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“...The Wayne Oquin organ/orchestra work Resilience came as a hearty surprise...[T]his piece warranted an instant encore. It’s solidly constructed and has an eventful narrative that makes the piece – like Strauss’ Don Juan – great for opening a concert.”

        - David Patrick Stearns
         The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Tonight was the east coast première for Resilience, fruit of the creative partnership of organist Paul Jacobs and composer Wayne Oquin. Oquin has conceived a deeply moral work and, in its way, a work to lift morale: he wants the musical intensity of the organ to mirror real-life values of tenacity and perseverance amidst tumultuous forces. The organ is his hero, battling against the odds.

So we are privy to a massive and continual dialogue and struggle between the two. There is much fierceness and frantic tumult, but also quiet and eerie faraway sounds. The orchestra played with violence and attack, thrashing down the organ towards the end, leaving him with nothing but the pedals. Jacobs was virtuosic: Oquin, watching from the audience near me, was on the edge of his seat. Sometimes when contemporary works are placed at the very start of an evening programme, one feels that it is the perfunctory debt owed to those creatives who have the misfortune to be still alive (the posthumous is sacred), but I did not feel that here. There was passionate engagement on all sides, a vigorous seizure of the meaning of this work.”

        - Hilary Stroh

“Wayne Oquin's Resilience unfolds with richness and tension, from expectancy to dreaminess to wonderment.”

        - Paul Selar
          Opera Chaser

Resilience, which opened, proved to be a vigorous, brassy and percussive exercise in organ and orchestra interplay, brightly scored and rhythmically muscular.”

        - Timothy Mangan
          Orange County Register

O Magnum Mysterium

“Wayne Oquin’s O Magnum Mysterium, commissioned by the Whitewater Chamber Singers at the University of Wisconsin, is a wonderful study in reverence, rising to an emotional peak.”

        - Laurence Vittes

“Oquin’s recent (2013) setting has the timeless nature of the choral music of Victoria (not a comparison I would make lightly).”

        - Colin Clarke
          Fanfare Magazine

“[Oquin] cannot be accused of lacking courage, as anyone who currently contemplates composing a setting of the Nativity canticle O Magnum Mysterium inevitably faces comparison with the mega-hit version by Morten Lauridsen. Oquin’s…is superbly crafted, fully deserving the title of ‘masterpiece’ and an immediate niche in the standard sacred chorale repertoire. The work grows on me each time I hear it, and has become my favorite selection on this disc.”

        - James A. Altena
         Fanfare Magazine


“A magical moment of quiet repose....I dare say that Reverie probably stole the show.”

        - Michael Barone,
         Pipe Dreams

“...A dreamy expression of taking the time to contemplate beauty and the arts...there were shades Messiaen... One can only hope that this is an indication of more to come from Oquin.”

        - OrganQuest

“The dreamlike spirit of the title was established by the composer through tones and chords sustained for considerable duration. Above these sustained sounds the score then wove melodic fragments of increasing complexity, allowing this work to emerge as another reflection on the past. This time, however, the past was far more distant, drawing upon the melismatic organa of the twelfth century for models (and reminding us what instrument inspired these chants to be called 'organa').”

        - San Francisco Examiner

Ave Maria

“Warm and ingratiating...”

        - Time Out New York

“Elegantly beautiful.”

        - Classics Today

Tower Ascending

“This beautiful piece in two parts is a tremendously exciting addition to the wind band repertoire, providing both a beautiful serene opening and a thrilling conclusion.”

        - Wind Band Today

“Wayne Oquin's Tower Ascending pulsates with urban power.”

        - Naxos Records

A Time to Break Silence

“Strikingly Beautiful...I See the Promised Land was heart stopping in its unaffected simplicity."

        - Opera Britannia

“We were finally blessed with the main course.. It was well worth the wait...Kings brilliant text found common cause with Oquin's compelling setting...Though his rolling lines were through-composed, his words were long-savored for musicality...the showstopper was I See the Promised Land, based on King’s last speech. When he closed his eyes and sang, I’ve been to the mountain top...Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, there were few of us who doubted that final vision, pronounced the day before his death. And there were tears in the audience, perhaps those that remembered that day, and the day that followed. Many stood in ovation.”

        - Repeat Performances

“Wayne Oquin's setting of lines from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's final speech stripped away the familiar accompaniment of black and white images, pressing supporters and crowd noises, leaving only the words, after a long introduction of bare note clusters from the piano. The singer created an overwhelming sense of King's vision and the inspiration which resulted from it in this fine setting.”

        - Classical Source

Juilliard Joins Texas State

“The seemingly disparate musical selections were at times jarring and dissonant, and elsewhere aching, soaring or sweet... In lesser hands the diverse selection of performances might have felt like a couple hours’ worth of channel-surfing, but under Oquin’s direction the effect was investigative and conversational...Revisiting the words of thinkers and activists such as Ivins and King serves as a reminder of their principles, but Oquin’s program exceeded this goal by demonstrating the fundamental importance of the First Amendment to both art and activism.”

        - Texas Observer

On the Words of James Madison

“The Election Singers gave an energetic performance of politically inspired pieces at the Library of Congress...among the best On the Words of James Madison by Wayne Oquin.”

        - Washington Post