About my composing: I am a Southern California native violinist and composer, and the founder of the La Verne Symphony Orchestra. My musical works are inspired from my Catholic spirituality, nature, and stories of mythology and adventure. I seek to bring forth truth and beauty through music and believe that music is a tool that we can use to uplift humanity. Thank you for listening to my music! Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.
My album “Eternal Dream” contains music that can only be downloaded through CD Baby. You can find it here:
If you are interested in playing some of my music, you can purchase downloads of some of my original and arranged compositions from Sheet Music Plus including an arrangement for violin and piano of “Annie’s Song” by John Denver, my first string quartet, and a few original pieces for violin and piano. Here is the link to my Publisher Page:
I have a composer page on IMSLP where you can find some of the scores and parts for my compositions. Percussion Quartet No. 1, Jungle Path was premiered back in March, 2015 as part of an LA Composers Collective concert. It has two main sections, a slow lyrical one and a lively, Latin-flavored section with distinctive melodic lines and syncopation.
You can visit my Sound Cloud page at the following link:
I have the great joy of being part of the LA Composers Collective, a group of creative people who are writing new art music in the LA area. Last week, we had a concert of pieces written for woodwind quintet, performed by the contemporary wind quintet, CLAW.
It was quite a journey for me to write for this concert. I had never written for wind quintet before, so I had to do a lot of listening and research about the instruments not to mention acclimate to the different transpositions. All this was during the time when I was pregnant with my first child. I had just written “Story of the Tree Seed” for her as part of a collection of fairy tales and thought it lent itself well to music. It was so much fun to write music like this that I’ll probably compose this way again!
Paul Muller from New Classic LA wrote a really great review of the concert as a whole. It was exciting for me to read his review of my piece. It’s a very special experience for an artist when someone else “gets it”, when the artist feels he or she has communicated positively and effectively to another person. I think this is a huge part of what music is all about: communication and exchange. Here is the excerpt from Muller’s article which deals specifically “Story of the Tree Seed”:
“The first half of the concert concluded with Story of the Tree Seed by Danielle Rosaria. This is a story that Ms. Rosaria imagined for her unborn child involving a tree seed given by an old woman to be planted by a young girl from a mountain village high above the timber line that knew no trees. Story of the Tree Seed proceeds in four movements; the first opens with a lovely horn and clarinet duo, followed by the bassoon and horn. There is a sense of noble grandeur here – and mountainous terrain – that sets the scene. The second movement is slower and more deliberate and the bassoon solo paints a convincing portrait of the old woman – long flowing passages and an elegant counterpoint complete the picture. The orchestration of the wind instruments is precisely on target here. Movement three is active and bustling, exactly like a child full of energy. The melody lines are rapid and short, especially in the flute solo. The other woodwinds add counterpoint and the feeling is optimistic and hopeful. The final movement has a monumental feeling, especially in the horn, as the tree seed is planted with a spirit of idealism and hopefulness. Story of the Tree Seed features excellent writing for the wind quintet as applied to storytelling – you can almost see the animation unfold in your mind’s eye.”
You can read the entire review which includes accounts of all the pieces on the program at newclassic.la/2015/11/01/review-…ive-wind-quintets/.
“String Quartet No. 1: King Arthur”
“The Creation: Trio for Erhu, Cello and Piano”
Thank you to the members of the Los Angeles Composers Collective who made this performance possible! Tu Nguyen played the erhu, Linda Rife played the cello, and Nicholas White performed on piano. This is the premier performance of my composition.
“The Creation”, Trio for Erhu, Cello, and Piano, is a musical story of the creation of the world as depicted in the Book of Genesis. The three instruments playing the one musical composition represent the one God in three Persons. In Genesis, it is these three persons that create the world and in the music it is the three instruments together that depict the creation and bring to our minds the world being made.
The erhu is an ancient Chinese instrument and what is interesting about its inclusion in this piece is the fact that it is believed to have originated in central Asia. Some people also believe that the original Eden was located somewhere in Asia. I’ve employed both an ancient Chinese sound and a modern western one with the goal in mind to join the two, hand in hand, in a cohesive whole.
The piece moves through several of the major events found in Genesis. It begins with the existence of God before all things and then explores His act of creating. The piece is not made of movements so much as ideas, musical ideas which flow from one to another. They are as follows:
The Unmoved Mover
Wind Over the Deep
Birth of Light
Land and Sea
Birds and Fish, Sea and Sky
Animals and Plants on Land
The Meeting of Man and Woman
The Seventh Day
The musicians have these ideas clearly labeled in their music, but the audience is allowed and encouraged to use their imagination to see in their mind’s eye what is taking place. This is not meant to be a play-by-play depiction of Genesis but is rather an exploration into the act of creation that, when we look around at the wonders of the natural world and at ourselves, we know took place at some point in time, an act that again took place, in imitation of the original creation, during the composition of this music.
