GOSPEL ROOTS, ROCK TUNES, AND CHOIR SUITS
"Your sister started taking piano lessons and you were only about 3 years old, but you would just sit at the keyboard and play notes as if you already knew the song you were playing." I remember my dad telling me this story with surprise many times over the years. I guess I never realized that this little story is not too far from what really goes on when I compose.
Matthew Gawronski was born and raised in a musical family. His mother, a veteran soprano of the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, recounts his kicking in-womb whenever the music would begin at church. As early as 10 years old, Matthew began singing in choirs at Brooklyn Tabernacle, learning to parse harmonies by-ear as well as play piano and guitar for the church's children's ministries. This easily translated into song-writing as a pre-teen, all the way through high school, winning a scholarship award for his original song, "Why?"
While majoring in music education at Hofstra University, singing in the Hofstra Choir and Chamber Singers, he also developed a penchant for writing rock music and soon was recording an EP with acclaimed producers in Tennessee and Glow in the Dark Studios in Atlanta. Soon after graduating Hofstra University, Matthew filled in for several maternity-leave positions before finding his home as the 7th and 8th grade Choral Director at Weber Middle School in Port Washington, New York.
In addition to directing the 7th and 8th grade ensembles, Chamber Choir, Pop Choir, high school A Capella Choir, and newly-founded Tenor Choir, Matthew also conducts his church's adult choir in Ozone Park, New York. In nearly every choir opportunity, he has used his original compositions to produce creatively-diverse, well-voiced works of art that marry lyrical depth with poignant, rhythmically-adventurous, melodic lines.
"There really is a lack of authenticity in a lot of musical works for middle school and church choirs. I hope to remove a bit of the pretense, empower choir directors to be more ambitious, and cultivate a love for vocal performance with creative approaches to familiar musical settings. I'm sure you can hear some Gospel-harmonic approaches, mixed with rock-like intensity and lyrical authenticity, but all of these experiences have meshed together to create something that I think is new and fun. Everything my hands find to do, I want to do it for the Glory of God and if that means having middle schoolers wonder at the beauty of creation in music, I'm all in."