I began work on An American Requiem in 2016 after the tragic mass shooting in an Orlando Nightclub took the lives of dozens of innocent victims. In the wake of all the recent gun violence at the time many choral societies were programming performances of the Mozart, Faure and Verdi Requiems to commemorate the victims and offer consolation to the communities in distress. Though I am a great admirer of these masterworks, I felt that the United States was in need of its own monumental work, a large-scale piece in English to offer consolation to listeners of diverse backgrounds.
An American Requiem is a setting of the traditional Requiem text in English for soloists, choir and organ. It is a melting pot of styles which fuses Gospel, Romanticism, Pop , Serialism and Renaissance counterpoint to offer an accessible message of hope in times of pain and darkness. Excerpts of the work were premiered in 2017 at the historic Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem under the direction of Gregory Hopkins. In 2021 it was revised and excerpts were premiered in a virtual choir performance commemorating the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2022 the complete work was premiered live in the Herz Jesu Kirche by students of the University for Performing Arts Graz. The piece is dedicated to all victims of senseless acts of violence. May they have eternal rest.