DAVID SISCO

Art Song (Individual)

Writing art song has allowed me to explore rich avenues I wouldn't have found without the beautiful texts that have inspired me. My songs have been heard at concerts produced by Friends & Enemies of New Music, New Music New York, Joy in Singing, Lyricfest, Songfest, Songfusion and at Carnegie Hall. I was the recipient of the 2010 NATS Composition Award for my song cycle "Missed Connections" (watch the award ceremony and world premiere here). I love working with living poets and am always open to collaborations. 

Arise, My Love

Written for soprano Ginger Green and Kenneth Dake to premiere at a Wednesday afternoon recital series at Marble Collegiate Church, New York City.

Ginger Green, Soprano; Kenneth Dake, Piano

i carry your heart

e.e. cumming’s iconic poem, set to music for mezzo and premiered at a friend’s wedding. No recording of this one, sorry! Want to change that?

I Will Meet You Yet Again

Written for soprano Marie Mascari and Inga Kapoulier to premiere at a World AIDS Day service I produced at Marble Collegiate Church.

Marie Mascari, Soprano; Inga Kapouler, Piano

Infrastructure

A setting of Barbara Worton's hilarious poem on the ocdasion of her birthday. 

Paul Sperry, Tenor; Laura Ward, Piano

Love

A short piece based on a charming anonymous poem, written for baritone Jonathan Michie. No recording of this one, sorry! Want to change that?

Love Me Not

Written for baritone Devon Patane and premiered as part of a small cycle of songs at Boston University.

David Sisco, Baritone/Piano

My Best Beloved

Based on Francis Quarles’ lavish text, this piece was written for tenor David Root and premiered at the Liederkranz Club in 2003.

David Root, Tenor; Jill Brunelle, Piano

Patterns

A slightly abridged setting of Amy Lowell’s stunning imagist poem for dramatic mezzo soprano. Elizabeth Mondragon has most frequently bought this piece to life with masterful portrayal.

Elizabeth Mondragon, Mezzo; Jill Brunelle, Piano

Prayer of St. Francis

Written in dedication to Dr. Arthur Caliandro for soprano Camillia Johnson. While I had the pleasure of rehearsing the piece with Ms. Johnson, she was unable to premiere the piece before her passing in 2015.

Quilt

Written for bass-baritone Neil Netherly and Scott Rednour to premiere at a World AIDS Day service I produced at Marble Collegiate Church.

Neil Netherly, Bass-Baritone; Scott Rednour, Piano

Set Me As a Seal

Written for soprano Christina Rohm in dedication to Elizabeth Mondragon and James Groff, Jr. on the occasion of their wedding. It was later sung at Carnegie Hall as part of an evening of my art song.

Christina Rohm, Soprano; Sheila Kibbe, Piano

The Lamb

Written for mezzo in dedication to a colleague’s child, on the occasion of their baptism.

Elizabeth Mondragon, Mezzo; Jill Brunelle, Piano

Falling to Earth

(Book/Lyrics by Tom Gualtieri, Book/Music by David Sisco) is a re-telling of the Pygmalion myth. Set in ancient Cyprus but using contemporary language and music, our version re-imagines the story through a tragi-comic lens. Four characters - Pygmalion, Galatea, Venus and Paphos - come face to face with love, loss and crises of identity as Galatea accidentally transforms their world.

Really Good Time

Tom Gualtieri & David Sisco

You Don’t Know Love

Mamie Parris & Matt Castle

The Heiress

(Book/Lyrics by Tom Gualtieri, Music by David Sisco) is a tale of a shy, young woman who, despite a strained relationship with her father and the heartbreak of first love, finally realizes her own worth. The below songs were created with the kind permission of Judy Goetz Sanger, based on the play by Ruth & Augustus Goetz.

Aunt Penniman’s Rule

Jeanne Lehman & David Sisco

What I Have

Lauren Shealey & David Sisco (video)

Art Song (Song Cycle)

Writing art song has allowed me to explore rich avenues I wouldn't have found without the beautiful texts that have inspired me. My songs have been heard at concerts produced by Friends & Enemies of New Music, New Music New York, Joy in Singing, Lyricfest, Songfest, Songfusion and at Carnegie Hall. I was the recipient of the 2010 NATS Composition Award for my song cycle "Missed Connections" (watch the award ceremony and world premiere here). I love working with living poets and am always open to collaborations. 

Dear God (S solo)

Written for soprano Tami Petty, mezzo Sarah Lambert and pianist Howard Watkins for a join recital given at Marble Collegiate Church, New York. These are settings of children’s often comical and touching prayers to God. This is the solo version of the cycle.

Listen to the entire cycle here.

