Timothy Cunningham (b. 1999) is a fourth-year music composition and mathematics double major at the University of Redlands. While at the U of R, Timothy has had several works premiered, including Hymns of the Nativity, a two-movement masterwork for choir and orchestra, co-composed with Jamison Stevens; and From a Distance, a piece for virtual choir and electronics, commissioned by Dr. Nicholle Andrews. He has also received many awards and honors during his time at Redlands, including the J. William Jones Endowed Scholarship, the Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award, Outstanding Achievement by Sophomore Award, SAI Composer’s Award, and the School of Music Freshman Honor Award.
Deeply rooted in meditative melodies and rich harmonies, his works span several genres, with pieces written for orchestra, choir, chamber ensembles, soloists, and electronic music. Through his music, Timothy seeks to provide a sense of comfort and restoration for both performer and audience member, creating a space for all to listen and reflect. With a strong influence from his Greek heritage, Timothy’s works feature compositional techniques drawn from the beautiful melodic content of Byzantine chant and the unique texture of Greek folk music. His piece To Tsampasin, a setting of the text from a Greek folk song by the same name, won the Phoenix Chamber Choir Choral Composition Competition in 2020, and is slated to be performed in May of 2022.
A supporter of collaboration, Timothy has partnered with other composers, directors, and performers to write film scores, music for theater, pop songs, and concert music alike. Most recently, Timothy worked with fellow composer Jamison Stevens and poet Dr. Art Svenson, the David Boies Professor of Government at the University of Redlands, to write 12 and Change, dedicated to Krista L. Newkirk, J.D., upon her appointment as the twelfth President of the University of Redlands. This work was premiered by the University of Redlands Chapel Singers in November of 2021 and performed at President Newkirk’s inauguration in February of 2022. Along with collaboration, diversity has remained a core component of Timothy’s musical life, and he has sought out opportunities to amplify the voices of fellow composers. His junior year, Timothy worked alongside the Assistant Dean of the School of Music, Dr. Anthony Suter, as a Diversity Research Assistant at Redlands to catalogue concert and recital programs, assess the diversity of the repertoire of the School of Music, and create a plan moving forward to increase the representation of composers from underrepresented groups in the School’s programming. From there, he continued cataloguing works through the Institute for Composer Diversity’s to contribute to the choral database.
Timothy currently studies composition with Dr. Anthony Suter and Dr. Andre Myers, voice with Dr. Melissa Tosh, and piano with Dr. Angelica Prodan. He is the Chancel Choir Director at the Lake Arrowhead Community Presbyterian Church and sings in the University of Redlands Chapel Singers, under the direction of Dr. Nicholle Andrews, and Ensemble XXI, under the direction of Canon Jeffrey H. Rickard.
MUSICAL COLLABORATION HONORS NEW PRESIDENT
As music composition students at the University of Redlands, Jamison Stevens ’22 and Timothy Cunningham ’22 have spent the last four years learning about different facets of the craft—from stylistic and technical tasks such as forming melodies, harmonies, and chord progressions to creating sheet music and engaging in the music production process. Last spring, when it was announced that Krista Newkirk would be the University’s 12th president, the pair began to think about writing a piece of music to mark the occasion...