Home 9 Composers 9 Stephen Hatfield

Stephen Hatfield is a popular Canadian composer, conductor, clinician, workshop leader and lecturer who specializes in choral music. “Hatfield’s music is an ideal teaching tool, simultaneously engaging the mind, body, and spirit. All of his work is so appealing and well crafted that singers enjoy the process of discovery that the music invariably offers. Each and every piece has interesting yet challenging material for each voice part, possesses a depth of meaning, and feels good to the voice.” – Dr. Solveig Holmquist, Director of Choral Activities, Western Oregon University 

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Café de Chinitas

by Stephen Hatfield                    

SATB    –   CP 1135   – 4:05
Based on a traditional Peteñeras melody that makes me dance around the room to my own drummer, this Flamenco-drenched story starts at a slow, moody rubato and then builds full speed ahead.  The piano gets to burn slowly then spit fire.  The piece gives the option of two different endings, one more advanced with divisi in every vocal part.  Although an advanced choir would find plenty to challenge their styling and energy, the piece is meant to lie within the vocal ranges and the capabilities of a good middle-school choir – it was in fact Kingswood-Oxford Middle School who commissioned the piece.  There are some passages of simple divisi in the soprano line, and a moment here and there where there is an optional tenor phrase that rises from the baritone.  An entire curriculum unit could be based on the piece if desired, for the score comes with copious background notes on  the style and history of Flamenco, bullfights, handclap techniques, and the stories of the real Paquiro and Frascuelo, the two characters in the song.  Yes, they were real, but they did not live at the same time, so if these two bullfighters are having and argument in a café, it’s no café in this world. – S.H.

Fair Time Ago

by Stephen Hatfield              

SSAA  –   CP 1183   – 4:45   
I was asked to write a piece for Lady Cove, a women’s choir from St. John’s led by Kellie Walsh, that would honour the role of women in traditional Newfoundland culture. The result, in a gently dancing slow 6/8, is an interweaving of narratives through an interweaving of solos or soli around the tutti texture. There are many ways these solos/soli could be distributed, depending on the vocal balance of the individual choir; during these antiphonal sections the tutti choir stays in two parts, which gives extra wiggle room when it comes to distributing solos without fatally weakening the ensemble sound. This piece looks backward in time, which makes it especially suitable for adult voices, but as many of the narratives come from young women peering into the future, the piece is also especially suitable for young voices.  – S.H.

Here and Gone: Hebron

by Stephen Hatfield           

TTBB a cappella  –   CP 1546   – 3:20   
SATB a cappella  –   CP 1545
“Here and Gone” is a tribute to Hebron, once a Moravian mission in Labrador and now The Hebron Project that drills for oil in the Jeanne d’Arc basin southeast of St. John’s.  The story of Hebron encapsulates the tangle of good intentions and injustice, the hardship and sheer stamina behind the Canadian experience.  Set to music that evokes both a folk song and a ceremonial slow-march, “Here and Gone” is living history.

Les Draveurs de la Gatineau

by Stephen Hatfield         

SATB with piano  –   CP 1204   – 4:45   
A wonderful upbeat song for community choirs! – all about the early explorers riding the rivers.

Let’s jump the falls, let’s shoot the rapids with all our skill,
Let’s shoot the straight that follows to the big current.
After the wilderness, Gouin will be waiting for us there.
On the green lawn, he’s the man who’ll do the tradinge.”

Walk Through Walls

by Stephen Hatfield

SATB with piano  –   CP 1244   – 2:30
“Walk Through Walls” deals with that gorgeous feeling when your entire psyche is having a good hair day, the impossible becomes possible, and your future is ready to be faced: a good anthem for graduations, homecomings, and the many occasions that mark a person’s move from one stage in life to another. This is a fun and quite sassy self-confident piece!