During a recent online conversation, I came across the choral compositions of Dan Forrest, Jr. After listening to several samples, I was reminded of my musical upbringing. But who is this guy? According to his website,
He holds a B.Mus. and an M.Mus. in Piano Performance from Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. He is a faculty member in the Music Theory and Piano departments at BJU, and is currently on leave of absence, pursuing a D.M.A. in composition at the University of Kansas. Dan’s educational experience includes private composition study with Joan Pinkston, Dwight Gustafson, James Barnes, and Alice Parker.
That description sets him apart as a well-trained, conservative composer. But you’ll want to listen to some of his work to make your own judgment. Of the samples available on his site and at his publishers, I found the following to be my favorites:
On the negative side, I’m not sure what to think about his one word songs. Amen was beautiful, but how many times can you say one word before you get tired of it? Some of the others were a bit odd. For instance, I thought Selah was a line break in Hebrew poetry or a time to think about what the preceding section said. So, it was a bit strange to see an entire song dedicated to it. Then again, The Hallelujah Chorus does that without evoking much complaint. What do you think?