Featured Choral Music
Benediction for SATB and piano
(string parts available)
BENEDICTION is the seventh and final movement of the composer's doctoral dissertation, "Divine Service: A Lutheran Mass." The Aaronic blessing from Numbers 6 is set in a dark, lush, winding texture, offering a pensive interpretation of the words "The Lord bless you and keep you." Contact David to inquire about the availability of string parts that accompany the published version of this score.
The Swing for SATB and Piano
THE SWING was commissioned by the Vancouver Chamber Choir in 2011. The following program notes were written by Eric Tuan at Stanford University:
"Stevenson’s more playful side emerges in his poem “The Swing,” whose lighthearted verses express the wide-eyed wonder and innocence of childhood. The Nebraska-based composer David von Kampen provides Stevenson’s poetry with a spirited setting whose rollicking compound meter mirrors the dactylic rhythms of the text. von Kampen’s jazz background shines through in the rich harmonies and quasi-improvisatory figuration of the piano part, while the men and women of the chorus toss melodies back and forth as if soaring in the air themselves."
A Cradle Hymn for SATB (unaccompanied)
A CRADLE HYMN was written in 2012 and has been called "stunning" and "an instant Christmas classic" by MusicSpoke. Scored in four parts with minimal divisi, this piece is accessible to younger groups and church choirs, but more advanced ensembles will savor the rich, smooth harmonies that brings Isaac Watts' text to life.
AFTERNOON ON A HILL FOR SATB AND PIANO
AFTERNOON ON A HILL was composed in 2008 as an art song for tenor and piano, and was adapted into a choral setting several years later. Edna St. Vincent Millay's text is set as a simple diatonic melody against a flowing piano part, which builds to a large choral climax. This piece will be easily learned by most choirs, but advanced groups will enjoy bringing out nuances of the texture.
Love Came Down at Christmas
for SATB and piano
LOVE CAME DOWN AT CHRISTMAS was commissioned and premiered by the Vancouver Chamber Choir in 2015. The piece is described in the Walton Music catalog:
Christina Rossetti's iconic poem has been set to a haunting tune by David von Kampen. Uncomplicated in its construction, but rich and moving in its sound, this will be an especially good fit for church choirs. From the Jo-Michael Scheibe Choral Series.
Psalm 108 for SATB (unaccompanied)
PSALM 108 was written for the University Singers at the University of Nebraska in 2010. The piece begins as a majestic choral fanfare in six parts, which gives way to a four-part imitative episode on the text "I will sing and make melody with all of my being." A broad, energetic return of the fanfare material concludes the piece. A perfect concert opener.
David's Lamentation for SATB and solo cello
Taiwan Youth Festival Chorus conductor Matthew Oltman (Music Director Emeritus of Chanticleer) says:
When English composer Thomas Tomkins published his heartbreakingly sad "When David Heard" in 1622, it could be said that no further interpretations of the devastating text from 2 Samuel were needed. David von Kampen, however, has managed to set the text in a way that is equal in emotional intensity (thanks, in part, to a shared exploration of dramatic chromaticism) and yet wholly different in texture, form and density. An important feature is the deft use of the solo cello as the voice of David--at times wailing, at times sighing quietly. The technical demands on the singers are not overly taxing, allowing for plenty of opportunity for interpretive exploration.