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Bill Heigen is a wonderful musician and a great colleague. His ensemble singing skills are top-notch, and it’s been a pleasure to sing with him these past few years. As an occasional choral composer myself, I envy the seeming ease with which he creates choral works that are satisfying to the audience and gratifying to the singers.
I had the pleasure of rehearsing and recording Bill Heigen’s music in January of 2019 with a small group of marvelous choral singers. Bill’s music is gorgeous, nuanced, complex yet accessible, and a joy to sing. I enjoyed our entire process, from start to finish, on musical, and personal, as well as emotional levels. Bill has an amazing ability to communicate through his music, and is also wonderfully open about describing his process to his collaborators, an attribute that not only makes his music sound great but also inspires the performers of his music. Every aspect of the experience was professional, rigorous, and very enjoyable. I can’t recommend highly enough the music of Bill Heigen, and the experience working with him directly as a musician.
Excellent voice, check. Terrific musicianship, check. And even Perfect Pitch, check. Bill Heigen has all these qualities but what makes them spectacularly wonderful to work with is that he is also utterly reliable and dependable. He is the colleague you want on the project with you so that you can relax and know that everything will go as well as it possibly can.
I came across Bill through his Choral Good Vibes Project work. I loved the feel he gave to some of his charts, particularly the contemporary snippets arranged in Choral stye. I admire his commitment and complete dedication to his passion of Choral music. This is very evident in his composing.
I commissioned Bill to do a full piece, George Michaels FREEDOM. Bill was very open in this process, allowing me to have artistic input at the beginning; and on completion with a couple of small edits. It is important to stress that Bill gave me the feeling he was working for me/us, not his ego. Bill was gracious about my input, incorporating all my suggestions in an efficient and respectful manner. More importantly, Bill completed all tasks including sending the final files on time, as agreed.
I would thoroughly recommend Bill’s work to any choir or group looking for a different Choral take on contemporary music.
I’ve worked with Bill on a variety of projects in my NYC professional career, ranging from jazz/contemporary & standard acappella, to recording projects, to collaboration on choral & theater works. He is my favored collaborator, someone I trust to not only provide his own compositions and arrangements for various projects, but also to bring clarity and conciseness to any compositions & arrangements I’ve done myself. He does these things thanks to his extensive experience and study of sound and music, and what works best in vocal music.
Bill is the first person I contact for original works, arrangements, collaborations, or when I need an extremely trusted mind & ear to bounce my own ideas off of. His intuitive grasp of harmonic interplay, the capabilities of the human voice, and composer’s sensibilities make him an extremely valuable asset for any project.
Bill Heigen’s choral music is intelligent, atmospheric, and a joy to sing.
Bill Heigen breathes life into his compositions. The Five Stages of Loss is not simply a work of notes put to text; it is an emotional journey through grief, imploring, and acceptance. It is a masterpiece of choral literature that requires the personal emotional commitment of a Broadway performer. It is truly a moving work, both for the singer and audience alike. Few pieces of choral literature will pull at the listener’s heart-strings like this one.
Composer Bill Heigen is a bright young light, writing music that bypasses unnecessary complexity, speaking directly, and with a balance of passion and intelligence. And, on top of that, he is a delight to work with! Beyond his incredible talent as a composer, Bill is a beautiful tenor singer – not only exquisite tone, but high-level musicianship in every way, and a real find either as a soloist or as an ensemblist. Bill and I have worked together as commissioned composer-conductor; composer hiring conductor for a premiere; conductor hiring a tenor for an ensemble need. Multi-faceted professional interactions, all rewarding!
Bubbles is a fun, light-hearted piece that’s enjoyable for both the singers and the audience. The lyrical lines are clear and the harmonies stirring. Even though it’s for 8 part chorus, the writing makes it is accessible for choirs of a variety of skill levels. The best part, however, is the improvisation section in the middle. This is a great way to get your choir to step outside of the box and try something they might not be used to. We used it as our concert closer and it was definitely a hit.
I’ve had the pleasure of performing regularly with Bill for the past few years. His work is both beautiful and important. Songs of Sorrow was an incredible experience that pushed the boundaries of what we typically sing about. It’s an honor and a privilege to perform his work and/or perform with him. I look forward to many more years of his creative genius.
Bill Heigen’s music is crafted very carefully and with great attention to matching the text and music. “Set me as a seal” quickly became a favorite of the Chancel Choir at First Congregational Church of Greenwich during their rehearsals leading up to its inclusion in worship. As Bill had sung with the choir on a few occasions, it was even more special to them since they knew him and had welcomed him into our community. I look forward to programming more of Bill’s music in the future.
Self-Awareness Missa Brevis – “Composers of Choral Music Community Silver Platter Award”. The parts are very approachable, the range is reasonable and the overall effect is stirring. I hear a kaleidoscope of color within each movement and throughout the work as a whole. The harmonies are full and enticing yet approached in each part with excellent voice leading. This would be a pleasant change from more traditional Mass settings.
The compositions of Bill Heigen reflect his diverse talents as a singer, conductor, composer, and performer. His choral works are finely crafted and they have a beauty of lyricism with a most interesting harmonic palette. At times, there are challenges, but there is a direct communication which results in music that is very moving for the performers and for the listeners. Bill Heigen is a very fine composer and beloved colleague. His music is a treasure.
Bill is a wonderful and talented colleague. Our group thoroughly enjoyed working with him both as a composer and a conductor. His music is boldly tonal and well constructed and it feels quite organic and natural to perform: the most important hallmark of a composer who knows the voice well.
