Walton Music serves the choral community by publishing works by noted composers such as Eric Whitacre and Ola Gjeilo, and promoting both new compositions and the preservation of classics such as Vivaldi’s Gloria. Editions in the Walton catalog number in the thousands. Susan LaBarr, Editor of Walton Music, gave Sheet Music Plus insight into what makes their catalog so special and what’s new and exciting in 2017.
What are Walton Music’s specialties?
Walton specializes in concert and school music, although some of our titles cross over into the church area. Many of our editions are what we call “high-end,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are all difficult, just that they include a high level of compositional skill, sophisticated texts, and timeless melodies.
How do you determine which new pieces to publish?
When looking at submissions, I work with our Walton Editorial Review Board, which is made up of respected conductors from across the country. Together, we decide which submissions are the right fit for the Walton catalog. You can read about the members of the board here: https://www.giamusic.com/waltonmusic/walton-music-board.cfm
What are some exciting new pieces in 2017?
All of our 2017 new releases are exciting! But here are some of my favorites:
Gloria by Hyo-Won Woo (and the stand-alone third movement, Cum Sancto Spiritu): This is a three-movement work that is extremely exciting. Ms. Woo combines Korean sound with contemporary composition, and the result is truly remarkable.
Dirshu Adonai by Kenneth and Kirsten Lampl: This absolutely gorgeous work in Hebrew will be a fit for many different choirs.
Kodutee by Pärt Uusberg: Another addition to our Music of Estonia series. Pärt’s writing is stunning, and the poetry that he chooses is always deep and connects with nature and humanity.
My God Is a Rock arranged by Stacey Gibbs: An incredibly fun arrangement that features a treble sextet on top of the choir. It will make for a great opportunity to feature female singers, and while that much divisi might seem complicated, Stacey has arranged the song with such care that it is really quite easy to sing.
Revelation and Beatitudes by Patrick Hawes: Two multi-movement works that can be done by both school/concert choirs and church choirs. Absolutely remarkable music.
For men’s chorus, Three Polish War Songs arranged by Derek Myler: Extremely dynamic songs with easy-to-sing voice parts and awesome piano accompaniments.
For women’s chorus, Ave Generosa by Ola Gjeilo: A beautiful unaccompanied selection from Ola. The text is lovely, and it is set with Ola’s incredible musical point-of-view. Also, Roulez jeunes gens roulez arranged by Joseph Gregorio: so much fun, rhythmic, singers and audiences will love this one.
For developing voices, Pardon, j’ai pas bien compris by Ivo Antognini: This text is incredibly moving and speaks to a lot that is going on in our world today. The vocals are simple, and are enhanced by the beautiful piano accompaniment and additional instruments.
What makes Walton stand out from other choral music publishers?
I think something that makes Walton stand out from other publishers is that we work with composers from all over the world and we are interested in upholding the integrity of the music from those different parts of the world. We don’t change the language or water down the music, since our customers are usually up for the challenge. Some of our favorite music has come to us from Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Spain, South Korea, the Philippines, Haiti, and Africa.