“Symphonic Picture No. 2: The American West”
I find that the natural beauty of my home is a great source of inspiration. This piece is also written in the symphonic tradition of Aaron Copland. I like to experiment with putting melodies and harmonies together to see what colors happen when things come together. I like to imagine places I’ve seen, the forest, the running stream, the night sky, the beauty of the American outdoors.
“Symphonic Picture No. 2: The American West” had its successful premier performance in December, 2015 with the La Verne Symphony Orchestra. I had the privilege to conduct the piece and witness a childhood dream of composing and conducting symphonic music become a reality.
“Symphonic Picture No. 3: Journey Across America”
This piece is inspired by the beauty and industry of America as well as by the struggles and victories of its people. With my first three “Symphonic Pictures”, I set out to create a very American sound with music that is accessible to community, high school, and college orchestras but also has enough depth to be performed by professionals in concert halls. These pieces grew in scope along with our La Verne Symphony Orchestra. It is my mission through these pieces to make quality music accessible to amateurs and professionals alike, a very American idea to begin with.
“Misericordia: Duo for Violin and Piano”
In honor of the Jubilee Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis, this piece is meant to show the love and joy with which God offers His mercy and forgiveness.
“Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord: Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; Though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool.”
“Eternal Dream: Song for Violin Trio and Soprano”
This is an art song about the beauty of nature and of the soul. Special thanks to Amanda Valdez for singing this song so beautifully. The violins were recorded by the composer and mastered by Ken Glaser.
“Symphonic Picture No. 4: Dance of the Good People”
La Verne Symphony Orchestra, live performance, May 22, 2016
In celebration of St Patrick’s Day, this “Symphonic Picture No. 4: Dance of the Good People” has been composed from original and traditional Irish music and evokes to mystery of the fairy spirit world and the beauty of Ireland. The percussion throughout is there because of the Irish bodhrán drum found in so much traditional music. The melodies are as follows:
1. “Star of the County Down”
2. “In the Forest Fairy Ring”, original
3. “On the Rocky Road to Dublin”
4. “On the Friar’s Hill”
5. “In the Forest Fairy Ring”
“Symphony No. 1: King Arthur”, Part I
This is my first multi-movement symphonic work. It’s based on the legend of King Arthur and follows the story of his coronation and wedding, the adventures of the Round Table Knights, the quest for the Holy Grail, and Arthur’s death and journey to Avalon. Part I has three movements:
1: Land In Chaos
2: Prayer For Deliverance
3: Coronation And Wedding Day Of King Arthur
I composed this piece by using many methods of composition that were well known during the Medieval era and following. One notable technique I employed was that of taking preexisting material and using it for something new. Medieval people understood that everything they created came from somewhere and they made use of the visible and invisible materials they found in nature and the world around them in their crafts. That included using music written by others as material for new compositions. For Movement 2. “Prayer For Deliverance”, I took the “Kyrie” from the “Mass For Four Voices” written by the English composer William Byrd (1539/40 – 1623). He was a Catholic composer living during the tumultuous time of Queen Elizabeth I. He was favored by the Queen for his compositions, but still had to watch out for himself because of his religious faith. Much of his Catholic music was heard only in secret during his lifetime. The “Kyrie” is always found in the Catholic Mass and its words are, “Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy”. It is one of the oldest prayers in the Mass and it calls confidently on God to have mercy on His people and to save them from their sins. Here, I simply took Byrd’s setting of the “Kyrie” and set it for today’s orchestral instruments. It represents the part in the story of King Arthur when all the knights in the land of Britain came together and prayed for God to give them a king to lead them in taking back their land from the invading Saxons. After they had prayed, Arthur was recognized as their king because only he could draw the mystical sword from the stone.
The story of King Arthur is one of courage, of fighting for the good, and of love for the people entrusted to one’s care. For that reason, it is a legend that is timeless and true. That’s why I chose it to base my first symphony on and why I can’t wait to write Part II!
This is the world premier of my first multi-movement classical piece. It’s entitled “Angel’s Landing” named for a trail in Zion National Park. You can read about Zion and Angel’s Landing at http://www.zionnational-park.com/zion-angels-landing-trail.htm.
