Oh Hell No


for voice and piano (2017)




MIDI realization


1 min.


Maggie Smith : "Oh Hell No"

Program Notes

This song was written in a fit of supreme silliness.

It started as a tweet by poet Maggie Smith, whose “Good Bones” I had recently finished setting. Another writer formatted the poem to look as though it were a poem published on Poets.org, and I ran with his joke.

For the song, I took the liberty of un-abbreviating the phrase “Casually af.”

Dennis Tobenski

Dennis Tobenski is a composer of acoustic new music, a vocalist, and a strong advocate for new music and for the interests of living composers.

Dennis’s Only Air, a 20-minute work for high voice and orchestra memorializing the gay teenagers who have taken their own lives in recent years, was commissioned by the Illinois State University Symphony Orchestra, and has been performed in a chamber version by The Secret Opera in New York and members of the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony.

In February 2016, he and pianist Marc Peloquin released their first album together, a disc of art songs by living American composers titled And He’ll Be Mine.

Dennis also hosts the Music Publishing Podcast and The Composer’s Guide to Doing Business: two music business-centered podcasts aimed at helping composers and performers to learn more about the practical aspects of their careers.

Dennis received his B.Mus. in Vocal Performance and Music Theory & Composition from Illinois State University, and his M.A. in Music Composition from The City College of New York.

His principal teachers have included David Del Tredici, Chester Biscardi, and David Feurzeig. He is a member of the Board of Advisors for Composers Now, and the Board of Directors of the KeyedUp MusicProject. Dennis lives in New York City with his husband Darien Scott Shulman and their cat Pistachio.


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