On October 16 in New York, the great vocalist DM Stith will join the American Composers Orchestra and The Crossing Choir to premiere My City, my new 40-minute setting of two Walt Whitman poems. I’ve been working on this piece for about two years and it’s one of my largest and most personal compositions to date. Whitman’s poems — Mannahatta and Crossing Brooklyn Ferry — are transcendent works of a simultaneously grand and intimate nature. Particularly in the latter, epic poem, Whitman zooms in to find the meaning of life in a city, the interconnectedness not just between people at a given time but between all people who have shared human experience. I could not have tackled such an imposing set of words without an interpreter who inspires me to do so. For those of you who don’t know DM Stith’s music, I urge you to go have a listen here, but you can also hear how he performs other people’s music here (on Sarah Kirkland Snider’s magnificent Unremembered). He is, simply, great. Come join us, plus two great ensembles — the ACO and The Crossing — on Friday, October 16 at Brookfield Place (230 Vesey St., New York, NY), 8:00 PM, for a program that also includes new work by Andy Akiho, Alex Mincek, and Angélica Negrón.