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Philip Orem

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Philip Orem


Philip Orem (b. 1959, Lexington, Ky.) is an American composer.

After receiving his B.M. and M.M. in piano performance from Northwestern University, he relocated to Los Angeles where he earned a diploma in composition and arranging from the Grove School of Music. His composition and orchestration teachers have included M. William Karlins, Alan Stout, John P. Paynter, Dick Grove, David Angel, Will Schaefer and Don Owens. Now back in the Chicago area, he is actively involved in musical theater and church and synagogue and is a much sought after arranger.

Orem’s varied catalog includes music for orchestra, including concertos for flute, oboe, clarinet, alto saxophone and horn as well as works with solo voice and choir. His music for wind ensembles ranges in difficulty from college wind ensemble to junior high concert band. Chamber music includes brass quintets, a brass sextet, a wind quintet, a saxophone quartet, several pieces for violin, oboe, clarinet, alto saxophone with piano or organ as well as solo pieces for piano, organ, harp, and marimba . He has written extensively for voice, including eight song cycles and collections with texts by Wendell Berry, Paul Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Christina Rossetti and William Shakespeare. His large choral output includes music for both church and synagogue.

He has been awarded an NEA Meet the Composer/Midwest grant by Arts Midwest. and in 2014 he was winner of Best Choral Work in Labor of Love Composition Contest for Composers and Songwriters, for his setting of Langston Hughes’ I Dream a World. He was recently commissioned to write It Is as Simple as Breathing by the Verona Area Concert Band in memory of Ed Senechal, a dear friend and one of the VACB’s founders. He also was commissioned to write From Darkness to Light, A Tribute to Nelson Mandela by the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band.

Works for Winds