Passionate about advocacy through choral music, Michael Bussewitz-Quarm (b. 1971) is a New York-based composer, conductor, and educator. His published music catalog spans more than 20 years of composing activity and more than 30 vocal and choral works that have been premiered by youth voices, church choirs, professional singers and community choruses throughout the United States and Canada.
Michael’s most recent works include “The Road That Has No End”, commissioned by the Huntington Choral Society, and the final edition of Requiem Dies Magna, premiered by Long Island Voices and Sound Symphony under Michael’s direction at Saint Peter’s by-the-Sea in Bay Shore, NY this past September. This event, “A Concert for Peace”, was a benefit concert supporting two local organizations: 9-1-1 Veterans, Inc, www.911Veterans.com and F.I.S.T. http://www.familiesinsupportoftreatment.com. In 2010, Michael was honored as “Person of the Year in the Arts” by both the Rocky Point Lions Club and the Beacon Record Newspapers group.
First and foremost a composer, Michael created the “Child Refugee Awareness” Choral Consortium Project, “Hope for Recovery” Choral Consortium, both premiered in the fall of 2017, and “The Great American Choral Reef” to be premiered on Earth Day, 2018. With these songs, Michael hopes to bring attention to the children of the global refugee crisis, families struggling with opioid addiction, as well as the urgency to respond to climate change. The cornerstone work of his catalog, Requiem Dies Magna, was composed with the intention of healing and to honor the first responders and survivors of the 9/11 attacks. It has grown to speak to those who have survived the loss of a loved one. and the complex stages of grief and path to finding peace. The first edition of Requiem Dies Magna was premiered in 2010 and broadcast on Public Radio East. Its separate movements have also been performed by the Gregg Smith Singers, Long Island Symphonic Choral Association and Long Island Voices. Michael’s choral compositions include settings to poems as diverse as those by Eugene Field (“The Dual” of gingham dog and calico cat fame), Robert Frost (“The Pasture”) and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (“Daybreak” and “The Rainy Day”). The song “If They Could Speak” for soprano solo and piano marks Michael’s collaboration with contemporary designer and poet Roseanne Pellicane and honors the firefighters who lost their lives at the World Trade Center. Deeply rooted in community, Michael composed “The Silver Swan” in memory of Pfc Joseph Dwyer, a medic from Long Island who lost his battle with PTSD. He has also championed local poet Bill Batcher in his a cappella work “I Am Here”.
The composer’s catalog includes works of many ability levels, making his music accessible to all kinds of both amateur and professional choruses, from elementary and high school through to college and community choirs and church choirs.
Michael attended Ithaca College (B.Mus.Ed.) and Queens College (M.S.) and has studied piano performance with Walt Multer and Mary Ann Covert. Michael taught in the New York State public school system, and has been the Director of Music Ministry at the Smithtown United Methodist Church of Smithtown, NY and the First Presbyterian Church of Port Jefferson, NY.
Michael is also active in advocating for the transgender community. “It is my fervent wish to spread knowledge and understanding of the transgender community through my music, my public speaking, and by simply being present in the lives of the people surrounding me.”
If you would like to follow Michael’s choral projects, premieres, and regional events, visit MBQStudio.com, scroll to the bottom of the page, and sign up for his monthly newsletter.