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Bradley Nelson, Composer

El Cajon, CA         

(Below is a "local San Diego" bio of Brad Nelson for the  "San Diego Sings! Festival 2015" – March 21, 2015 to be held at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park, San Diego.  This event is sponsored by the Choral Consortium of San Diego)


Brad Nelson was born at Mercy Hospital in San Diego, only a few short blocks from Balboa Park!  As a San Diego native, he fell in love with choral singing as a singer in the Grossmont High School Red Robe Choir.  After living back East and in the Midwest for more than a decade, he returned in 1984 to direct the largest church music program in San Diego at College Avenue Baptist Church.  This was the church in which Brad grew up.  In the first year of his return to San Diego, he planned and led the first all-city Easter Sunrise Service in Balboa Park’s Starlight Bowl before five thousand people.  Later, he led that event again after it moved to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.  Brad took his choir on tour to Eastern Europe in 1990 immediately after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the disintegration of Communism.  Following that tour, he presented major Christmas concerts with his choir and full symphony orchestra in packed performances at Copley Symphony Hall from 1991 to 1994.


Since then, Brad has been a full-time composer.  His choral music is performed frequently throughout America.  Internationally, his music has been performed in Westminster Abbey, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Catedral de la Almudena in Madrid, the Lisbon Cathedral, and other cathedrals and churches across Europe as well as in Canada, Scandanavia, the Baltic States, Russia, Oman, South Africa, New Zealand, India, Korea, and Japan.


This past Fall (2013), his music was premiered in Ely Cathedral in Cambridge, England.  Additionally, three English radio broadcasts were devoted to his choral music on Remembrance Day, Christmas, and Easter.  These programs were broadcast internationally from the city of Taunton, Somerset in southwest England.


Upon his return to San Diego, Brad and his wife and family visit Balboa Park frequently where they picnic, attend organ concerts, visit the international cottages at the House of Pacific Relations, and stroll through the Christmas Nativity scenes at the Organ Pavilion in December.  Brad grew up visiting all of these attractions as a child…. and don’t forget the Zoo…. and the musicals under the stars at Wegeforth Bowl and Starlight Bowl!  Soon, he will take his new grandson to visit the Puppet Theater, ride the Carousel and Miniature Train, and visit the San Diego Model Railroad Club Museum (where his father was a founding member!).  When Brad was five-years-old, he ran around under the train layouts from one control station to the next, jabbering over the intercom system!


~ For complete information about "San Diego Sings! Festival 2015" – click here
~ To visit Brad’s website – click here
~ To see Brad’s musical activities on Facebook – click here


These choirs will participate;


Choral Club of San Diego
Encore Vocal Ensemble
Escondido Choral Arts Center Children’s Chorus
Escondido Choral Arts Center Chorale
First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego Women’s Chorus
La Jolla Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir
La Jolla Symphony Chorus
Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Choir
Pacific Coast Harmony
Pacific Women’s Chorus
Peninsula Singers
SACRA/PROFANA
San Diego Children’s Choir
San Diego Chinese Choral Society
San Diego Chorus, Sweet Adelines International
San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus
San Diego Mannskor, Norwegian Men’s Chorus
San Diego North Coast Singers
San Diego Sun Harbor Barbershop Chorus
San Diego Women’s Chorus


By clicking on each link directly below;


You can view complete scores (while listening to recordings) and read program notes:
1. "In Flanders Fields"
2. "Anthem For Doomed Youth"
3. "Christ, The Precious Living Stone"

1. In Flanders Fields

This piece is an eerie, evocative setting of the famous WWI poem by Lt. Col. John McCrae. The mood of the music captures the sadness of the poem. Instrumental devices in the flute and bells are used to enhance images suggested by the words of the poem. The flute employs a haunting flutter-tonguing in its low register as well as pitch-bending. The bowing of Crotales adds an eeriness to the texture. To see the full score, read a description, and hear a recording visit – http://www.gladdemusic.com/inflandersfields(2).htm

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2. Anthem For Doomed Youth

The sounds and compositional techniques utilized in this music arise from the severity and haunting sadness of a poem by 25-year old soldier Wilfred Owen. Vocal devices include shouting, sighing, cluster singing, pitch-bending, and non-metered chant. Instrumental devices include trills and glissandi, piano clusters, and piano overtones produced with percussion mallets. To see the full score, read a description, and hear a recording visit – http://www.gladdemusic.com/anthemfordoomedyouth(1).htm

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3. Christ, The Precious Living Stone

This anthem exhibits some characteristics that will be utilized in the creation of “How Can I Keep From Singing?”. Compositional techniques may include a familiar text set to completely new music, incorporation of the original tune for audience participation, and symbolic musical themes cleverly woven into a virtuosic organ accompaniment. The 1000-voice mass choir will antiphonally resound throughout San Diego’s famous Organ Pavilion! To see the full score, read a description, and hear a recording visit – http://www.gladdemusic.com/stone.htm

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