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James Oppenheimer
  • Male
  • Hyde Park, NY
  • United States
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  • William J. Joel
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  • Chris Dargay
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  • Martha Maria / Dogwood Daughter


  • 1.
    Fantasy on Coventry Carol
  • 2.
    Requiem Aeternam (from Requiem)
  • 3.
    Agnus Dei (from Requiem)
  • 4.
    I AM the Resurrection (from Requiem)
  • 5.
    Melody and Variations
  • 6.
    Adagio grazioso
  • 7.
    Jingly Belles -- a little fantasia on a familiar tune for solo piano
  • 8.
    Valkill Rag
  • 9.
    easter hymn -- organ version revised Mar 2009

James Oppenheimer's Discussions

Variations on a Carol

Started this discussion. Last reply by James Oppenheimer Dec 30, 2010. 2 Replies

"Coventry Carol" has always fascinated me for some reason. Maybe it's because it's the only carol that pays attention to the slaughter of The Holy Innocents. I love the sound of the solo recorder in…Continue

Oppenheimer -- Theme and Variations

Started this discussion. Last reply by James Oppenheimer Oct 8, 2009. 4 Replies

I originally wrote the theme -- the first stanza, actually -- while in high school. I tinkered with it, made a brass piece out of it in college, and more recently, decided to make a more polished…Continue

Comments on my pieces

Started this discussion. Last reply by James Oppenheimer Oct 23, 2009. 20 Replies

I have uploaded three pieces, and have a few remarks about each.They are all exported as MP3 files out of Finale, the platform for all of my composition. Thus the sound is synthesizer. That's giving…Continue

Here it is

Started this discussion. Last reply by Shad Young Oct 3, 2009. 1 Reply

I have solved the mp3 problem and have posted two compositions on my page.One, a Rag, which I call the Valkill Rag in honor of the site, Valkill, which is just a short walk from my house. It's in the…Continue


James Oppenheimer's Page

Profile Information

What have you composed for? Or what medium do you work around?
Choir, Small Ensemble
What is your favorite genre or style of music?
Early music
Is music your main income source?
No - Not at all.
Where do you live?
Hyde Park, New York
About Me (Must include at least one paragraph of biographical information about you as a composer) - blank or minimal answers on this line will cause your request to be rejected. Include a link to your website if you have one.
I'm a Rehabilitation Counselor, retired after 35 years. I've composed for many years, but have only recently become more serious, taking composition lessons.
I have sung in choirs for a long time, and have played early music instruments for a long time. I compose mostly for choir and recorder ensembles.

My primary group is the Adirondack Baroque Consort. Our web site is
Founded in 1955, the ABC is the oldest continuously active early music group in the United States.
I am also a member of the Saint John's Recorder Ensemble and several choirs.
I have been composing works for these groups for some time with mixed results.
They have all performed works of mine.
Most of my work is small pieces for the recorder ensemble. Many of these have been performed but are unpublished. Part of my Requiem was performed and recorded a few years ago. This is a piece for organ, piano, flute, violin, cello and choir.
I am very fortunate in that I do not have any need to make any profit from my work. I simply do not wish to be involved in the work of copywriting and marketing. I am happier to allow my work to be freely available. I have put a number of my works on
where they are freely available for download. I get word from time to time that a work of mine is being played in New Zealand or Texas, and this is what I hoped would happen.
I am not aware of any composer here with interests like mine, and I have to wonder if this is a place for the type of work I am doing.

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Comment Wall (3 comments)

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At 10:35pm on October 11, 2009, Chris Dargay said…
And yet I find another amazingly talented individual. Requiem + Adagio are stellar. Thank you!
At 4:30pm on October 7, 2009, Martha Maria / Dogwood Daughter said…
Hi James, thanks for your note. I agree with you completely about varying up things a little bit, in general, especially with instrumental music. That doesn't hold however, in songwriting, especially the Nashville school of songwriting which I follow a kind of have to keep it simple and repetitive for the average fact, there are very specific Nashville rules ( all made to be broken, once mastered)
about the 'hook' and the number of repetitions needed to make it 'catchy' to the average, unschooled listening public. With my songs, I'm generally going for that. I've written a few 'art' songs and certainly, they are different. I do know what you mean about being too close to your own work to be objective. This site is very helpful with that. I also have a co-writer in Nashville that I value as an obejective ear for some of my solo work. He was my co-writer for "Roll On Titan Thunder" (you know, Titan football in Nashville.) Dan is a master of the songwriting format, has over a hundred cuts with Sinatra, Barry Manilow, Dionne Warwick, too many to name. It's all about the intended audience. Be well. I think you have a LOT of talent. When did you start playing? Did you play by ear when you were a child? You seem to have natural musical instincits. Martha
At 7:00am on October 6, 2009, Martha Maria / Dogwood Daughter said…
Hi James, I'm listening to your Easter Hymn variations right now. I reached your page by way of Shad's. Reading your discussion, I see you also have been influenced by early music. I used to play in a little early music band, but have gone digital. I like this minor variation very much. Now, I've moved on to another which is also beautiful. This is VERY good work. This slow one is terrific....has a tragic, solemn sense.....adds a very nice contrast. Speaking of contrast, mixing up the register the melody is played in as well as dynamics might add more interest for the ear. I know these are played on FINALE and I don't know how that works, I don't have any computer equipment, though I keep thinking I will learn. So maybe dynamics are hard to mange with FINALE? This final variation has a very brass sounding motif. I wonder if about a trumpet sound on your organ to carry the final melody? Your first variation sounds a little rushed to me, by the way. Let me conclude by saying you should take all of my comments with a grain of salt....I'm an amateur myself and have an unsophisticated ear. But I think this is a beautiful piece of work. I would like to hear it in a church setting with a real organ. I believe with the grandeur of the organ, it could sound quite magnificent.

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