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Christopher J. Hoh
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Most of Christopher J. Hoh’s compositions are for choir and have religious themes. He has also set American poetry in challenging arrangements and created straightforward settings of Shaker hymns. The writing emphasizes choral works — from few to many parts — but also includes vocal solos and instrumental ensembles. He says his style and influences perhaps include Poulenc, Rheinberger, Howells & Rorem. His work utilizes evocative texts, vivid harmonies and intriguing counterpoint. The Washington D.C. area is his home base but his music has been performed in several European countries and states of the USA.
Christopher J. Hoh was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, where he grew up studying piano, organ, theory, harmony and several instruments. He has been active in choral music for decades as a singer and accompanist. He cites learning great contemporary music under the batons of Kerry Krebill and Donald Hinkle as major influences. He has participated in workshops with Jean Berger, Daniel Moe, Robert Page, Timothy Seelig and Alice Parker. Most of his music is choral, in a modern classical vein, although he has written a few instrumental pieces and experimented with electronic timbres.
Since the first public performances of his work in 1985, his compositions have been well received in the United States and overseas. The Helena (MT) Choral Week selected him as Composer-in-Residence for 2008, which included the premiere of a double choir work, “Holy, Holy, Holy Is The Lord God of Hosts” as well as a midday concert devoted to his music. Recent years saw premieres of "Evening Music: Five Sarton Poems" in Maryland, Montana and Virginia, as well as Spain, Slovenia and Italy. The choir of St. Monica & St. James Episcopal Church on Washington’s Capitol Hill (where he sings regularly) performed “Blest Zion, I Love Thee" on All Saints Day this year. They have lately sung "Behold, Behold Your King,” “Sweet Little Jesus Boy,” a reprise of "Stars of the Morning" (written for them) and several other pieces. ERM Media has recorded "Snow-Flakes" for mixed chorus and celesta and "You Are God" for SATB Choir and chamber orchestra to be included on forthcoming CD’s that Naxos will distribute. His setting of "Behold That Star," arranged for baritone solo, SATB, and organ was published by Augsburg Fortress Press. Most of his choral compositions may be reviewed and obtained via his website, www.HohMadeMusic.com.
Chris’s formal education and career have been in international affairs. He graduated from Georgetown University in 1982 and joined the U.S. diplomatic service in 1984. He has served in Bosnia, Germany and Peru, at the United Nations in New York and as a peacekeeper in Egypt’s Sinai desert. He is currently Associate Dean at the Foreign Service Institute of the State Department near Washington, D.C.
You can find more info about Chris Hoh, including program notes on the Sarton poems, at the website of the American Composers Forum.