The movements of this piece are each about a special aspect of nature:
1) Water and Sun
2) The Storm
4) On the Trail
This performance took place in the spring of 2013 in the Morgan Auditorium at the University of La Verne. Special thanks to the university and to Sarah Wallin Huff and Irene Shiao of the Rose’ Trio.
The third movement from Angel’s Landing is featured in Ken Glaser’s video starring Anneliese Klages. It will have its world premiere at the Action On Film Festival in Monrovia, CA, on Thursday, September 24, 2015.
I had in mind the harmonies and textures of Debussy and Delius, but I wanted to create something spoken in a sincere language coming from someone who grew up in California. I had never been to Crystal Cove, but I had been to the coast many times and had in mind a specific kind of color and texture when I was composing it. When we visited Crystal Cove I noticed how much this place looked like the place I imagined while composing this piece, so that’s how it came to be named after this place. I would highly recommend you visit this park. You can read about it at http://www.crystalcovestatepark.com/.
This is the video of the first live performance of Crystal Cove taken on November 16, 2013 in Claremont, CA. Special thanks to pianist Nico Marucut who first told me the piece was good and who performed with me in this concert and to Ken Glaser who made the video.
“Lullaby To The Christ Child”, A Christmas Quintet
This piece was written in honor of the mystery of Christ’s incarnation during the Advent season of 2014. It can be played as a quintet with Violin I, Violin II, Violia, Cello, and Piano or with strings alone. It can also be performed in conjunction with the “Greensleeves” quartet found on this blog on it’s own page.
“Symphonic Picture No. 1: New Frontier”
“New Frontier” is the result of a lifelong dream to compose music for an orchestra. It was written for and first performed by the La Verne Symphony Orchestra, a university and community ensemble that seeks to bring people together through the power of music. The joy of seeing this ensemble come together and their willingness to perform my original composition allowed me to write this piece.
I drew inspiration from the composers Antonín Dvořák and Aaron Copland as well as the natural surroundings of my native Southern California. I sought to have a very American sound within symphonic tradition of composers like Dvořák and Copland. I feel this is a great place for me to start as I begin to develope my own symphonic language. Here is the midi recording of the piece:
This is a video of the first performance at a LVSO concert in November, 2013, University of La Verne, CA.
“Trees”, Sonata for Violin and Piano, Movements 1 (The Oak) and 2 (The Pine)
Each of the movements of this sonata are named after well known trees found near my home. These are the first two of four movements. They’re serving as pallets for me to experiment with harmonic colors and rhythmic textures. For these pieces I like to have in mind composers like Debussy, and Vaughn Williams, but I also like to write in my own harmonic language, rather like painting with sound. I like painting with many colors.
“Psalm 117” Set For Alto, Violin, and Piano
Many artists have been inspired by faith and sacred scriptures and have used art as a means for contemplating and interacting with the spiritual life. Noticing this, I decided to write a piece based on one of the Psalms. At first I thought it would be easy because the Psalms were originally sung to music. And actually I was right in a way. It was very easy to come up with the melody. The melody in this piece was “composed” by me singing though, improvising on the Psalm one time! The challenge was not that writing this piece was too difficult, it was that it was too easy! It was hard to keep up with the tremendous power that is held in these writings! I feel like I’ve stumbled upon a vast quarry of creative material just waiting to be let loose. Many artists have made this discovery over the years, but I was making it for the first time.
So needless to say, composing this piece was very fun, like a great adventure. It’s based on Psalm 117, the shortest in the Psalter, only two verses. I’m not a singer usually, so it took a few days of practice before I could record the vocal line. I’d like to do more of these in the future.
“The Apple Blossom and the Riverbank”
I was inspired to compose “The Apple Blossom and the Riverbank” by the beautiful sounds of traditional Chinese music and East Asian art. I wanted to write a piece that evoked the same kind of balance and grace and that was also playable by intermediate musicians. It is by no means written in a traditional Chinese style, but is definitely inspired from it. I was thinking of how Debussy composed many of his pieces, listening to music from beyond Europe and incorporating the emotions and colors that it evoked into his own music. This is my first piece which really explores the pentatonic scale. I enjoyed composing it because I didn’t mind deviating from some of the “rules” of composition but rather listened for the kind of color and sound I was trying to achieve. It was a real journey of discovery. The recording here was done with a live violin and a midi piano, so some of the expressive qualities could definitely be expanded upon with live collaboration, especially in the beginning and ending passages.