In 1995, Daniel Powers was named composer in residence with the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra. He has been a member of the orchestra since 1986, and also served as its librarian for 19 years.
Since becoming composer in residence, Powers has written several major works and many arrangements for the orchestra. Works include Sinfonietta, played on the children’s concert in April 1997; Concerto for piano and orchestra, which was premiered in March 1998, with the composer’s wife, Martha Krasnican, as soloist; and Tower Music, premiered in March 2001. Another new work, The Starry Messenger, was commissioned to commemorate the Terre Haute Symphony’s 75th season, in September 2001, and has since been recorded by the Prague Radio Symphony on the ERM CD Masterworks of the New Era, Vol. 12. In April 2005, a second piano concerto, again featuring Martha Krasnican, was premiered. Recent works include Overture to the Season and Concerto Piccolo, a short work for piccolo solo and orchestra, featuring Kate Prouty, the orchestra’s piccolo player. November will see the premiere of a Viola Concerto.
Powers was born in 1960, and began composing at an early age. He took his first formal lessons, with Rudi Martinus Van Dijk, then the composer in residence with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, in 1973. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College in 1982 and a Master’s from Indiana University in 1987. His composition teachers included Joseph Wood, Fred Fox, Earle Brown, and Harvey Sollberger. He also studied viola with Georges Janzer.
Powers’ career has included commissions from the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra (Symphony No. 2), the Bloomington Symphony (Irresistible Force), the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Fort Wayne (A Prayer For Freedom and Two Meditations for Violin and Organ), saxophonist Paul Bro (Riding the Wind and Peel Out!), the Indiana State University Wind Quintet (Impulse), the Cramped Spaces Ensemble (Auspicious Light), TriofuS (Trio for Clarinet, Bassoon, and Piano), the Indiana Music Educators’ Association (The Rain is Full of Ghosts), and others.
In 2003, his song O You Whom I Often and Silently Come was named the winner of the first Ned Rorem Award for Song Composition. In 2000, his song Spring for treble chorus and piano was a winner of the Illiana New Music for Young Performers and Audiences Competition. In 1987, he received an honorable mention in the National Association of Composers’ Young Composer’s Competition , for his song cycle Words Dry and Riderless.
His Christmas carol arrangements have received performances across the country. They have been featured in a performance at Carnegie Hall by the Raleigh Boychoir, and on CDs by the Cincinnati Boychoir and Michigan State University Children’s Choir.