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I Dream of Buddha With 

the Light Golden Aura


a Mantra for Baritone and Piano

June 6-11, 2003, composed at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


MLyrics by Padmasambhava
Melody by Steven Foster
Arranged by Bill Robinson

Lyrics: Om Vajra Guru Padme Siddhi Hum

                 Score PDF          Finale Score

   Largetto         [2:37]

premiere performance Feb. 24, 2013 by DeMar Neal, baritone, and Kent Lyman, piano,

at Meredith College, Raleigh, NC

  video (YouTube)         MP3  

Pronunciation: As this mantra is used primarily in Tibetan Buddhism, one can pronounce the words in the Tibetan or Sanskrit style—of which there are many variants. OM can be sung in three connected sounds, A as in father, U as in moon. The Sanskrit short a is like the u in mud and is the only a in the mantra. The “i”s in siddhi are short. ddh is slightly aspirated, but this turns out to be a fine point in my humble opinion, especially in this context. 

Musician Biographies

DeMar Austin Neal IV
, a North Carolina native, joined the Meredith faculty in 2010, where he teaches applied voice, lyric diction for singers, and art song repertoire. With a special talent for light opera and comedic roles, Neal made several praiseworthy debuts during the 2011-2012 season, including: El Dancaïro (Carmen) with North Carolina Opera; Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) with Varna Opera; and Ko-Ko (The Mikado) with Greenville Light Opera Works. The Greenville News lauded his turn as the cheap tailor-cum-executioner saying, “His Ko-Ko is bitingly crisp in expression and action – a performance artful and frequently hilarious. Neal possesses the soul of a true Savoyard.” He has performed a wide variety of stage roles, including: Junius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Belcore in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, Don Andres de Ribeira in Offenbach’s La Périchole, and Falke in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus.

          Dr. Neal is also an active recitalist, adjudicator, masterclass technician, and researcher. He has received grants from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, the Elon University Academic Technology and Computing Committee, Phi Kappa Phi honor society, Varna Music Academy, Songfest Professional Program, and the Franco-American Vocal Academy. In addition to university service, Dr. Neal currently holds the position of Secretary for the North Carolina chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. He is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, NATS, Phi Kappa Phi, and the National Opera Association. His current scholarly interests focus on rehabilitative semi-occluded vocal tract voice therapy and the art songs of contemporary American composer Jake Heggie.

 Kent Lyman is a Steinway Artist, and has distinguished himself as a soloist and chamber musician throughout much of the United States, in South Korea, China, and in Brazil. He has performed and/or lectured in many venues, including the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, the National Conference of the Sonneck Society for American Music in Worcester, Massachusetts, the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities in Honolulu, the Temple Square Concert Series in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Hollins Keyboard Festival in Roanoke, Virginia, and on concert series at Bemidji State University, the College of Charleston, Winthrop University, Francis Marion University, and Indiana University in Indiana, Pennsylvania.