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Daniel Knaggs

Daniel Knaggs’ music is heard regularly in concert halls, churches, and radio broadcasts throughout the world. He is a concert composer creating vocal and instrumental music ranging from solo and chamber to orchestral works. He loves focusing his efforts on projects such as his 50-year Ave Maria Project (2005-2054) for which he is composing a new Ave Maria each year for fifty years.  His recent choral commissions include works for Trinity College Choir of Cambridge, the Houston Chamber Choir, and a commission from Choir & Organ Magazine for the Choir of Royal Holloway (University of London).


Knaggs’s work has received a number of national and international awards. His first prize awards include the International Musica Sacra Competition (2011, Poland), the International Competition “David Maria Turoldo” (2012, Italy), the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir’s International Commission Competition (2010), the Foundation for Sacred Arts International Composer Competition (2010, USA), and both the Michigan (2011) and Illinois (2012) Music Teachers Association Composer Competitions. Knaggs was also second place winner of the Third Millenium Ensemble’s Composer Competition (2011), and a finalist in the SCI/ASCAP Commission Competition (2014), the American Prize (2015), the Young New Yorkers Chorus Composer Competition (2011), and the Minnesota Choral Arts Ensemble Commissioning Competition (2010).

Increasingly sought after as a composer, Knaggs has been most recently commissioned by Trinity College Choir of Cambridge (Stephen Layton, cond.), VOCES8, Wells Cathedral Choir (Matthew Owens, cond.), Choir & Organ Magazine/Choir of the Royal Holloway (Rupert Gough, cond.), Jesus College choristers of Cambridge (Mark Williams, cond.), Kinetic: The Conductorless Ensemble (Natalie Lin, leader), The Houston Chamber Choir (Robert Simpson, cond.), Houston Children’s Chorus (Stephen Roddy, cond.), the Yale Norfolk Summer Choral Festival (Simon Carrington, dir.), The University of Michigan Chamber Choir (Jerry Blackstone, cond.), Texas Tech University Choir (Richard Bijella, cond.), the Iowa State Singers (James Rodde, cond.), Vicennium Void, South Bend Chamber Singers (Nancy Menk, cond.), Musiqa of Houston, Da Camera Young Artist Program, Te Deum Chamber Choir (Matthew Shepard, cond.), The Michigan Festival of Sacred Music, Kingwood High School Choirs, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, and both the Michigan and Illinois State Music Teachers Associations.

Performers of his work include the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bellas Artes Chamber Orchestra (Mexico City), Trinity College Choir of Cambridge (UK), VOCES8 (UK), the Vancounver Chamber Choir (Canada), the Houston Chamber Choir, Ars Nova Coral da UFMG (Brazil), Le Madrigal de Lille (France), Ensemble à ContreVoix (Canada), the Polish Chamber Choir, Jauna Muzika (Lithuania), the Choir of Royal Holloway (UK), the London Contemporary Church Music Festival (UK), Jesus College choristers of Cambridge (UK), Northwestern University Brass Ensemble,  the San Antonio Chamber Choir, Houston Children’s Chorus, the Basilica Choir of the National Shrine, the American Creators’ Chorus, the University of Michigan Orpheus Singers and Chamber Choir, Choral Arts Initiative, Third Millenium Ensemble, Xanthos Ensemble, Great Noise Ensemble, Young New Yorkers’ Chorus, South Bend Chamber Singers, Rice University Campanile Orchestra, Boston Metro Opera, Coenobium Vocale and I Piccoli Musici (Italy), Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Deciduous Trio, Audivi Vocem, Indiana University NOTUS choir, Cor Cantiamo, and the Donald Sinta Quartet.

Knaggs completed his doctorate in music composition (2017) at the Shepherd School of Music (Rice University) and his master’s degree in music composition at Bowling Green State University in 2009, and graduated in 2007 from the University of Michigan with bachelor’s degrees in voice performance and Spanish. His composition teachers include Bright Sheng, Marilyn Shrude, Karim Al-Zand, Pierre Jalbert, and Arthur Gottschalk. Daniel was a full-time high school Spanish teacher for three years (2009-2012). He is now the Director of Music at St. Martha Catholic Church in Kingwood, TX where he directs both the main choir and the children’s choir and is a lecturer at Rice University where he teaches Theory (aural skills).

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