STUNNED! ABSOLUTELY STUNNED! I had heard ~ for years ~ about Michael Bussewitz-Quarm as a CONDUCTOR and an activist. Last night I saw him conduct Long Island Voices and Sound Symphony in “A Concert for Peace” ~ a benefit for veterans and F.I.S.T. ~ Families in Support of Treatment for their work in providing hope and help for those in recovery. But last night I also saw him as a COMPOSER. His compositions are amazing! He is a stunning talent in our midst. His “Requiem Dies Magna” dedicated to 9/11 firefighters, rescue workers & first responders is a masterful work. The other pieces about opioid epidemic casualties, international refugees and others took us through pain and loss without ever letting go of hope & healing. Bravo! A great job by all…
-The Rev. Dwight Lee Wolter, Congregational Church of Patchogue
“For the Beauty is a beautiful piece. Easy to learn and inspiring to sing. A beautiful mix of classical and contemporary. Perfect for worship and non-worship settings”
-Carl J. Ferrera, Director, The Silver Chords of Smithtown, New York
The story of the radium girls was unfamiliar to me until I read the text and knew immediately I wanted in on this project. As director of MYO’s Treble Voiced Symphonic Choir, I have a deep interest in social justice, female empowerment, and world music. We all loved Radium Girl, with its haunting melody and its’ eerie overtones symbolizing the radium attacking the bodies of the young women. Since Michael is a MYO parent and fairly sought after composer, I was thrilled to have my choir perform Radium Girl. Having Michael come and work with the girls made the whole piece even more memorable. They spent over an hour, giving feedback, conducting the choir and helped bring a deeper appreciation of the work. Michael’s kindness and patience with my singers were evident in the open discussion at the end of rehearsal, where every question was answered. It is my hope that we get to collaborate again in the near future. Thank you, Michael, for your talent, your compassion and for being YOU
-Louise O’Hanlon, Director of Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York’s Treble Voiced Symphonic Choir
Michael is an excellent musician with a clear, engaging musical voice. She has the ability to work quickly and flexibly with collaborating musicians and composes music that is both topical and accessible, while never vapid. Being a conductor herself she understands the learning process, the abilities of singers, and the need to write music that fits the voice. I highly recommending collaborating with this excellent musician and person.
-Dr. Allan Friedman, Director, Women’s Voices Chorus of Chapel Hill
Michael and Chantal’s collaboration on ‘Only Time to Love’, commissioned by the Women’s Voices Chorus of Chapel Hill, NC, is a piece of breathtaking beauty and depth. Rarely have we sung a piece where the poetry and music truly combine to create something approaching divine. These two remarkable people have left a mark on my heart.
-Shelley Hedtke, Soprano 2, Women’s Voices Chorus of Chapel Hill
My treble chorus commissioned Michael as part of the “Radium Girl” consortium. The experience was an incredibly rewarding one. I was in contact with Michael throughout the process, and they were able to use information about my singers and our abilities to inform their piece. They were very flexible and open to new ideas when I suggested using “singing bells” since my singers were struggling with overtone singing. The piece itself was lovely and powerful, yet accessible for my young (15-16 year old) singers. The poetic text and expressive text-setting led to fruitful discussions of social justice issues with my singers, and how art can shed light on these issues. The most rewarding component of the whole experience, however, was our two Skype sessions with Michael. Michael asked for a recording of my choir prior to the sessions so they could give us some feedback, and they really made my singers feel proud of our work on the piece. They were very open and answered questions from my singers about their creative process, their inspiration, and their life as a composer. They asked my singers questions that made them think deeply about the music and the subject matter. For my singers to have this kind of personal interaction with a composer throughout the commission process was incredibly valuable. The consortium made this commission affordable for my public school ensemble. We will certainly be participating in another project soon.
-Sara Cowan, Choral Director, Omaha Central High School