Conductor, composer and singer Arlen Clarke was born in upstate New York in 1954. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music (1976) in Voice Performance from
Belhaven College in Jackson, MS. After a year of graduate study with renown choral conductor, Lloyd Pfautsch at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, he
went on to receive his Master's in Vocal Performance from Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX in 1983.
While serving in the military he studied voice under Met Opera singer, Martile Bucklew-Rowland. Under her tuteledge he performed as soloist with the Colorado
Springs Symphony and Colorado Chorale in Bach's B Minor Mass, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Handel's Messiah and the Faure Requiem. He has also sung
performances of Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Mississippi Chorus and Symphony Orchestra and the Vaughan-Williams Five Mystical Songs. Other
solo roles include performances in Verdi's Requiem, Charpentier's Mass for Christmas Eve, Mozart Requiem, and Mass in C. Operatically he has sung the roles
of Gianni Schicci, Papgeno in Die Zauberflote, Count Almaviva in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe, and Valentine in Gounod's Faust.
Upon completion of six years of active duty as an officer in the US Army he was a singer and later, the composer-in-residence during the1989-90 season at
Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Kansas City, MO. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed to the post of Director of Choral Activities at his alma mater,
Six of his compositions are extended works. The Canticle of the Sun, a thirty minute work for SATB choir, brass quintet and percussion and organ, (since re-
scored for orchestra) was composed in 1996 for the The All-Collegiate Choir and Capital Brass and the MS Music Educators and MS ACDA conference at the
University of Southern Mississippi. Requiem: A Mass for All Saints, for choir and soloists, chamber orchestra, organ and percussion received its premiere at
Delta State University in Mississippi. He has received commissions to compose music for several churches across the US. Most notably, they include O Nata
Lux, Opus 41, for choir, orchestra and organ, composed for the First United Methodist Church in Lancaster, PA and An American Triptych, premiered at the 2002
Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC. His Summer in Winter- A Cantata for Christmas, for orchestra and chorus was premiered on December 12, 2004 in
Lancaster, PA by Dr. Brian Norcross and the 1st Methodist Church Chancel Choir and orchestra. The Spirit of Harford for chamber orchestra and chorus was
composed for the Harford Choral Society's fiftieth anniversary year celebration.
His music has been performed at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and at the White House. In May of 1997, the Delta State University
Chorale introduced his choral music to European audiences during its Twelve Days in May European choral tour in Heidelberg, Munich, Salzburg, Innsbruck, and
Vienna. His compositions are published by St. James Music Press, Voice of the Rockies, and Lorelei Music.
Earlier in 2005 he completed St Patrick’s Suite for Strings. It was premiered in November, 2005 in Lancaster, PA by the Franklin and Marshall University orchestra.
Allegro-The Chamber Orchestra of Lancaster premiered his Concerto for Trumpet in Feb 2006 and the Concerto for Horn, premiered in of 2006. A repeat
performance was presented in March, 2007. Nocturne for Julia was commissioned, composed and performed in 2007 in Lancaster. His latest commissions
include A Cradle Song (text by William Blake) for soprano and harp or piano, and With All the Company of Heaven scored for chorus, brass quintet, woodwinds,
organ and percussion.
He has conducted choirs and orchestras in well-known works such as Messiah and Elijah, several Mozart Masses, Brahms' Requiem, Verdi's Requiem, and
Vaughan-Williams' Hodie. In 1996 he was asked to appear as guest conductor for the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra featuring works of Mozart, Beethoven
and Schubert. He has served on the Mississippi Opera Board of Directors, and was appointed as director for the Mississippi Opera Chorus for the 1996 season.
Mr. Clarke founded ANAM CARA-The Chamber Choir of Idaho, a non-profit choral organization in 1999. This group of sixteen singers performed in a series of
concerts throughout the state of Idaho and in the International Choral Festival in Pocatello. ANAM CARA performed in Dublin, Ireland, where they joined famed
organist, Diane Bish in taping television broadcasts of The Joy of Music, which was released nationwide on PBS in July, 2000. ANAM CARA released their first
CD in 1999 that included cuts from live performances in Ireland and the United States.
Until 2003 he served as the artistic director and conductor of the then eighty-six member Harford Choral Society and 16-member chamber chorale in Bel Air,
Maryland. He conducted these groups with members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra major choral/orchestral works
including his own. Performances by the Harford Choral Society works include Bach’s Magnificat, Handel’s Messiah and Coronation Anthems, the Mozart
Requiem, Rutter’s Te Deum, Vaughan-Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, and Schubert’s Mass in G.
In addition to composing in his studio, he maintains an active schedule as a conductor, singer and vocal coach, choral clinician and adjudicator. He currently
serves as Choirmaster at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville, SC.
Visit Our Friends at St James Music Press
A Volume of Twelve Fine and Accessible
Unison, Two and Three Part Choirs
by Arlen Clarke