Derrick Christian has a Bachelor of Music from the University of British Columbia where he studied composition, voice, and conducting. He is a familiar face to Vancouver choral audiences, having sung in many of the city’s professional and amateur choirs, including the Vancouver Cantata Singers, Vancouver Chamber Choir, musica intima, and Phoenix. He was artistic director of the Gallery Singers from 2003 to 2007, and has conducted other ensembles including Stellaria Voices & Players, and the Vancouver Cantata Singers.
Un Flambeau! Jeannette, Isabelle
arr. Derrick Christian
SATB a cappella – CP 1593 – 2:25
This delightful 17th century chant de noël provençal can be interpreted on so many levels. It is a charming oratorio-in-miniature, filled with humor, allegory, satire, devastating irony, and countless scriptural allusions.
Derrick has written exciting interplay between triple and duple rhythms – which add so much sparkle to a traditional favorite
What Shall I Bring?
by Derrick Christian
SATB a cappella – CP 1813 – duration 5:50
Any composer would love to have his/her music premiered by one of the finest choirs in Canada. Please listen to the exquisite rendition by the Vancouver Cantata Singers.
Langston Hughes’ “Shepherd’s Song at Christmas,” which parallels the final stanza of Christina Rossetti’s “In the Bleak Midwinter” in both tenderness and beautiful imagery, was likely written as a gift to Martin Luther King, Jr. The poem was first published in the December 1958 issue of the NAACP’s official magazine The Crisis. This was 3 years after the start of the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott (Dec 5, 1955 – Dec 20, 1956), the first large-scale and ultimately successful demonstration against segregation in the United States. Led by the young King, the nonviolent protest is considered the seminal event of the then nascent civil rights movement. Langston Hughes, lauded as the “Poet Laureate of Harlem” was friend to and deeply admired by King. Hughes penned the poem “Brotherly Love,” about Dr. King and the still ongoing bus boycott in 1956. Unfortunately, the political climate of the time made it impossible for Hughes and King to express their mutual admiration publicly. With “Shepherd’s Song at Christmas” Hughes invokes the traditional African American spiritual, weaving his message into a song of divine worship.