Monday, September 16, 2013

Hiram Titus

Our dear friend and colleague Hiram Titus passed away Monday, September 16, 2013.

A few years ago, at one of the alumni gatherings, Hiram was videotaped, speaking about some of his work with CTC.  This is the link address... (highlight it, right-click and select "go to..." and you should arrive at the video).

So much music was created by Hiram for The Children's Theatre Company and School. Following are links to just a few selections; you may also access more clips of Hiram's work by browsing though the pages of this blog.  Hiram was active at CTC from 1971 into the new millenium.

From Hiram's first score for The Children's Theatre Company:
Two pieces from "A Wall" (1971).
 Lyrics by John Clark Donahue. Hiram conducting while at the keyboards.

"Into the Sun's Face"

"Yes, into the sun's face gaze on
Till blindness greets us.
Oh, yes -- into the sun's face
The reward is no sight.
Or vision quite complete."

Lead vocalist: Haimanot Alemu

Finale: "My Name is Somebody"

"My name is Somebody 
Who does not wish to be seen here.
But some unnatural forces draw my face towards a look at you
And that's a pity
For the more I gaze I find I cannot be."

Lead vocalist: Debbie Tice.

One of Hiram's very favorite pieces -- the Baby Blessing from "Raggedy Ann and Andy"...

Little One, welcome here
Sun and moon are drawing near.
All the creatures of the earth
Gather for another birth.

Fairies guard you in the night
Always near yet ever out of sight.
Since the dawn of time we've come
Blessing every single one:
Welcome home!

Also from Raggedy Ann, the opening cues and Ann's song (lyric by Constance Congdon):

From "Hang On to Your Head":  Sweeping orchestral score (theme "borrowed" from Tchaikovsky).  Stunning work!




Cue 4:

Cue 6:

The Rolled-Down Sock Club:

Mrs. Panky's Soliloquoy:

In the Garden:

Cue 10:

Queen of the World:

From "The Secret Garden": Mary sings Colin to sleep accompanied by this music ...

Earlier, when Mary asks her Uncle Craven for "a bit of earth"...

And Mary learns the abandoned garden is "quite alive" ...

From "A Room in Paradise" Thomas Olson & Sara Schimke sing a love song (lyric by Timothy Mason):

From "Madeline and the Gypsies" 1972 -- Hiram at the piano and conducting.  Scene One.  Virtually the entire 70 minute play was nonstop music.

Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid -- End Act Two. Lyric by John Clark Donahue.

From "The Mystery of the Tattered Trunk." A late 1920s luxury liner is the setting for a teen girl sleuth's mystery adventure. A collaboration with Thomas W. Olson, Wendy Lehr and Richard Russell Ramos.


Ballroom Opening.



From "Mr. Pickwick's Christmas": -- Friends Well Met (a collaboration with Thomas W. Olson)

A song on Christmas Eve by the kitchen fire: King of the Seasons...

And the finale from Pickwick ...

From "Treasure Island" - Ballad "Sir Patrick Spence" and shift into Journey Montage and Apple Barrel scene (collaboration with Timothy Mason).  Lead vocal: Tom Dunn. Astonishingly cinematic.  Combination of live orchestra and recorded strings.

From "Ukrainian Tales"
Hiram composed and orchestrated this show with virtually nonstop music while, at the same time, creating "Pinocchio."  Both productions opened within days of one another as inaugural productions in the new theater building, autumn of 1974.

Gypsy Camp:


From "Puss in Boots" -- Kathmandu (Sung by Julee Cruise and Nate Peterson) Lyric by Sharon Holland.

From the 1996 production of "Linnea in Monet's Garden"

Impressionist Afternoon:

Bicycle ride:

From "Dr. Seuss's The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins" a collaboration with Timothy Mason.  Selections from the original production.

Opening. Wendy Lehr, John Peitzman, Stephen Boe.


"How Happy I Was" with Stephen Boe, Tom Dunn, John Peitzman

"I Was Happy to Know You" with Garth Schumacher and John Peitzman.

Oh, dear Hiram -- we were so happy to know you! Thank you. God bless.

BONUS Music Tracks:

For several years, at holiday time, Hiram would appear at the piano in the the Grand Atrium of City Center in downtown Minneapolis and improvise themes on traditional Christmas carols. He recorded a number of these improvisations...

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear:

The Holly and The Ivy:

We Three Kings:

Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming:

Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella...:

A Virgin Most Pure:

Personent Hodie:

O Come, O Come Emmanuel:

O Little Town of Bethlehem:

Hiram as a new staff member at The Children's Theatre Company circa 1972.  Fair Oaks Park.
L to R: Wendy Lehr, Hiram Titus, Steven Rydberg, Rise Ferster, Christian Mulkey, Bain Boehlke.