Bill brings people what true joy is through his various works in Jazz, Gospel, and Classical music with the addition of his own musical taste. His music can communicate with audiences and move their hearts. Also, with his sense of humor, he brings people to laugh and creates a relaxing atmosphere, which unites people’s hearts. Everyone loves his pure and beautiful philosophy of music.
Upon crossing paths early last year, Bill Heigen has been on my radar as an exceptional composer and musician. The power of pieces such as Voca me and Ave Maria lends a wonderful freshness supplying new harmonic passages and surprising changes keeping the musicians ‘on their toes’ and leaving the listeners exhilarated. My professional vocal ensemble relishes the opportunities to sing Bill’s energetically moving pieces as he continues to capture the essence of the underlying movement propelling the music and text to a superb ending. I am so glad you have burst upon the music and (more specifically) the choral scene!
“Wesley Choir’s Heigen commission (06-2015) “They that wait upon the Lord” SSATB, a powerfully set A section flowing into a quickly soaring B section touched with some polyphony, returning to the solidity of A, ending in a flourish as a “coda” B zenith encompassing the strength and stability of God Almighty and the completely non-oppressive energy available to those who serve and follow His commands. Bill has captured the essence of Isaiah 40:31 KJV in this challenging piece which is fun to sing and experiential to the listener. Another winner through the pen of Bill Heigen!
Bill is an extraordinarily versatile composer who, due to his profound knowledge of various musical styles and epoques, is able to draw his ideas out of many sources, and disposes of a vast musical vocabulary. His sacral, as well as his secular pieces, excel by a broad musical potential showing up in intensity of expression as to tonality and voice treatment, mastership in combining traditional and progressive musical ideas, and in particular by the sophisticated architecture especially of his sacral works that appeal equally to heart and mind.
Listen to the “Self Awareness Missa Brevis” or his “Ave Verum Corpus”, just to take one of many examples, and you will know what I mean. This is why I have entrusted several of my English texts to him to be set into music. The way he opens the musical dimension of language makes him an outstanding vocal composer. I am convinced that Bill Heigen will soon be known to everyone in the world who enjoys vocal music.
I’ve had the pleasure of recording much of Bill’s Heigen’s Choral Good Vibes Project, and I am always delighted and touched by his arrangements. He strikes that elusive balance between sophistication and simplicity. A keen sense of melody and counterpoint makes each part a musical thought all its own, and the harmonic result is beautiful. Bill turns pop songs into acapella renaissance masterpieces!
Bill’s music came to my attention when I discovered his Ave Maria, a piece of beautiful simplicity and purity with surprisingly dramatic harmonies. It allowed my choir and our soloist to imagine vividly a situation in which they might feel these emotions and pray these words. We are definitely looking forward to our next Heigen piece.
Bill is an absolutely amazing musician, a talented singer (tenor, alto, and even some soprano!) as well as an excellent composer! He has recorded several projects recently with me, including the alto and tenor lines of Thomas Tallis’ “Lamentations of Jeremiah. With flawless pitch, he is a great musical asset and friend!
I’ve worked with Bill in multiple capacities since we met. He has an incredible instrument and a fantastic attitude. He is always willing to help you with whatever your particular need may be, and he’s a very kind and engaging vocal instructor. He is passionate about what he does and equally passionate about helping you with what you do!
In “Songs of Sorrow,” Bill Heigen not only provided beautiful, vocally astute music for singers. He also had the bravery to tackle some of the deepest, most painful topics humans confront: pain, powerlessness, defeat — both in selections of poetry and in texts he wrote himself. Singing such personal music was an occasion to enter into a composer’s very private sphere and an honor.
Bill is the dream collaborator. He is generous, kind, superbly organized, and meticulously detailed. His singing is both gentle and fierce, and his compositions are a singer’s delight – oozing with beauty, meaning and heart. He is someone you want on your team, and any opportunity to work with him is a gift!
As a conductor of several international choirs, including the SIPA Chorale, Columbia University, it was my pleasure to invite Bill Heigen to join my Estonian Choir. Bill is an excellent singer, but he is actually much more than that. He is the consummate musician who looks at an entire score and understands it from the perspective of a composer. In addition, his work ethic is pristine. I could always count on Bill for his timeliness and excellent preparation, and only wish I could have more singers like Bill.
Quando dei a primeira olhada no Ave Verum de Bill Heigen, vi que não se tratava de mais um compositor que queria escrever música com texto sacro, e sim de alguém que traduziu em música o verdadeiro sentido do texto latino com elegância e dramaticidade. Para nós foi um deleite ensaiar e poder executar esta obra.
Bill is a brilliant performer and composer! As a section leader at St. Michael’s and member of the pro-octet, he has been the consummate professional – always knows his part, respectfully helps the amateur singers in his section, and inspires others to be better musicians. As a soloists, he is incredibly versatile in his ability to shift from one genre to another. As a composer, I’ve commissioned Bill for numerous works, and St. Michael’s has really enjoyed all the works he’s brought to us. His compositions are really engaging, accessible for the modern listener, and always so skillfully, beautifully, and masterfully composed. I recommend Bill without reservation!
Bill is a wonderful musician a great collaborator and a sensitive artist. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Bill on many concerts with the National Chorale and I can say that not only is he an excellent composer but a fine singer. He is the type of musician that every conductor dreams of having as a part of an ensemble. He is well respected by his colleagues, he has excellent pitch, he’s an outstanding musician, he sings beautifully and he is a team player. I am delighted to have him as a part of our organization.