Dylan Trần – Choral Music Portfolio

Welcome to my portfolio for prospective choral commissions! Here are some highlights of my choral catalog to give you a sense of my sound, style, compositional approach, and collaborative process. As a singer and choral professional myself, I am intimately familiar with how different voices of varying ages and skill levels function both individually and in a choral context.

I have a deeply collaborative spirit and I want to learn as much as you are willing to share about your group right from the beginning of the commission process, so I can custom-tailor a perfect piece for your ensemble. Let’s chat!

You can find my full catalog on my Works page.
My scores can be purchased here.
View my commission rates here (all commissions are on a sliding scale).


beautiful out here

Text by Dr. Margaret Frazier — Difficulty: Intermediate (SATB)

This piece demonstrates a variety of textures. Sentimental chorales, waxing poetic about potted plans, mosquito buzzing, and polyphonic rhapsody, are all strung together in an organic narrative. This piece is an example of how everyday, seemingly non-descript texts can be elevated in a special way (I love working with texts of all kinds). This text began as a Facebook post by a mentor of mine during the beginning of the pandemic; it was then turned into a choral piece by me, recorded by me and another past student of hers, and given to her as a birthday present 🙂


II. sandcastles from Tupelo Poems

Text by Connor Egan (b.1997) — Difficulty: Advanced (SATB)

While the extreme dynamism and virtuosity required to perform this piece may not be for everyone— the world-building elements it utilizes, the emotional arc of the piece, and the creative use of textures are present in all of my works. I aim to write music that evokes a world that can be emotionally interacted with by both performer and the audience; this piece is a prime example of that.


dear heart,

Text by Mark Twain (1835-1910) — Difficulty: Beginner (SATB)

This piece demonstrates some of my more accessible writing. For the choir that is eager to sing some crunchy chords, but isn’t quite ready for Ligeti or Whitacre, this piece is an excellent introduction to those contemporary harmonies the kids keep goin’ on about nowadays. The clusters are always approached from a unison, suspensions are moved into by step from consonant chords, and choral extensions are either moved to from step or leaped to by a friendly interval. The strophic nature of this piece is built-in practice for strengthening your choir’s skills exponentially every time this piece is sung. The coda maintains engagement in rehearsal, giving the choir alternative material to work on outside of the strophic sections in addition to emotional catharsis in performance.


Grandmother

Text by Paula Gunn Allen (1939-2008) — Difficulty: Advanced (SSAA div. + sop. solo)

I love to write for all kinds of choral voicings. This was one of my earliest commissions; the director told me “I have a cracker-jack treble choir, I want you to let them have it”. She requested aleatoricism, dissonance, dynamic textures, and solos and I delivered just as asked! You can see and hear that despite the absence of the low end that is typical in a mixed choir, we still managed to create an epic and totally satisfying musical experience for everyone involved.


Magnificat

Text from the Gospel of Luke (1:46–55) — Difficulty: Intermediate (SATB + organ)

This commission was tricky in that there were only four singers available (due to Covid safety restrictions), one per part, competing with a large organ. In order to maintain a good balance, I alternated between doubling vocal parts for strength, optimizing vocal tessituras for comfort and volume, utilizing acapella sections in tender moments, and inserting organ interludes so the singers could rest from the heavy lifting. All of these technical components were crafted together into a dynamic narrative that brought “new life” to this traditional text.


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