Home 9 Composers 9 JEFF SMALLMAN

Jeff Smallman is a prolific and versatile Canadian composer.  Having begun writing at the age of 8, he now has over 200 works in print.  Jeff graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1987 with an honours degree in Theory and Composition, having studied with Alan Heard and Gerhard Wuensch. 

Equally at home composing for voice or instruments, Jeff’s style relies heavily on the Romantic/Impressionist musical language, with hints of modernism thrown in.  Several of his pieces have either won national competitions or been finalists in international competition, and many others have been included in conservatory and festival settings.  His works continue to be heard around the world. 

Jeff was admitted to the Canadian League of Composers in 2004, and in 2017 was accepted as an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre.

Jeff is also a highly regarded publisher. Visit his site here: Lighthouse Music Publications


BRIER - (Good Friday)

by Jeff Smallman
poetry by Emily Pauline Johnson

SATB a cappella – KH 009 – duration 2:40

Jeff has created an exciting and worthwhile challenge for an accomplished choir. With deeply profound subject matter, Jeff uses compelling and sometimes dissonant harmonic language to fit the text. Choirs will enjoy the contrapuntal passages and sumptuous sonorities.

Emily Pauline Johnson (10 March 1861 – 7 March 1913), also known by her Mohawk stage name Tekahionwake, was a Canadian poet, author, and performer who was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her father was a hereditary Mohawk chief of mixed ancestry and her mother was an English immigrant.

Johnson—whose poetry was published in Canada, the United States, and Great Britain—was among a generation of widely-read writers who began to define Canadian literature. She was a key figure in the construction of the field as an institution and has made an indelible mark on Indigenous women’s writing and performance as a whole.

Hope in Silence

by Jeff Smallman

SSA with piano – CP 1922 – duration 3:30

Hope in Silence was commissioned by the Bishop Strachan School in Toronto.  Written during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s a work meant to inspire hope and remind performer and audience alike that what we see and experience one day can change the next.  Darkness gives way to light, winter gives way to spring, and rains cause the flowers to grow.