Harry Chalmiers

Transforming the Music Learning Experience

Harry's Music

I had the great pleasure and honor of studying composition with two of the finest musical thinkers and educators of my era, Robert Cogan and Pozzi Escot. They provided a framework through which musical language, space, time, and color are integrated in ways to understand all music. This laid the groundwork for my own compositional style and technique.

Harry Chalmiers Music Composition Instructor
Harry stands in front of Penelope Umbrico's 1000 Suns, Photo by Alice Gebura

Alter Mind, by Harry Chalmiers

This electronic composition was inspired by a painting by Lizzie Wortham, To alter or cause to alter habits, a course, one's mind.

art inspired music composition

You Shined the Light, by Harry Chalmiers
Harry Chalmiers, Guitar
Melissa Matthews, Violin
Kara Laudon, Vocals
Michele Kinney, Cello

My classical guitar study provided the technique for a clean and intricate fingerpicking style in my songwriting that translates nicely to steel string guitar. The music I grew up singing in the "classic rock" period blends well with violin and cello in this song, forming a hybrid sound of classical chamber music mixed with a ballad style from the popular music of the 60's and 70's.

Out of Control, by Harry Chalmiers
Contemporary Vocal Ensemble at McNally Smith College of Music

The students have such wonderful, positive spirit, and did so much to make this song come to life. The soloists, Elyse Barnard and Ian Smart, and the ensemble director, Jen Parker, helped the ensemble find the best syllabication for the parts that were without text, some great ideas on chord voicing, and arranging suggestions. What a great effort they all put in, and I feel like this is as much their piece as it is mine.

We Can Sing the Truth, by Harry Chalmiers
Lori Dokken, Piano
Judy Vinar, Vocal
Dave Schmalenberger, Drums
Charles Fletcher, Bass

Fear of Flowers, by Harry Chalmiers
Music for Solo Piano
Margaret Cheng Tuttle, Piano

eyeball flowers
Image by Alice Gebura

The title comes from a dream I had in which a group of hikers encountered the most beautiful flowers imaginable and while they enjoyed them immensely at first, they soon became fearful that the stunning beauty would soon be lost, and that they would be inconsolable when the beauty was gone.

Songs on Poems by Yeats, by Harry Chalmiers
D'Anna Fortunato, Mezzo-soprano
Chester Brezniak, Clarinet
Randall Hodgkinson, Piano

Photo by Alice Gebura

For Anne Gregory is the first song of a set of three I composed with texts by William Butler Yeats.

For Anne Gregory

'NEVER shall a young man,
Thrown into despair
By those great honey-coloured
Ramparts at your ear,
Love you for yourself alone
And not your yellow hair.'
'But I can get a hair-dye
And set such colour there,
Brown, or black, or carrot,
That young men in despair
May love me for myself alone
And not my yellow hair.'
'I heard an old religious man
But yesternight declare
That he had found a text to prove
That only God, my dear,
Could love you for yourself alone
And not your yellow hair.'

Characters and Moments, by Harry Chalmiers
Margaret Cheng Tuttle, Piano

Photo by Alice Gebura

This is a collection of six short pieces for piano solo that were commissioned by MacPhail Center for Music. I intended these to be suitable for students in their early years of study. I wanted to write pieces that were attractive and appealing while also presenting appropriate technical and musical challenges in a modern context.

The Incredible Dancer
The Sad, Little Child
The Moose