Kevin McKinney

Kevin is a composer of diverse style, yet unique 'voice.'  Educated at the University of Georgia and the University of Western Ontario, notable composition teachers include Lewis Nielson, Peter-Paul Koprowsky, and Donald Steven.

Download his works for chorus, chamber ensemble, or keyboard and discover a new--and not at all guilty--pleasure!

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Flame In Darkness

Flame In Darkness looks back and forward, 'closing the circle of the years' at Christmastime. Emotional, but not sentimental; simple, but not simplistic. Text by the composer.

Text (1st 2 stanzas):
Pink, regretted, daylight's melting:
Candy cream upon the tongue;
Reverend benediction lingers
Half-forgotten. Children run.

Choral harmonies intone
The paradox of "Silent Night";
Running feet and parents' voices
Underscore the waning light.

(Duration: ca. 2 minutes.)

Youtube Flame In Darkness live performance video with lyrics (duet version).

Flame In Darkness (Lead sheet)

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Flame In Darkness (Duet)

Piano Vocal (optional duet) Preview

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Chamber Music (Brass)

Three Preludes To A Fanfare

This trumpet duet is the answer to a programming dilemma. Stravinsky's Fanfare For A New Theatre (1964) is a masterwork for two trumpets, but its brevity makes it difficult to program. These three contrasting preludes, composed with Stravinsky's original tone row, set up the Fanfare, making an attractive concert suite.
(Duration of the Preludes: ca. 10 minutes.)

Chamber Music (Mixed)

For The Beauty (Trio)

A passionate, colorful arrangement of the composer's original piano miniature. It combines Messaien-like whole-tone cascades with Ivesian snatches of the traditional hymn"For The Beauty Of The Earth". For The Beauty provocatively evokes the wonder, beauty, and fragility of our imperilled environment. A meditation for a small planet! (Includes two settings, a "lush" version calling for marimba, 6 mallets, and a "straightforward" version, using only 3 mallets).
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(Duration: ca. 1:36)

Bright Star

A set of developmental variations for Flute, Marimba and Cello on the gorgeous Newfoundland folk song Bright Star. Minimalist and isorhythmic techniques combine with modal harmonies and distinctively modern counterpoint in twist after twist, eventually revealing a glorious traditional melody.
Sample Preview
(Duration: ca. 11:00)

Choral Music

I Believe

An a cappella SATB setting of an excerpt from a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, as selected and translated by the composer.

I believe in all as yet unspoken.
I want to free deep faith within me
That what no-one has yet dared dream
Will once exist for me, unforced and uncontrived.

(Duration: ca. 2:40)

The Harp At Nature's Advent

A setting for SAB and piano of a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier, as excerpted in "Singing The Living Tradition." It makes a good offertory or anthem, particularly when Nature is a worship theme.

Text (1st verse):
The harp at Nature's advent strung
Has never ceased to play;
The song the stars of morning sung
Has never died away.

(Duration: ca. 2:05)

I Am A Poor Wayfaring Stranger

A setting for SATB and piano of two verses of the beloved traditional song.

Text (1st verse):
I am a poor, wayfaring stranger
Trav'ling through this world of woe
But there's no sickness, toil or danger
In that bright land to which I go.

(Duration: ca. 2:30)

Piano Music

Banish Misfortune

A set of four variations and finale upon a traditional Irish-American fiddle tune, Banish Misfortune is kinetic, energetic, good-humored and witty. A real workout for the left hand!
(Duration: ca. 6:15.)
View sample video at Youtube:
Youtube link

Fantasietta And Adagio On A Familiar Air/Londonderry Air Package

A tiny fantasia and adagio upon the famous "Londonderry Air"--often known as "Danny Boy"-- Fantasietta And Adagio begins with kinetic pentatonic gestures and chordal textures.  These gradually morph into a statement of the 'Air' disguised by displaced rhythms and octave disjunctions. It adds up to a fun 'puzzle piece' combining classical style with beautiful jazz harmonies.  In performance, it can be combined with the composer's Londonderry Air arrangement using the same chordal structure, in several different ways.  To add to the versatility, versions for both solo piano and flute and piano are included, as are Bb parts suitable for clarinet and trumpet.
(Duration: variable, according to performance option selected, but not more than ca. 2:30.)

Sample Preview

For The Beauty

A piano miniature combining Messaien-like whole-tone cascades with Ivesian snatches of the traditional hymn"For The Beauty Of The Earth". For The Beauty provocatively evokes the wonder, beauty, and fragility of our imperilled environment. A meditation for a small planet!
(Duration: 1:36.)

Sample Preview

Romantic Interlude

This piano miniature was written for the short film of the same name, which was set backstage at a production of "Alice in Wonderland." Romantic Interlude captures the wistfulness of young love, the naivete of Alice, and the quirkness of the film itself. It's a perfect morsel for Valentine's Day, or any romantic occasion!
(Duration: ca 1:50.)

Sample Preview

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(Browse the searchable catalog.)

Piano Accompaniment to Singing The Living Tradition, #368--Now Let Us Sing

Piano Accompaniment to Singing The Living Tradition, #384--Mozart Alleluia

Trumpet Descants (C & Bb) for Singing The Living Tradition, #61--Lo, the Earth Awakes Again

99-cent Lead Sheets

Lead sheets from the forthcoming album "Vivid Garbage" are available now!
Titles:  Don't Lose The Peace - Pick It Up - Vivid Garbage - Wind In The Trees   Check them out!