While performing new music is a priority for all ensembles, commissioning new music is all too often out of reach for most non-profit groups. Thus, in 2006, Classical Movements endowed the Eric Daniel Helms New Music Program as a means to assist our loyal clients in the creation of brand-new works—both choral and orchestral—while also supporting the craft of contemporary composition worldwide.

For the William & Mary Choir and Botetourt Chamber Singers, Jamie Armstrong, conductor: 

  • South Korean Hyowon Woo Jubilate Deo
  • Japanese Teruaki Suzuki Two Postcards

For the Haitian Orchestra Institute, Thierry Fischer, conductor:

  • Haitian Sydney Guillaume – Lavil Okap in honor of the 250th birthday of Beethoven

For the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra and ASO Sympatico, James Ross, conductor:

  • American Brian Prechtl Tribute in honor of the 250th birthday of Beethoven

For the Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä, conductor:

  • Vietnamese Do Hong Quan Ruoc Truong for orchestra and dan bau
  • Vietnamese Tran Manh Hung Khai Xuân Mở Hội
  • In honor of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the USA and Vietnam

For the 2020 Prague Summer Nights: Young Arts Music Festival:

  • Czech Sylvie Bodorová Silymabum for string quartet

For the Serenade! Washington, D.C. Choral Festival’s “World Voice for Women,” works by American composers in honor of 5 suffragists whose contributions have often been overlooked:

  • Brittney BoykinStand Up in honor of Mary Church Terrell
  • Arianne Abela Now We Can Begin in honor of Crystal Eastman
  • Melissa Dunphy Mabel Lee, 1912
  • Evelyn Simpson-Curenton Ode to Ida B. Wells
  • Adolphus Hailstork Greatness of Nations in honor of Mary Burnett Talbert

American Gabriella Smithf(x) = sin²x – 1/x

  • For the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, co-commissioned with the Curtis Institute of Music
  • World premiere: Saturday, September 28, 2019 at Cincinnati Music Hall (Cincinnati, Ohio); Eun Sun Kim, conductor

3 works for the Serenade! Washington, D.C. Choral Festival’s “The Human Journey: Music, Migration & Identity” July 8, 2019

  • American Patrice MichaelsRefuge for Serenade! mass choir; Dr. Doreen Rao, conductor
  • Odawa First Nations Barbara Croall – Waaboos N’gamwin (Rabbit Song) for Toronto Beaches Children’s and Youth Chorus; Bronwen Low, conductor
  • Mexcian Rodrigo CadetXon ahuiyacan (Be Joyful) for Túumben Paax; Rodrigo Cadet, conductor

American Reena EsmailThe Love of Thousands

  • For the San Francisco Girls Chorus
  • World premiere: Saturday, June 8, 2019 at Mission Dolores Basilica (San Francisco, CA); Valérie Sainte-Agathe, conductor

English Lauren Braithwaite – Hamsafar: A Musical Journey Through South Asia

  • For the South Asian Symphony Orchestra
  • World premiere: Friday, April 26, 2019 at Tata Theatre, NCPA (Mumbai, India); Viswa Subbaraman, conductor

American Stacey GibbsI feel like my time ain’t long and Shut De Do’
American Johnie Dean – Three American Hymns

  • For the Lexington Singers
  • World premiere: Sunday, March 10, 2019 at First United Methodist Church (Lexington, KY); Jefferson Johnson, conductor

Syrian Kinan Azmeh (Classical Movements Composer-in-Residence) – Clarinet Concerto

  • For the Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • World premiere: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at Benaroya Hall (Seattle, WA); Ludovic Morlot, conductor

2018: Norwegian Therese B. Ulvo – I am I am I am (“Wild of Spring,” “My Heart,” “Rest Now, Heart,” “My Cradle”)

  • For Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, in honor of Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson’s 22nd and final season
  • World premiere: Thursday, June 28, 2018 at Pasadena Presbyterian Church (Pasadena, California); Anne Tomlinson, conductor

10 works for the Serenade! Washington, D.C. Choral Festival’s “Mandela at 100: Songs of Hope, Justice & Unity” in June-July

