Composer & conductor Dominick DiOrio is a supremely talented musician, and we have many friends in common who have raved about him to me over the years. He’s a widely-respected choral conductor, and a huge champion of new music, so I’ve been interested in getting him on the show from the word “go”.

We have a few audio issues at the beginning of the episode, but everything smooths out nicely after a few minutes, and we have a really wonderful chat.

In the course of our conversation, we talk about:

  • Wearing the dual hats of conductor and composer
  • How performative pursuits can inform your writing, and vice versa
  • Common score review practices for choral conductors
  • Composers who have (or don’t have) a vocal sensibility
  • Adjudicating competitions, and what disqualifies many entries in the first round
  • Recording requirements in competitions
  • The evolution of choral music in the US, and its effect on choral writing
  • The affinity toward new music in the choral world
  • Operatic vocal technique as the primary style taught to voice majors
  • Self-conscious composition
  • Giving students compositional tools without pushing them into a particular style
  • Submitting works to conductors and ensembles

Dominick DiOrio
NOTUS: IU Contemporary Vocal Ensemble
Graphite Press