(1995-2001) VCU

Virginia Commonwealth UniversityMy University training began in music education with voice as my primary instrument, soon converting to music composition, following the wonderment of how music is constructed. Being raised protestant, my intention was to be a church music director writing in the tradition of "sacred choral music for the glory of God". With maturity came questioning, so then my sacred music took a more troubled, often pleading, tone.

Eventually, as I shed all religious faith, I began searching for musical alternatives.

Psalm 69 - T. Nathan Roane: composer, baritone soloist / Barryman Methodist Church: choir
Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.
O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee. Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God Lord of Israel. Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink. Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up. Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good: when I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach. Turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. Let the heaven and earth praise him.
My first church anthem, written in 1995, premiered at my first church job as soloist, backed by the Berryman United Methodist choir.
I'd come to question the religious beliefs of my childhood, found them lacking, and my young voice here offers authentic pleading for guidance, using text direct from the KJV. Recorded in mono onto cassette from the balcony, more professional performances later hadn't the same urgency.

mp3 download
Piano Etude No. 1 - T. Nathan Roane: composer, piano
A favorite of my father's, the melody is rhythmically flexible according to whim, so I never wished it written down. Even recording it just this once feels somehow restraining. To my knowledge, no one else has ever played it, leaving it special to me - though it's simple enough for a child's learning piece. It was composed in 1996, during Keyboard Skills class, instead of the expected lesson.
mp3 download
Midi Class Project 4 - T. Nathan Roane: composer, programmer
My second year at VCU, after deciding for a composition degree, I took Loran Carrier's 1996 Midi Composition Class. Constructing timbres by layering and tweaking, most of the class ended up with atmospheric soundscapes, mine more melodic and heavily rhythmic. I'd share all four projects, proud as I am, but they were recorded to tape - then dubbed warpy and somehow ended up mono. This is what could be mastered presentable from the best of the four. Dig that drum solo.
mp3 download
Psalm 130 - T. Nathan Roane: composer, bass / Matt Hasmer: tenor / Stephen: counter tenor
Out of the depths have I called to you, O LORD; LORD, hear my voice; let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.
O Israel, wait for the LORD, for with the LORD there is mercy; O LORD; LORD, hear my voice.