  • Syrian Kinan Azmeh – Ibn Arabi Recitation for Serenade! mass choir and clarinet
  • South African Qinisela Sibisi – Let the New Age Dawn for Serenade! mass choir
  • Indians Vedanth Bharadwaj and Manjula Ponnapalli  நம்ம பாடு for Chennai Children’s Choir
  • Madagascan Talike GelléHeagnen-Tsy Tratse for Tiharea
  • Canadian Hussein Janmohamed – Rise Children, Let’s Rise to Peace for Nai Syrian Children’s Choir
  • Canadian Aaron JensenLong Road to Freedom for Countermeasure
  • Dutch Anne-Maartje LemereisA Requiem in Quotes for Olga Vocal Ensemble
  • Venezuelan Betsayda MachadoArriba Mandela for Parranda El Clavo
  • Dutch Carlijn MetselaarWell, Actually for Olga Vocal Ensemble
  • Tuvan Choduraa Tumat – Дагын катап дарлатпас бис for Ensemble Tyva Kyzy

American Greg Sandow – The Remembered Song

  • For Prague Summer Nights String Quartet (Cindy Lin, violin; John Lee, violin; John Petrey, viola; Sonya Nanos, cello)
  • World premiere: Wednesday, July 4, 2018 at the Rudolfinum (Prague, Czech Republic)

2 works for the Ihlombe! South African Choral Festival’s “Mandela at 100: Songs of Hope, Freedom & Unity” in July

  • South African Phelelani Mnomiya – It’s In Your Hands Now for Ihlombe! mass choir
  • South African Sibusiso Njeza – Uthando Nomculo (Love and Music) for Ihlombe! mass choir

South African Bongani Ndodana-Breen – Harmonia Ubuntu

  • For the Minnesota Orchestra‘s historic tour to South Africa
  • World premiere: Saturday, July 21, 2018 at Orchestra Hall (Minneapolis, Minnesota); Osmo Vänskä, conductor and Goitsemang Lehobye, soprano

American Julian Wachner – An Alleluia Flourish!

  • For Encore Chorale and Encore ROCKS
  • World premiere: Wednesday, December 26, 2018 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.); Jeanne Kelly, conductor

2017: Syrian Kinan Azmeh becomes Classical Movements’ first-ever Composer-in-Residence

Argentinian Oscar Escalada – Misa para el Tercer Mundo (Mass for the Third World)

  • For Quinto de Cantares, to perform during Melodia! South American Choral Festival
  • World premiere: July 12, 2017 at Municipalidad de La Plata-Salón Dorado (La Plata, Argentina)

10 works for the Serenade! Washington, D.C. Choral Festival: A JFK 100 Celebration in June-July

  • Haitian-American Sydney Guillaume – Ansanm Ansanm
  • Latvian Ēriks Ešenvalds High Flight
  • Spanish Bernat Vivancos – L’ametller (The Almond Tree)
  • Indian Madhup Mudgal – Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam (The World is One Family)
  • American Con FullamUnder One Sky
  • Bulgarians Milena Jeliazkova and Milena Roudeva – Orissiya (Destiny)
  • Mongolians Egschiglen – Freedom of the Steppe
  • Zimbabweans Insingizi – Bom Bom Jeys (It is important to know who we are…)
  • Indians Madras Youth ChoirMusical Tribute to JFK
  • German Christoph Göbel – TBA

American Billy Childs In Gratitude

  • For Los Angeles Master Chorale, in honor of the 20th anniversary of Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna
  • World premiere: June 17, 2017 at Chorus America (Los Angeles, California); Grant Gershon, conductor

South African Mokale Koapeng – Wings of Peace and Love: Reflections on Bheki Mseleku

  • For Choir of the College of William and Mary and Botetourt Chamber Singers
  • World premiere: May 19, 2017 at University of Pretoria-Musaion Theatre (Pretoria, South Africa); James Armstrong and Jamie Bartlett, conductors

2016: 10 works by American composers for Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s 100th anniversary season

  • Kristen Kuster – Moxie (February); Marin Alsop, conductor
  • Christopher Rouse – Processional (April); Marin Alsop, conductor
  • Joan Tower – Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman #6 (May); Marin Alsop, conductor
  • Libby Larsen – Earth (Holst Trope) (May); John Storgårds, conductor
  • James Lee III – Thurgood’s Rhapsody(June); Marin Alsop, conductor
  • Caroline Shaw – Baltimore Bomb (September); Marin Alsop, conductor
  • Lori Laitman – Unsung (September); Marin Alsop, conductor
  • TJ Cole – Double Play (November); Marin Alsop, conductor
  • Jonathan Leshnoff – Dancin’ Blue Crabs (Feb, ‘17); Marin Alsop, conductor
  • Christopher Theofanidis – The Game (June, ‘17); Marin Alsop, conductor

American Andrea Ramsey – The Gift to Sing

  • For Children’s Chorus of Washington, in honor of the retirement of Founding Artistic Director Joan Gregoryk
  • World premiere: May 22, 2016 at George Washington University-Lisner Auditorium (Washington, D.C.); Joan Gregoryk, conductor


