Beware of the Soldier
About the performers
GREGG SMITH (b. Chicago. 1931) and his Gregg Smith Singers have been an important and pervasive force in American choral music over the last 15 years. Founded as a semi-professional group in Southern California in 1955, the Gregg Smith Singers quickly rose to national and international fame as a uniquo professional ensemble and were written up in Time Magazine for their performances of contemporary music ("Best in America").
Gregg Smith attended UCLA as a composition major, receiving his B. A. and M.A. in composition under Lukas Foss. One private teacher, Leonard Stein, a disciple of Schönberg, steeped the young composer in the classics as training ground for compositional study. It wasn't until he was a graduate student that he got caught up in the choral field and joined the UCLA madrigal chorus. His choral mentor, Ray Moreman, propelled him into conducting both as an assistant and soon after as the director of an all-Japanese Methodist choir in West Los Angeles. Gregg Smith found himself composing numerous church works for the choir. His subsequent compositional output includes more than 25 large works for chorus, hundreds of smaller choral pieces and arrangements, about 50 songs, 2 chamber operas, a large work for band, 2 piano sonatas, a harp sonata, and several chamber orchestral works. His music is published exclusively in a GREGG SMITH SERIES by G. Schirmer of New York.
Gregg Smith lives in New York City and is choral director at both Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and Columbia University in New York City.
The TEXAS BOYS CHOIR is widely recognized as the finest organization of its kind. It was created in 1947 by George Bragg in Denton, Texas, and has concertized and recorded internationally. Igor Stravinsky admired the choir intensely. and called is members "my boys."
The COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEN'S GLEE CLUB is probably the oldest continuing men's chorus in the U.S.A. In 1973 it celebrated its centenary with a tour of Europe.
ROSALIND REES, Mrs. Gregg Smith in private life, is a soloist in New York concerts and recordings. She is soloist in Robert Craft's new orchestral version of Stravinsky's Les Noces as well as Gregg Smith recordings. She is a member of the New York Vocal Arts Quartet and performs early music with the New York Kartorei Consort.
DOUGLAS PERRY and CHARLES GREENWELL are professional soloists with the Gregg Smith Singers. Perry is a member of the Sante Fe Opera Company and Greenwell divides his time between singing and orchestral conducting.
CHUCK GARRETSON is one of a long line of talented boy sopranos to grace the ranks of the Texas Boys Choir. Like many of his fellows, he is an outstanding student as well as performer.