"Charles" - Tami Petty, Soprano; Howard Watkins, Piano

Dear God (S/M duet)

Written for soprano Tami Petty, mezzo Sarah Lambert and pianist Howard Watkins for a join recital given at Marble Collegiate Church, New York. These are settings of children’s often comical and touching prayers to God. This is the duet version of the cycle.

Listen to the entire cycle here.

"Carrie" - Tami Petty, Soprano; Sarah Lambert, Mezzo; Howard Watkins, Piano

Italianate

A setting of several poems by my dear friend Linda Dini Jenkins, all written while visiting Italy with her husband. The cycle was originally written for baritone Jonathan Michie. The premiere was sung by Michael Kelly at Carnegie Hall in November, 2014.

Listen to the enitre cycle here.

"The Florentine Ladies" - Michael Kelly, Baritone; Sheila Kibbe, Piano

Love Is...

A setting of seven Emily Dickinson poems, written for soprano Angela Leson and pianist Jill Brunelle. Love Is… was premiered on a joint recital with mezzo Elizabeth Mondragon -  Jerome Tan, piano.

Listen to the entire cycle here.

"Going to him! Happy letter!" - Angela Leson - Soprano; Jill Brunelle, Piano

Missed Connections (Baritone)

Missed Connections is a setting of anonymous craigslist.com posts, all pertaining to the search for love and relationships. For this cycle, I had the joy of picking out the texts with mezzo Elizabeth Mondragon. I received the 2010 NATS Composition Award for the cycle, which was premiered by Elizabeth Mondragon and Dr. Andrew Adams at the conference in Salt Lake City.

I was lucky to have my hero (not hyperbole) Kurt Ollmann in the audience at the premiere. He asked if I would be interested in writing a baritone version of the cycle, which I was thrilled to do for him. A handful of the gender-specific songs in the original cycle were swapped out for new songs, the texts of which were chosen by Kurt and me. This is the baritone version of the cycle.

Listen to the entire cycle here.

“Bianca at INA” - Kurt Ollman, Baritone; Jeffry Peterson, Piano

Missed Connections (Mezzo)

Missed Connections is a setting of anonymous craigslist.com posts, all pertaining to the search for love and relationships. For this cycle, I had the joy of picking out the texts with mezzo Elizabeth Mondragon. I received the 2010 NATS Composition Award for the cycle, which was premiered by Elizabeth Mondragon and Dr. Andrew Adams at the conference in Salt Lake City. This is the mezzo version of the cycle. 

Watch the premiere of the cycle here.

"Endless-summer-taco-man" - Elizabeth Mondragon, Mezzo; Jerome Tan, Piano (2010 NATS Composition Award)

Nature's Song

Written for soprano Karen Ruth Sprung and pianist Jill Brunelle, premiered at Old South Church in 1999. This cycle is a setting of my dear friend Linda Dini Jenkins’ beautiful poems, all having to do with reflections on nature.

Listen to the entire cycle here.

"Tulips" - Karen Ruth Sprung, Soprano; Jill Brunelle, Piano

Of all the words in the world

Written for soprano Marie Mascari and Shiela Kibbe to premiere at Carnegie Hall. This has been perhaps my most collaborative song cycle to date, as Marie and poet Danita Geltner both had a hand in selecting the texts and the order of the songs.

Listen to the entire cycle here.

"Fork's Tale of Retribution" - Marie Mascari, Soprano; Sheila Kibbe, piano

Passages

Written for mezzo Elizabeth Mondragon and Shiela Kibbe to close my Carnegie Hall concert. I’ve always loved the poems of Christina Rossetti and thoroughly enjoyed creating a dramatic arc with her work, taking the listener on a journey from life through death.

Listen to the entire cycle here.

"Remember" - Elizabeth Mondragon, Mezzo; Sheila Kibbe, Piano

Reflections of a Lover Past

Written for tenor Will George for New Music New York’s program on beat poets. The cycle was also song by David Root with Shiela Kibbe at Carnegie Hall.

Listen to the enitre cycle here.

"December at Yase" - David Root, Tenor; Sheila Kibbe, Piano

Seven Stephen Crane Poems

This cycle has undergone several different incarnations over the years. The set was originally premiered by David Gary at the Liederkranz Club in 2003.

"I saw a man pursuing the horizon" - David Garry, Baritone; Jill Brunelle, Piano

Six Anonymous Comic Poems

Written for baritone Aaron Engebreth and premiered in Boston in 1999. These songs, which are short and tend to be audience pleasers, are great for a young baritone singing an undergraduate recital.

Listen to the entire cycle here.