2015: American Jim Papoulis – Sounds of a New Generation

  • For Miami Children’s Chorus
  • World premiere: May 2015 at New World Center (Miami, Florida); Timothy Sharp, conductor

5 works for American Choral Directors Association High School Honors Choir at ACDA National Conference (Salt Lake City, Utah) on February 28

  • American André ThomasGloria (Glory to God); André Thomas, conductor
  • Spanish Emilio Solé Sempere Hearts Beat Together; Cristian Grases, conductor
  • Canadian Sarah QuartelWide Open Spaces; Bob Chilcott, conductor
  • English Will ToddGloria; Elena Sharkova, conductor
  • American Jay BroekerPeace Like A River; Angela Broeker, conductor

2014: Estonian Piret Rips-LaulSalve Regina

  • For Choir of the College of William and Mary and Botetourt Chamber Singers
  • World premiere: April 2014 (Williamsburg, Virginia); James Armstrong and Jamie Bartlett, conductors

2013: English Andrew GantPsalm World

  • For Choir of Groton School
  • World premiere: May 19, 2013 at Groton School- St. John’s Chapel (Groton, Massachusetts); Christopher Hampson, conductor


2012: Chinese Bright Sheng – A Porter’s Song

  • For Yale Glee Club
  • World premiere: November 2012 at Woolsey Hall (New Haven, Connecticut); Jeffrey Douma, conductor


Canadian Aaron Jensen – We Are as One

  • For Serenade! Washington, D.C. Choral Festival
  • World premiere: July 2012 (Washington, D.C.) by combined Serenade! choirs; Philip Brunelle, conductor

American Stephen Paulus – When Music Sounds

  • For VocalEssence
  • World premiere: June 2012 at Chorus America (Minneapolis, Minnesota) by combined choirs; Sigrid Johnson, conductor


8, 1-minute works for Young People’s Chorus of New York City, Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez and student conductors for Transient Glory Symposium at Carnegie Hall (New York, New York) in February 2012

  • American Derek Bermel – YPChant
  • American John Corigliano – Upon Julia’s Clothes
  • American Douglas J. Cuomo – How to Survive in the Woods
  • American David Del Tredici – Credo Fugue
  • Cuban-American Paquito D’Rivera – UN Minuto
  • American Michael Gordon – Cinnamon
  • Chinese-American Bright Sheng – Thirty-Mile Village
  • American Joan Tower – Descent

American Ken BergThe Cremation of Sam McGee

  • For Florida’s Singing Sons Boychoir, in honor of their 35th anniversary
  • World premiere: May 2012 at Parker Playhouse (Fort Lauderdale, Florida); Craig Denison, conductor

2011: Finnish Olli Kortekangas – Three Studies

  • For Children’s Chorus of Washington, in honor of 15th anniversary
  • World premiere: May 8, 2011 at National City Christian Church (Washington, D.C.); Joan Gregoryk, conductor

Cuban-American Tania León – Rimas Tropicales

  • For San Francisco Girls Chorus
  • World premiere: June 2011 at Chorus America (San Francisco, California); Susan McMane, conductor

American David RimelisOrchKids Nation

    • For Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, in honor of Marin Alsop
    • World premiere: March 2011 at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, Maryland)

2010: South African Mokale Koapeng Letlang Bana

  • For Ihlombe! South African Choral Festival
  • World premiere: July 2010 at Regina Mundi RC Church (Soweto, South Africa) by Imilonji ka’Nthu Choral Society; George Mxadana, conductor

2009: South African Stephen CarlettiEvening Canticles

  • For St. George’s Cathedral Choir, in honor of Florida’s Singing Sons Boychoir’s tour to South Africa
  • World premiere: September 13, 2009 at St. George’s Cathedral (Cape Town, South Africa); David Orr, conductor

Mexican Jorge Córdoba ValenciaTu

  • For Yale Alumni Chorus

World premiere: August 2009 at Sala Nezahualcoyotl (Mexico City, Mexico); Jeffrey Douma, conductor

2008: American Daniel Brewbaker – El Angel

  • For Melodia! South American Music Festival
  • World premiere: July 2008 at La Plata Cathedral (La Plata, Argentina) by combined Melodia! choirs; Doreen Rao, conductor

2006: Argentinean Oscar Escalada – Eulogy to Childhood

  • For Melodia! South American Music Festival
  • World premiere: July 2006 at Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires, Argentina) by combined Melodia! choirs; Doreen Rao, conductor

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