If you, Lord, were to note what is done amiss, O Lord, who could stand? For there is forgiveness with you; therefore you shall be feared.
I wait for the LORD; my soul waits for him; in his word is my hope. My soul waits for the LORD, more than the watchmen for the morning.
A choral fugue of straight biblical text, it was written in 1996 Counterpoint Class and performed in 2000 University Convocation. Singing above me are the amazing tenor Matt Hasmer, whose style always wet my eyes, and a red-headed counter tenor (Stephen?) whose name I have regrettably forgotten but was fortunate enough to work with at Centenary United Methodist, Richmond, Virginia.
As with most of my sacred choral music, the lyrics were prayer to the God of my family, whom I desperately yearned to also believe in.
Recorded poorly in mono, this was however the work's most accurate and passionate performance.
mp3 download
Psalm 150 - T. Nathan Roane: composer, baritone / Terri Murphy: soprano / VCU Recital: choir, djembe
Hallelujah! Praise the LORD! Praise him. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise God in his holy temple; praise him in his temple in heaven with trumpet sounds, with lute and harp. Praise God for his acts of power, praise him for his excellent greatness. Praise God for his mighty deeds, praise him for all his greatness with drums and dance, with strings and reeds.
Praise ye the Lord, praise God in his sanctuary, praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts, praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with the sound of the trumpets, praise him with the psaltery and the harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance, praise him with stringed instruments and horns! Praise him upon the loud cymbals, praise him with the high sounding cymbals! Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.
Let everything that breathes - praise the Lord!
Commissioned by Toni Klughart for Resurrection Lutheran church choir, who chose the verse; it premiered at their 1996 Homecoming Evening Service.
Recorded here during my 2001 VCU Composition Recital: me as male soloist, female soloist Terri Murphy, and our friends for backup choir, djembe.
mp3 download
Benediction Canon - Michelle Schwoebel: soprano solist / Derbyshire Baptist Church: choir
Lord, send us on our way with knowledge of your love, and guidance to serve; Lord God, our father.
The fourth from a 1997 set of benedictions and amens, premiered here by Derbyshire Baptist Church choir. Both rehearsed and directed by David Schwoebel, soloed by wife Michelle Schwoebel, I was able to sit in audience and enjoy it all quite stress free and happy at my mom's 2005 second wedding. The lyrics were my own.
mp3 download
For the Beauty of the Earth - T. Nathan Roane: composer, tenor / VCU Recital: choir
For the beauty of the earth, for the Glory of the skies, for the love which from our birth over and around us lies: Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.
For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night, hill and vale, and tree and flower, sun and moon, and stars of light:
For the joy of ear and eye, for the heart and mind's for the mystic linking sense to sound and sight:
For each perfect gift of Thine, to our race so freely given, graces human and divine, flowers of earth and buds of Heaven:
In hymn writing, it's typical to name the melody specifically, as it may be switched out to various lyrics and verses. This 1998 Ronda Melody was named for my mom.
Gathering the attention of Saint David's Episcopal, Chesterfield, this hymn landed my first directing job as their Minister of Music. Each week we had something of mine performed by either kid's band or adult choir, plus I'd sing regularly and perform on various instruments (flute, clarinet, djembe, trumpet, guitars, piano, mandolin, flugelhorn, etc.) - a fantastic learning experience. Regrettably, I hadn't yet a recording studio.
Recorded here for my VCU Composition Recital (2001): baritone Matt Wenninger, tenor T. Nathan Roane, alto Amy Daugherty Wenninger and jazz soprano Terri Murphy.
mp3 download
Tobit's Prayer - Francile Bilyeu: flute / T. Nathan Roane: composer, baritone / Terri Murphy: soprano
Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers, and blessed be Thy holy and glorious name forever. Let the heavens and all Thy creatures bless Thee. Thou madest Adam, and Eve his wife to be a helper and support; from them the race of mankind has sprung. Though didst say, "It is not good that man should be alone. Let us make a helper for him like himself." I now take this, my beloved to wife, not out of lust, but in true marriage. Grant that she and I may find mercy, and grow old together.
Written for my sister's wedding, she and her husband chose verses from the Book of Tobit which I then reversed in order. Since performed a number of times, this recording's from my 2001 VCU Composition Recital: Professor Francile Bilyeu on flute and vocal duet between myself and the lovely Terri Murphy.
mp3 download
How Oft, O Lord - T. Nathan Roane: composer, baritone / VCU Recital: choir
How oft, O Lord, Thy face hath shone on doubting souls whose wills were true! Thou Christ of Peter and of John, thou art the Christ of Thomas too. He loved Thee well, and calmly said, "Come, let us go, and die with Him." Yet when Thine Easter-news was spread, 'mid all its light his faith was dim. His brethren's word he would not take, but craved to touch those hands of Thine. When thou didst thine appear and spake, he saw and hailed his Lord divine. O Savior, make Thy presence known to all who doubt Thy word in Thee; and teach us in that word alone to find the truth that sets us free. Amen.
While Minister of Music at Saint David's Episcopal, I chose music based on scripture within the liturgical year. For Easter 1997, I sympathized with these hymn lyrics of religious doubt, resetting them for my adult choir.
Recorded during my 2001 VCU Composition Recital: me as baritone, Matt Wenninger singing tenor, alto Amy Daugherty Wenninger and soprano Terri Murphy.
mp3 download
Brno - T. Nathan Roane: composer, trumpet / Amy Wenninger: piano
The 1940's Czechoslovakia rotary-valve trumpet used here had been manufactured in the city of Brno. With a seam running down the brass bell, plus unique rotating valve system, it gave off a warm and sliding tone, inspiring this tune and my lazy lip. Written for and premiered here during my 2001 VCU Composition Recital, it was never performed again: me on trumpet with pianist Amy Daugherty Wenninger.
mp3 download