Recent and Upcoming Musical Compositions and Performances:
November 4 and 5, 2017:
The Bach Concert Series under the direction of T. Herbert Dimmock premiered "And did the world with devils swarm, all gaping to devour us..." a 50-minute one act opera commemorating the 500th anniversary of the nailing of the 95 theses by Martin Luther as part of its 2017-2018 concert series. The work was performed at St. Stephens Cathedral in Harrisburg and Christ Lutheran Church Inner Harbor in Baltimore.
The opera takes place sometime in October 1525. Luther is celebrating the eighth year since posting the 95 theses. He has just finished a few years where he wrote 40 hymns. He is the most popular author in Germany and the world. He has just gotten married to Katie, a former nun. He is seemingly obsessed with the devils around him, real and imaginary. He is in the midst of writing a response to Erasmus on the Freedom of the Will and has just gone through the Peasants' Revolt, being blamed in part for the turmoil caused by his writings. The opera takes place as Luther is dealing with all these things and the highpoint of the opera is when wife Katie reveals to him that she is pregnant with their first child, a turning point in their lives.
December 4, 2017 Concordia College-New York Festival Choir performed my Te Deum for soprano solo, mixed choir and chamber ensemble.
January, 2018 Finished a new opera entitled Adam and Eve based on John Milton's Paradise Lost. It is scored for soprano (Eve), baritone (Adam), alto and tenor (Serpent), woodwind quintet, harp and string bass. It was written for Jacki and my 50th wedding anniversary in 2020-Look for its premiere in 2020!
February 25, 2018 Evangelical Lutheran Church Choirs under the direction of Brenda Weiser will perform my "Offertory" for violin, mixed choir and organ.
Article entitled "Baltimore Composers Forum: 25th Anniversary Year Celebration-A Unique Model for Composers" will be published by PAN PIPES Journal in its March 2018 Composer Issue.
March 4, 2018, 2018 Schola Cantorum under the directions of Dr. Folkemer will perform two of my motets from my Cycle of Prayers on their spring concert as part of Music, Gettysburg!
April 21, 2018 Baltimore Composers Forum 25th Anniversary Concert
One of the works featured with be "Playing 3" by Hollis Thoms, performed by the Atlantic Reed Consort
Music, Gettysburg! will present songs by Composers Garth Baxter and Hollis Thoms during their 2018-2019 concert series. Among my songs to be presented are:
Two Limericks (2017) for soprano by Warren Benson (by my former composition teacher at Eastman School of Music).
Three African American Songs:
"within music there is silence within love there is loneliness" (2016) for tenor and piano is based on three love poems by E. Ethelbert Miller and was premiered by the Baltimore Composers Forum, November 19, 2016.
"Sweetness of Youth" (2017) for baritone and piano is based on the short play "The Janitor" (1985) by August Wilson and can be sung as a song or as an "opera within a song". The Wilson work is a very short monologue by Sam, a janitor, who while cleaning up a hall that will be the site for a youth conference, speaks to an imaginary youth audience about the "sweetness of youth."
"...I am not your slave" (2017) for tenor, baritone and piano is based on a letter sent by Frederick Douglass to his former slave owner.