PURCHASE OUR NEW CD - Music from the Left Coast
Listen to excerpts below, next to comments from our composers


Music from the Left Coast: The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s featuring The Soweto Gospel Choir of South Africa in music by Christopher Tin, Dwayne S. Milburn, Ola Gjeilo and Ross Wright...

  • Wayolo Yamoni by Christopher Tin - with Victor Makhathini, Refiloe Msebenzi and The Soweto Gospel Choir of South Africa

  • Four Water Scenes by Dwayne S. Milburn - featuring Patricia Massey, Clarinet
    • In the rain...
    • By a lake...
    • On a river...
    • In the ocean...

  • Kindred Spirits by Ola Gjeilo - featuring:
    • Robert Thies, piano
    • Diane Plaster, soprano
    • The Left Coast Chamber Singers

  • Concerto for Tenor Sax by Ross Wright - featuring Phil Feather, Tenor Sax
    • Movement noir
    • Passacaglia
    • Rondo

Notes on the Recording:
Music From the Left Coast presents the world-premiere recordings of four works commissioned by the St. Matthew’s Music Guild and premiered by Conductor Thomas Neenan and The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew's.  Music at St. Matthew's, the orchestra's subscription season, offers a unique blend of old and new music in the casual atmosphere of St. Matthew's Church in Pacific Palisades, California.  The church's stunning architecture and opulent acoustics are ideal for the orchestra’s diverse musical offerings.  Since its inaugural season in 1985, the Music Guild has commissioned over thirty works by both promising young composers and those with international reputations including Tarik O'Regan, Bruce Broughton, Paul Chihara, Roger Bourland, David Newman, Maria Newman, Mary Lou Newmark, John O’Reilly, Thomas Pasatieri, Craig Philips, Sasha Matson, Alan Chan, and the  composers represented on this recording.  The orchestra’s new music initiative is made possible by over 200 subscribers, and the loyal and generous support of many individuals, foundations, and government agencies.

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The Orchestra at East West Studios, Hollywood CA.

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Christopher Tin

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Waloyo Yamoni (We Overcome The Wind) is my setting of a Lango rainmaking prayer.  It was  commissioned by St. Matthew’s Music Guild with support from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and premiered by the Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s in 2012. When approached by Tom Neenan for a new work fusing together African choral and Western orchestral traditions, I was in the process of planning a major new work about water, and was looking for texts that could fit well within that theme.  Tom foundcelli the English version of the text, and with the help of some colleagues in Nairobi, I was able to find the text in the original Lango.  Musically, the piece uses a lot of the trademarks of African choral music, such as call-and-response, interplay between soloist and chorus, and improvisation.  These are set within an episodic structure; one by one, motifs are introduced and developed, and then set aside until the recapitulation, where they all come crashing together in the grand finale...Christopher Tin

Cellists Robin Guyett-Neenan and Rachel Coosaia


Dwayne Milburn

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Four Water ScenesShortly after accepting the commission to write Four Water Scenes, I developed a brief case of writer’s block, primarily because I hadn’t decided what I needed to ‘say’ about the clarinet.  Fortunately, I recalled an earlier conversation I’d had with a fellow composer/arranger inWinds which we both agreed that the clarinet (in the right hands) was among the most ‘liquid’ of all the instruments, flowing easily not only through the different colors on an individual instrument, but showing marvelous unity of sound through the entire clarinet family.  From this arose the concept of a four movement work representing one person caught in a playful rainstorm, gazing at the gentle ripples of a peaceful lake, taking an exhilarating trip down a river, and ending up adrift in the middle of the ocean.  Melodies of previous scenes, concluding with the opening notes of the rainstorm, make brief appearances and sum up the work before yielding to the clarinet sustaining one lone note that represents one person drifting further from ocean’s shore. The work, like several of the Music Guild’s commissions, is scored for strings and single winds. Four Water Scenes was commissioned in honor of the orchestra’s longtime Principal Clarinetist, Patricia Massey, and was premiered in 2007...Dwayne S. Milburn
Members of the wind section - Stephanie O'Keefe, Rachel Berry, David Sarachene, Nancy Gilman Marfisi.


Ola Gjeilo

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Kindred Spirits was composed in 2011 on commission from St. Matthew’sTomYiHuan Music Guild with support from the MacTon Foundation. The work is dedicated to the memory of Donn B. Miller and is a setting of the poem O Solitude! by the English Romantic poet John Keats.Throughout the work, I strived to depict musically Keats’ poem in a way that is solemn, wistful, and, towards the end, with a playful lightness. Originally conceived for eight solo voices, piano, strings, and wind quintet, the choral parts in this recording are performed by the twenty-four voices of The Left Coast Chamber Singers. Ola Gjeilo Concertmaster Yi-Huan Zhao and Conductor Thomas Neenan


Ross Wright

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Concerto for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra. When Tom asked me to write a saxophone concerto for Phil Feather I was very excited. Phil, who is primarily known in Los Angeles as a fine oboeist,  has the rare talent of being able to play many musical styles extremely well and can play a plethora of woodwind instruments at an expert level. Most sax concertos are for alto saxophone. I had never heard a concerto – especially one written in a classical Philidiom – for tenor saxophone, so I figured I needed to write one. Because the tenor sax is a little less refined than alto, I wanted to take up the challenge of featuring tenor with a very refined chamber orchestra. I had the image of the tenor sax being something of a fish out of water (or out of a very beautiful pond). Each movement is in a traditional classical form: sonata-allegro; passacaglia, and rondo. In spite of the use of classical forms, I wanted the piece to have an improvisatory quality. I also wanted to combine an edgy jazz feel with a refined classical sound. Knowing Phil’s abilities and the nimbleness of The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s, I was sure they could pull off moving between the two worlds easily. The concerto was commissioned in 2003 in honor of the orchestra’s longtime Principal Oboe, Phil Feather... Ross Wright Saxophonist Phil Feather
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