Sam Guarnaccia

Sam Guarnaccia, Composer and Oratorio Project Lead

Sam Guarnaccia is a composer, classical guitarist, scholar, and founder/director of Sam Guarnaccia Music (SGM) He studied privately and at the Royal Conservatory of Madrid, received a Master of Fine Arts in Guitar performance from the California Institute of the Arts. He created and, for ten years, taught and directed the guitar program of the University of Denver’s renowned Lamont School of Music. He has also taught and instituted programs at Middlebury College and the University of Vermont, as Spanish scholar, player/performer, and composer with deep ties to the history, struggle, traditions, art and spirituality of ancient and contemporary Indigenous peoples. His cycle of nine Peace songs has been incorporated into Peace education curriculum for young children.

His composition, A Celtic Mass for Peace, Songs for the Earth, a collaboration with Celtic Spirituality scholar, writer, and teacher, John Philip Newell, has been performed throughout the United States, Iona and Edinburgh, Scotland, and was featured in a major peace celebration on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 on September 11, 2011, in New York, and in Vermont. There were two performances near NYC on February 19th, 2012.

 Inspired by the work of the Earth Charter and its integrative principles of ecological integrity, social justice, economic justice and peace, Sam Guarnaccia and his core artistic collaborators, helped produce, with others, the 2002 Peace Summit at the University of Vermont. Earth Charter Commissioner Stephen C. Rockefeller along with Senator Bernard Sanders and Congressman Dennis Kucinich participated in the event.

Direct correspondence with Wendell Berry, Joanna Macy, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Brian Swimme, and Bill McKibben led to permission to use their writings, and the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, in creating the Emergent Uuniverse  Oratorio (EUO) libretto. The EUO libretto was inspired by the film Journey of the Universe by Mary Evelyn Tucker and Brian Swimme, and was first performed in the Great Breeding Barn at Shelburne Farms, Vermont in September of 2013.

A World Premiere performance of the fully orchestrated EUO will take place in Cleveland, Ohio on June 30, 2017 at the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center at the Temple – Tifereth Israel.