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Harry Castle Wins the 2022 Brehm Prize in Choral Composition

Harry Castle, a DMA candidate in composition, has been named the winner of the 2022 Brehm Prize in Choral Composition for his work Go on child. The award includes a cash prize and the performance of Castle’s work by the Chamber Choir in February 2023.

“I am so grateful to the Brehm family for making this prize possible,” said Castle, “and for enabling the Chamber Choir to perform my piece.”

Open to students in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD), the Brehm Prize in Choral Composition was established in 2011 by William (BS ’50, MS ’52) and Delores Brehm to encourage the composition of choral works. The competition is overseen by Eugene Rogers, SMTD’s director of choral activities and associate professor of conducting. Rogers described Castle’s composition as “beautiful and poignant,” noting that “it was a unanimous vote to select Harry Castle as our 2022 Brehm Prize winner.”

Go on child, scored for a cappella SSATBB choir, is a setting of a short poem by t.r.h. (torri) blue, a contemporary writer, poet, artist, photographer, and advocate. Written from the perspective of a parent, the poem reflects on the activities of a small child playing outside in the mud. “I love the tenderness of the language she uses,” Castle said, “finding the joy and wonder in her child’s world where other parents might despair at the mess.” Castle explained the particular significance of choosing what he described as this “very special” poem: “It’s so important to me as a queer person to be able to bring queer voices like Torri’s into my work and onto the concert stage.”