Music Performances

I began actively singing with choirs in 1996 and have since performed in many domestic concerts as well as a few in Italy and India. I've also actively directed choirs and led other singing groups during these years.

The music I've primarily chosen to work with is that of composer and author J. Donald Walters (aka Swami Kriyananda) because his works have been consciously created to uplift the consciousness of both listener and performer. The deeper I go into these compositions the more I appreciate their simplicity, power, and clarity. (Recordings of Walter's music is published by Crystal Clarity, Publishers.)

One set of Walters' music that I've performed on numerous occasions is his oratorio Christ Lives in the Holy Land and in You. I sang for the CD recording of this work in 1998, a six-city tour of Italy in 2000, and a five-city tour of the West coast of America in 2004. On this tour I was honored to perform a number of solo pieces, recordings of which are below; more recently I performed all the tenor solos for another oratorio in April 2014 in Sacramento, CA. (I'm still working on getting recordings from that concert.)

For many performances, the choir director was cellist David Eby, former member of Pink Martini; I've also played and sang with David in occasional ensembles. I've also enjoyed working with Ted Cutler such as the two-part harmonization of Shakespeare's Who is Sylvia? (music by J. Donald Walters) and (as seen in the photograph below) in a special rendition of Johnny B. Goode (for which we unfortunately didn't get a recording…).

While I lived in Portland, Oregon, I performed with the Ananda Portland Choir at The Grotto during the annual Festival of Lights. As things turned out, all of our other soloists were somewhat ill so I ended up doing most of the solo work. I especially like the recording of That Night When Christ Was Born because my three-year-old son fell asleep in the audience right in the middle of it.

The following recordings are all from live performances, so the quality of the recording varies both technically and sometimes musically! (Please note that these are copyrighted recordings, used with permission; you may download and use them for personal use, but please do not redistribute them at this time.)

Playing guitar (center) for The Christmas Mystery
The Grotto, Portland, OR, 16 December 2009

That Night When Christ Was Born (3:42; MP3, 3.40MB)
(A fun and lively Christmas song on which I also play guitar, performed at The Grotto, Portland, OR, December 2009.)

The Annunciation (1:23; MP3, 1.28MB)
(From the Christ Lives oratorio, accompanied by Judy McComb, performed at The Grotto, Portland, OR, December 2009.)

Hail Mary (1:25; MP3, 1.30MB)
(From the Christ Lives oratorio, accompanied by Judy McComb, performed at The Grotto, Portland, OR, December 2009. This is one of the few times that a male soloist has performed this piece as our primary female soloist was unable to sing that night.)

Mother of Widsom (4:22; MP3, 4.01MB)
(From the Christ Lives oratorio, accompanied by Judy McComb and joined by the full choir, performed at The Grotto, Portland, OR, December 2009.)

Looking for a Friend (2:34; MP3, 2.36MB)
(I'm singing the tenor part on this with Rudrani Borden, who is standing next to me in the picture above. The soloist on this recording is Anna Bredahl, the other guitarist shown above, and the flute is by Evelyn Peasely, the remaining singer in the photo. Performed at The Grotto, Portland, OR, December 2009.)

I Wonder (3:27; MP3, 3.17MB)
(Duet with Mari Baughman; I play the guitar and sing a harmony part, which I wrote for this piece. Apologies for the moment of feedback in the middle. Performed at Ananda Portland, May 2007.)

God, God, God (5:24; MP3, 4.95MB)
(A poem by Paramhansa Yogananda set to music by Swami Kriyananda. Accompanied by Mari Baughman on tamboura; Ananda Portland, July 2007.)

Sail with Me to Capri (1:27; MP3, 0.99MB)
(Solo performance, voice and guitar, Festival of the Joyful Arts, Ananda Village, Nevada City, CA, June 2005. Music from Walters' suite Mediterranean Magic.)

Life is a Dream (3:19; MP3, 2.28MB)
(Duet with Peter (Dharmadas) Schuppe followed by chorale and orchestra, Festival of the Joyful Arts, Ananda Village, Nevada City, CA, June 2005. Guitar by J. T. Heater; conducted by David Eby.)

Jenny Will Love Me (with introductory reading; 2:09; MP3, 1.48MB)
(Solo performance, voice and guitar, from a concert in Portland, OR, September 2006. Introductory reading from Walters' book Secrets of Emotional Healing)

Who is Sylvia? (2:28; MP3, 1.68MB)
(Duet with Ted Cutler, both of us playing guitar, from a concert in Portland, OR, May 2006. J. Donald Walters, the composer [using lyrics from Shakespeare], was present at this concert; he can be heard saying "well done" during the applause. Later that evening he said "it was the loveliest I'd ever heard it done"–quite a compliment for a song composed 20 years earlier!)

Mukunda (2:56; MP3, 2.01MB)
(Instrumental with Evelyn Clarke on flute, myself on guitar. "Mukunda" was the boyhood name of the great spiritual master, Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi. Walters lived as a disciple with Yogananda from 1948 to the latter's passing in 1952.)

The Hill that was Tara (3:41; MP3, 2.54MB)
(Solo performance, voice and guitar, from a concert in Portland, OR, May 2006. Tara is the name of the hill in Ireland that was once the seat of the kings. Walters composed this piece for famed harpist Derek Bell and the album The Mystic Harp.)

Singing and playing with Ted Cutler. (Above: Feb 2005; Below: July 2006, a performance of Yogi Be Good)

Selections from the oratorio, Christ Lives, performed in Palo Alto and Grass Valley, CA, April 2006

Psalm of David (3:30; MP3, 2.41MB)
(The words of Psalm 121, accompanied on harp by Jeannie Tschantz.)

Three Wise Men (2:56; MP3, 2.02MB)
(Quartet with Cathy (Latika) Perojinog, soprano, Aaron Atwell, bass, and Elizabeth Johnson, alto. I'm singing the tenor/alto part with Elizabeth.)

Let This Cup Pass From Me (3:17; MP3, 2.25MB)
(This is for the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane when Christ is praying prior to his betrayal. Accompanied by David Eby, cello, and Stephanie (Dharmini) Iyer, flute. What important in this piece is that the pain and anguish of the prayer finally gives way to complete submission to God's will, which is then expressed in the next piece below, Thy Will.)

Thy Will (1:53; MP3 , 1.29MB)
(For the scene of Christ carrying the cross to Golgotha. Accompanied by David Eby, cello.)


Singing Psalm of David, Grass Valley, CA, April 2006
(This is during the performance of the above recording)

A few more pictures:

Playing the harmonium, Portland, OR, April 2004

Practicing on the Indian tamboura, January 2006

The end of a performance at Siri Fort, Delhi, India, July 2004, before an audience of 1,600.
J. Donald Walters/Swami Kriyananda, the composer, is the man in orange.
Dharmadas (Peter) Schuppe is behind me in yellow.


One Comment

  1. James Swafford
    Posted September 10, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    I like your Electric Fender 12 String Guitar!


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