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Dale Trumbore

Los Angeles, CA         

Dale Trumbore is a Los Angeles-based composer and writer whose compositions have been performed by ensembles including the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, Modesto Symphony, and Pasadena Symphony. She has written extensively about working through creative blocks and establishing a career in music in essays for 21CM, Cantate Magazine, and NewMusicBox, as well as in her book Staying Composed: Overcoming Anxiety and Self-Doubt Within a Creative Life.

How to Go On

Following the death of a loved one, poet Barbara Crooker asks, “How can we go on, knowing the end of the story?” Secular requiem How to Go On answers this question in eight movements that explore our relationship to life and loss, ranging from doubt and introspection to acceptance of our own mortality. Since its premiere, How to Go On has been performed by Cantori, The Esoterics, the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum, Los Angeles Master Chorale, and The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists. The piece was awarded a 2017 ASCAP Morton Gould Award.

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10,000 Hours for piano & orchestra (mvts. III & IV)

10,000 Hours was premiered by soloist Nic Gerpe and the USC Thornton Symphony, conducted by Donald Crockett. The title of 10,000 Hours comes from the theory that it takes roughly this many hours of practice to successfully master any skill. In this piece, the skill at hand is piano performance; each of the work’s five movements sets the piano soloist at a different point in practicing—referencing beginner piano music, etudes, and chamber music along the way—with the orchestra serving both as commenter and participant.

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In the Middle

Barbara Crooker’s poem “In the Middle” describes our need to connect in the rush of ordinary life. In this setting, the piano serves as an unreliable time-keeper, ebbing and flowing as our perception of time does. In the Middle was commissioned by the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus (Michael Kerschner, director), won the first ACDA Brock Competition for Professional Composers, and was performed at the 2019 ACDA National Conference by The Aeolians of Oakwood University (Jason Max Ferdinand, conductor).

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NewMusicBox Articles

NewMusicBox May 29 2019 | By Dale Trumbore
Don’t Wait Until You Hear Sirens

In a few weeks, Dale Trumbore is publishing a book about anxiety in the creative process—Staying Composed: Overcoming Anxiety and Self-Doubt Within a Creative Life. In advance, she shares her...

NewMusicBox December 5 2017 | By Dale Trumbore
When Everything Utterly Sucks

Somewhere in the homestretch of writing a new composition, I become convinced—temporarily, falsely—that not only is there nothing redeemable about this awful piece, but that composing itself is meaningless, I've...

NewMusicBox April 24 2017 | By Dale Trumbore
Self-Plagiarism and the Evolution of Style

A composer's style becomes distinctive not only because certain ideas are present in many of their compositions, but because that composer has made compelling artistic choices deliberately and repeatedly across...

See more of Dale Trumbore's articles on NewMusicBox.