Blake Henson

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Blake Henson has been praised for his music that Gramophone Magazine says "moves from soothing sentiments to more exultant territory with exceptional harmonic vibrancy; it casts a spell that must be even more thrilling when heard in live performance," and the New Jersey Star-Ledger called "powerful and thoughtful at the same time."

Born in Dallas, Texas, Dr. Henson currently resides in De Pere, Wisconsin where he serves as Assistant Professor of Music at St. Norbert College. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in music theory and composition from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, as well as the degree Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from The Ohio State University. He has studied composition with Thomas Wells, Donald Harris, Joel Phillips, Jay Kawarsky, Ron Hemmel, Michael Cox, and John Parker and has collaborated with such noted composers as Mark Adamo, Stephen Paulus, Tarik O'Regan, and Gerald Custer.

Sought after for his choral, vocal, and orchestral work, Dr. Henson has received numerous commissions from professional ensembles, colleges and high schools, churches, and community choruses and orchestras including Chanticleer, Westminster Kantorei, Westminster Williamson Voices, Anam Cara, Masterwork Chorus and Orchestra, The Thomas Circle Singers, and the New Jersey Chamber Singers. His music has been performed in some of the finest venues in the United States including Carnegie Hall, The National Cathedral, and Spivey Hall; as well as in concert halls in Canada, Mexico, England, South Africa, Taiwan, Australia, and Japan. His choral works have been performed at ACDA National Conventions as well as by numerous All-State choirs.

Dr. Henson’s work as a composer and teacher has awarded him multiple distinctions and recognitions including a Pulitzer Prize nomination for his choral-orchestral work “The Good Fence” (an unstaged drama written in response to the terrorist acts on September 11th, 2001), Ars Nova’s “Artist of the Year” award, and an Alumni Merit Award from his alma mater Westminster Choir College, which he received at age twenty-six. An active author and pedagogue, Dr. Henson is completing “The Composer’s Craft,” a book on composition pedagogy and is writing a text for aural training submersion with James Jordan and David Conte. His works are being continually recorded by premiere Philadelphia chamber ensemble Anam Cara under the GIA label.

As a performer, Dr. Henson has appeared with the Westminster Choir, Westminster Kantorei, Fuma Sacra, the New York Philharmonic (Davis, Dutoit, Maazel, Gilbert, Hickocks), the Cleveland Orchestra (Boulez), the New Jersey Symphony (Labadie, Jarvi), Dresden Philharmonic (Fruhbeck de Burgos), Fort Worth Symphony (Giordano, Harth-Bedoya), and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (Litton) and has collaborated with such noted conductors as Joseph Flummerfelt, Charles Bruffy, Weston Noble, Bruce Chamberlain, Dennis Shrock, Andrew Megill, James Jordan, and Emmanuell Villaume.

Henson is a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Society for Music Theory (SMT), Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI), and the American Society for Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP); he is also a volunteer for the American Cancer Society.

Dr. Henson is published by GIA Music.

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