Haleakala: How Maui Snared the Sun
for for narrator and orchestra
"The orchestral colors are as spectacular as a Hawaiian volcano, the musical structure is exceptionally tight, and the piece as a whole is a delight to surrender to."
—Richard Halley, On The Air Magazine
"Welcher's music has a cinematic sweep, with Hawaiian chant-tunes, Polynesian scales, and a battery of native percussion instruments lending an exotic vibrancy to his rich-textured score. All this makes for some pretty weird and wonderful effects, a veritable cornucopia of color-inflected sonorities."
—Tiedman, American Record Guide
"...a cornucopia of color-inflected sonorities that achieve a breathtaking celebratory grandeur."
—Lehman, American Record Guide
for opera in three scenes and an epilogue
"The two operas Della's Gift and Holy Night offer us intimate examinations of that difficulty (of sustaining real love) from either side of a century's divide, in a meager fifth avenue apartment in 1905, and the same apartment, much refurbished, today... In both, the Christmas setting exposes how we sometimes need to make a statement of our love through gift or action at that time of year, how we have twisted the holiday from an occasion for offering some part of ourselves to one when we have to prove something of our love with a gift. Ultimately, both Della's Gift and Holy Night show us a way beyond that, to forgiveness and the shedding of self that allows lovers to unite. In this expression of the meaning of true love, these lovely new operas merge together; two become one."
—Robert Faires, Austin Chronicle, April 28, 2006
Jackpot: A Celebratory Overture
for large orchestra
"One highlight was the nine-minute Jackpot: A Celebratory Overture for Large Orchestra, written for the Philharmonic by Dan Welcher. Commissioned to commemorate the centennial, the work... does catch the fever and fervor associated with the city's favorite sport. The orchestra first suggested the anticipation of a quick win with some grand cascades gradually building to a fever pitch, some slower sections (reminiscent of those inevitable losses) and an ultimate conclusion as bright as the city itself."
—Julia Osborne, Las Vegas Review-Journal, September 20, 2005
JFK: The Voice of Peace
for an oratorio for orchestra, chorus, and speakers
"The 45-minute oratorio arouses as much patriotic spirit as a Sousa march at a Fourth of July fireworks display... Through the words of seven authors and poets, two Peace Corps volunteers, the Protestant Council, and Kennedy himself, Welcher has woven a musical tapestry that is rich in orchestral color and rife with musical invention."
—Michael Huebner, Austin American-Statesman