Minnesota Creative Programming award. Culloton has also been commissioned to compose for the Dale Warland Singers, Choral Arts Ensemble of Rochester and the MMEA All-State Choir. In August of 2010, Matthew became Choirmaster at The House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. “My favorite part of working in the music field is the collaborative way in which the ensemble creates meaningful art together. I enjoy studying scores and spending time at the piano while I prepare projects, but the rehearsals with The Singers provide the human element that can’t always be captured alone. Exploration of great art and important themes is more fulfilling to me when done in consort with my choir.” Matthew Culloton said. The first song I chose is called Sinner Man. I chose it because it had a lot of energy to it. I like energy in songs because it keeps your attention and they are always changing. The begging is what got my attention. The begging starts out with the guys going strong and then the girls come in. For some reason when they say “where are you gonna run to” is my favorite part of the whole song because they kind of argue and go back and forth about it, and it keeps the song interesting. This song might be a little harder to sing because of how quick you have to say the words and keep the energy level up so it sounds good. When I first heard this piece I thought of Indians. I just pictured them sitting around a campfire or riding a horse and singing this song. Sinner Man is written for SATB, and it is an A Cappella. The overall tone for the song is fast and happy. The energy level is kept up through the whole song while the guys and girls sing back and forth. The language of this piece is in English, which makes it easier to understand. This clever arrangement is a minor key American Folk song. It is often played that the women sing against the men as they tell the story of “where are you gonna run to,” thereby creating drama and fun as the story involves. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVyzfNWPJFIhttp://sbmp.com/STM.php?CatalogNumber=1059The second song I chose is called Famine Song. I chose Famine song because it says a lot, and it is really pretty. In Famine Song what stands out to me most is when they get really quiet then they get very loud, and it is clear and sounds amazing. I like how the girls part kind of swoops. The sound the girls part and guys part make together is a different sound, but I like it because it is different. When I first heard this piece I thought of slaves and how they wanted to be free. I also thought of Anna Frank in the Holocaust because her and her family wanted to be free again and to see each other and live a normal life. Anne Frank always had hope she would get to see her family again. Famine Song is an inspirational song because of the hope they sing about. This song is written for SATB, and is an A Cappella. The overall tone for the Famine Song is slow and sad, and the piece is written in English. The Famine Song was written by a quartet of women named VIDA and inspired by the stories of Sudanese basket who expressed the pain and hope experienced by those in the famine of the 1980s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnclEaGiqs0http://www.lorenz.com/med/pages/SBMP1007.pdfThe last song I chose is called Down in the River to Pray. I chose Down in the River to Pray because it is just a happy christian song. How all the parts blend in this song stands out to me the most because it sounds amazing. I really like the keys they sing in this song because of the total sound it makes is cool. I think it also helps that it is just girls that are singing it so there isn’t really a bass which gives the song a different sound. This piece reminds me of a bright sunny Sunday morning on my way to church. This piece is arranged for SSA, and is an A Cappella. The overall piece of Down in the River to Pray is a happy and fast song, and it is written in English. This arrangement sounds fresh from the Appalachian Mountains. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USEucQPEYQ4http://sbmp.com/STM.php?CatalogNumber=1154 Matthew Culloton is a very talented man. Matthew’s songs Sinner Man, Famine Song, and Down in the River to Pray were all very catchy and good. I noticed that all of the songs that I chose were A Cappella, and I think he had a couple more A Cappella songs. All of the songs were very ketchy which is a good thing because once people hear the songs they won’t stop humming or singing them. Matthew is a co-editor of the Matthew and Michael Culloton Choral Series with Santa Barbara Publishing Company. I also thought it was pretty cool how we got to meet Matthew’s brother Michael.
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