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College of Arts and Humanities

“Firefighter’s Creed” Chosen for National Music Publishing Release

 The evocative, haunting strains of "Firefighter's Creed" will soon be available to vocalists all over the world. Central Washington University composer Vijay Singh's moving tribute to fallen firefighters was selected for publication by Santa Barbara Music Publishers, Inc.

Barbara Harlow, president of SBMP, recently requested submissions for works for men's choir and received more than three dozen submissions. "Firefighter's Creed" was the first work selected.

“Living as I do in the hills above Santa Barbara, fires are no stranger here. The first house our family lived in burned to the ground after we had moved across town,” Harlow said.

Singh wrote "Firefighter's Creed" in honor of firefighters Tom Zbyszewki, Andrew Zajac, and Richard Wheeler, who were killed near Twisp, Washington in August 2015.

While the piece is emotionally moving to hear, the members of the Men’s Choir found it equally moving to perform. Many had members of their family or friends who were firefighters, and had been exposed to the devastation of wildfire in the region.

“I have written pieces on many subjects, but the idea that resonated most was the ongoing battle our firefighters fight every summer,” Singh said.

The 2015 wild fire season was the worst in Washington State history. More than one million acres were burned, and more than 3,000 firefighters were deployed. The Okanogan Fire Complex (which included Twisp) was the largest fire complex ever recorded in the state.

Vijay Singh, CWU Choral Director and Professor of Voice
An internationally renowned composer, Singh is an active performer, composer, teacher, conductor, and clinician. He has garnered international attention for his eclectic musical compositions, performances, workshops, and conducting appearances.

His compositions—more than 170 are currently in print—are widely available from a number of publishers and he often writes on commission for some of North America’s finest ensembles. His “MASS with Orchestra” received its world premiere at Lincoln Center in New York City in 2011.

Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Inc.
In 1990, retired choral director Barbara Harlow started Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Inc. As a conductor, she had an in-depth knowledge of and passion for choral music that allowed her to develop one of the most successful music publishing companies in the country. In 2016, there were 1,226 active pieces in the SBMP catalog. Thirty-six outstanding choral directors are Series Editors, and 389 composers from 16 countries are represented in the catalog. The company has continued its vision of nurturing the choral art with the publication of five videos and six books, all aimed at making the choral director's job more productive.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,
February 22, 2017

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