“[W]hat is lovely is how the Director of Music [at St. David’s] participates as well…not only directing the choir as the pièce de résistance at the end [of the Bach Marathon], but also on organ and piano.”

 Judith Krummeck, WBJC Baltimore, 3/20/2015

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“[At] the annual Orkney Composers’ Course concert, one of the most satisfying aspects…was the sheer diversity and variety of creative thinking displayed by the eight emerging composers whose music was performed. A wide range of skills was on show too. Some pieces…were notable for their structure; others, such as Ri Marannan by Douglas Buchanan, for their ability to get under the skin of their core material…”

Carol Main, The Scotsman, 6/28/2013

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“Douglas Buchanan’s Eingang is a setting of three sensual, highly atmospheric poems with music to match. The slippery string sounds and wild vocal leaps in the opening ‘Eine Buhne’ exerted a strong pull, as did the fugal interlude between the last two songs and, in particular, the lyrical, chordal closing moments that suggested a gentle landing in a tonal zone.”

Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun, 12/10/2012

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“The orchestra’s annual Young Composer’s Competition winner was Douglas Buchanan’s Malleus, an orchestral work inspired by the Salem Witch Hunts. Now a student of Michael Hersch, Buchanan shares his teacher’s sense of creative imperative: Malleus clearly needed to be written with all manner of orchestral upheaval. Pedal-to-the-metal percussion eventually made way for a humble, hymnlike tune played by the winds, reminding you of the pious bedrock on which this sorry piece of American history was born.”

David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/24/2012

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“[T]he spectacular vocal piece “Goblin Market” (based on the poem by Christina Rossetti)….was even a bit scarier–and more ethereally beautiful–than it sounds….[U]nder Buchanan’s intense conducting, Elisabeth Halliday, Bonnie Lander, and Robert Maril sang Rossetti’s disturbing poem beautifully.”

Baynard Woods, What Weekly, 04/01/2012

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“Buchanan has a knack for summoning massive sonic blows, reminiscent in impact of the kind John Corigliano can unleash. The hammering passages in the taut score are filled with terrific orchestral color and wieght, not to mention feeling….The composer’s eventful score is not all percussive outbursts; a contrasting passage that pits fragile piccolo phrases floating above ominously rumbling basses has an especially haunting quality…This is very clear, personal music.”

Tim Smith, Review of Malleus, The Baltimore Sun, 10/25/2011

Testimonials ~

“Doug was the perfect choice for a composer to collaborate with me on a short operatic version of The Tempest for young audiences. His music, which ranges from whimsy to grandeur, perfectly matched the Shakespeare play; his tunefulness and rhythmic energy enthralled both children and their parents. And I chose his haunting setting of Caliban’s ‘Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises’ to be sung at the ceremony marking my own retirement.”

Roger Brunyate

Director Emeritus, the Peabody Opera

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“I have had the pleasure of working with Doug Buchanan in multiple contexts. I was honored to premiere the lead role in his opera Lux et Tenebrae, and I have also worked alongside him as a singer, sung under his baton in multiple performances, taken part in his choral ensembles, and benefited from his tutelage. Doug is a rare breed of musician, equally strong in many areas! Doug’s music is fresh, beautiful, and inspired; and as a conductor he is always professional, creative, and unfailingly kind. I have been touched many times by his generosity, and his willingness to go above and beyond for his colleagues; he was one of the first people I thought of when I wanted to work on my musicianship skills and I am always delighted to collaborate with him! ”

Nola Richardson, Soprano

Member, Voxtet, and the Yale Camerata and Schola Cantorum 

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“I have had the privilege of studying composition, orchestration, and counterpoint, with Doug. He possesses an incredible wealth of knowledge and compositional vision, and his dynamic energy is incredibly infectious. His teaching style is thoughtful, comprehensive, collaborative, and empowering. Doug seeks to understand his students’ thought-process and guide them towards developing their individual artistic voice and language. Because of the warm, creative safe space he creates, I always left my composition lessons excited to create and looked forward to the next session. He continues to be an advisor and a friend, and I am incredibly fortunate to have worked with such a phenomenal teacher and mentor. I would highly recommend studying with him.”

Jamie Leidwinger, Composer

Intern to the Artistic Director, Symphony Space and Q2/WQXR Intern
Matriculating Student, The Peabody Conservatory Graduate Class of ’18

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“Few educators are able to cater to the personality of a classroom while synthesizing the core contents with a delightful sense of humor. I am lucky and grateful to call Dr. Buchanan one of my private teachers, who helped me harness my creative energy into several compositions including my first choral work which made its debut performance in Germany.”

Kellen McKay, Songwriter and Touring Musician

Frontman, Stacked Like Pancakes

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“On behalf of the Music and Liturgy committee, thank you for the excellent anthem reading session you facilitated for the Diocesan Music Retreat this year.  Your anthem choices, ranging from two part and three part selections for small choirs, to challenging works for large choirs, were all well received.”

Ken Brown, Canon for Music and Worship

Cathedral of the Incarnation, Baltimore

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“Doug’s approach to the reading session was spot-on; he knew his audience, and masterfully tailored his repertoire choices to provide the maximum value for all involved. I have never walked away from one of these events with so much varied, new, useful, and beautiful music in hand. I’d certainly want to attend any future events he might give at any future conference!”

Brian Bartoldus, DMA

Artistic Director, Third Practice; Director of Music, Frederick Presbyterian Church

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“Doug did all of the engraving for the score and parts to my concerto for toy piano and wind ensemble, Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death. It’s nearly impossible to exaggerate the difficultly that this project entailed: cutaways, unmetered music for large ensemble, copious extended techniques, etc. The work Doug did was visually beautiful and meticulous. Not only that, but he was incredibly responsive and responsible in getting things to me in a timely fashion.

Tl;dr: HIRE HIM! You won’t regret it.”

David Smooke, PhD

Theory Faculty, the Peabody Conservatory

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“Doug has published my Capriccio for trombone and wind ensemble for a number of years, and I can’t say enough about the quality of his work. A skilled engraver, Doug thoughtfully and sensibly added cues and rehearsal letters, edited parts for page turns, and ultimately arrived at a final product that is clean and professional whether you order the piece in digital PDF or traditional hard copy. Doug’s talents as an engraver and publisher have allowed me to allocate more of my energy to the creative side of the process, and that has been extremely satisfying for me. I would highly recommend working with him.”

Frank Gulino, Composer and Bass Trombonist

Edwards Artist


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