Simpson University Professor Wins National Choral Commissioning Contest

For Immediate Release


Dr. Dan PinkstonREDDING, Calif. - Simpson University music professor Dan Pinkston has won a national choral commissioning contest sponsored by a New England church in honor of its 300th anniversary.

First Parish in Brookline, Mass., selected Dr. Pinkston from among other composers who were asked to apply anonymously with two recent musical scores and a written proposal outlining a three- to six-minute piece. The composition can be a capella or accompanied by drums, with text in any language.

Dr. Pinkston, professor of theory and composition, proposed a piece called “Hope,” based on the poem of the same name by Emily Dickinson. The First Parish choir will premier his completed work on June 4 in Boston.

During his 15-year tenure at Simpson University, Dr. Pinkston has won multiple composition awards and composed two symphonies, which have been performed by the North State Symphony, Shasta Symphony, and the Juneau Symphony Orchestra in Alaska.

During the 2016-17 school year, Dr. Pinkston’s composition “In This Great Expanse” was performed by the Shasta Symphony Orchestra at an outdoor concert in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, in celebration of the National Park Service’s centennial.

In October, Dr. Pinkston was a featured guest composer at a faculty concert at Vanderbilt University in Nashville that included two of his original compositions. On Dec. 11, his piece “Benedictus,” for choir and orchestra, premiered in Arlington, Texas.

In February, the Now Ensemble will perform Dr. Pinkston’s piece “Collisions XIII” at the Tutti Music Festival at Denison University in Ohio. He was chosen out of 700 applicants to have a piece in the festival.

Also in 2017, the North State Symphony will premiere his "Concerto for Violin," a work commissioned by two Shasta County arts patrons.

Learn more about Simpson University’s Music Departments and upcoming events at and


Related Links

10.04.2016 - Simpson Professor Selected as Guest Composer for Vanderbilt Concert
07.22.2016 - Simpson Professor’s Composition to Debut at Shasta Symphony Orchestra Whiskeytown Concert
04.12.2016 - Simpson Professor Composes Electronica Album
01.14.2016 - Alliance Music Publishes Composition by Simpson Professor
07.22.2013 - Alaska Symphony to Perform Work by Simpson Professor
10.22.2012 - Simpson Professor to Premiere Second Symphony
10.18.2010 - North State Symphony to Showcase Simpson Professor's First Full Symphony


Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit


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