"Judged by the Company One Keeps" - Aaron Engelbreth, Baritone; Jill Brunelle, Piano

Six Dennis Rhodes Poems

While in Provincetown several years ago, I came across a book of poetry by Dennis Rhodes. the bookstore proprietor told me he was a local artist and gave me his phone number. Thus began a long friendship and collaboration, which included this cycle for baritone Christopher Herbert.

Listen to the entire cycle here.

"Bird Song" - Christopher Herbert, Baritone; Kenneth Dake, Piano

Songs from an Old Mill Town

Through Dennis Rhodes, I was introduced to the work of living poet Jeff Walt, who writes beautifully dense, emotionally rich poems. I wrote the cycle for tenor Carl Johengen, who was my voice teacher at Syracuse University. The cycle was premiered by him and Shiela Kibbe at Carnegie Hall.

Listen to the entire cycle here.

"The Wall" - Carl Johengen, Tenor; Sheila Kibbe, Piano

Songs from Ancient Rome

Written for Elisa Doughty, whom I met through Old South Choir in Boston. These three brief pieces feature the translated work of Sculpia (c. 20 BC). They’re a perfect little set for a fiery coloratura.

Listen to the entire cycle here.

"Drat, my hateful birthday!" - Ilya Speranza, Soprano; Jill Brunelle, Piano

Stories on Stone

I wrote this cycle for myself to premiere at my final graduate recital at Boston University in 1999. These very brief, fun settings of epitaphs are a delightful closer to a recital.

Listen to the entire cycle here.

"Benjamin Franklin" - Robert Mobsy, Bass; Jill Brunelle, Piano

Two Shakespeare Songs

Written for tenor Jason McStoots, these pieces tend to be rarely performed, though I’m fond of them.

"Under the Greenwood Tree" - David Root, Tenor; Jill Brunelle, Piano

Upon Love

Written for mezzo Elizabeth Mondragon, this cycle is based on the work of Robert Herrick. A lush romantic set perfect for lyric mezzo.

Listen to the entire cycle here.

"To Music" - Marie Mascari, Soprano; Kenneth Dake, Piano

Choral

I have sung in choirs my entire life and have been commissioned by Manhattan Girls Chorus, the Marble Choir and Minnesota State University Moorehead Concert Choir.

A Time

A setting of the famous Ecclesiastes text, written for The Marble Choir.

The Marble Choir - Kenneth Dake, Director

Anything is Possible

Written for The Marble Gospel Choir. Sadly, the score was lost. At some point, I will transcribe it from the above recording.

Marble Collegiate Church Gospel Choir - Mark Miller, conductor

Awake, My Heart

A setting of Psalm 57 (adapted) for The Marble Choir.

The Marble Choir - Kenneth Dake, conductor

The Friendly Beasts

Written for the Marble Children’s Choir, based on the traditional tune, scored for chamber instruments.

The Marble Children's Choir - Michelle Oesterle, Conductor

To Music

A commissioned work for the Minnesota State University Moorhead Concert Choir, which was premiered on an evening of my music in March 2011.

MSUM Concert Choir - Paul Nesheim, conductor

Variations on a Theme of You

(Book, Lyrics & Music by David Sisco) is a theatrical song cycle about relationships from high school crushes to the altar. The show originally premiered at Don’t Tell Mama in 2002.

God Had a Picture

Cassondra Kellam & David Sisco

You’ve Grown on Me

Lyrics co-written by Josh Golden; Matthew Deming & David Sisco

Here I Am: A Musical Personal Ad

(Book, Lyrics & Music by David Sisco) outlines the myths, joys and pitfalls of being gay, the truth about personal ads and the horrors of blind dates. The show is available for purchase on iTunes.

Breaking Through

David Sisco & Jill Brunelle

Variations on a Theme of You

David Sisco & Jill Brunelle

Contemporary Christian Songs

Faith has played a large role in much of my musical life. Here are some songs I’ve written in the past several years.

Arise, My Love (B)

Written in dedication to Christine and Doug on the occasion of their wedding.

David Sisco, Baritone/Piano

Give Me a Song

Written for my dear public school music teacher, Mrs. Mary Schroyer, who passed after a valiant fight against cancer.

David Sisco, Baritone/Piano

Let There Be Music

A setting of my favorite anonymous text, this song has become my closing song for any concert I sing.

David Sisco, Baritone; Kenneth Dake, Piano

Sound of Grace

Written out of personal struggle with a new-found understanding of God’s grace.

David Sisco, Baritone; Kenneth Dake, Piano

Worth the Wait

Commissioned by Marble Collegiate Church for their 2014 Advent Concert. Premiered by Kristin Gornstein.

Kristin Gornstein & Kenneth Dake, conductor