My music moves expressively between concert and theater stages, choir lofts and jam sessions, invoking the simple and extraordinary, the ethereal and commonplace.
I grew up in the Carolinas and Appalachian Ohio, the daughter of a piano teacher and a minister. I studied composition at The College of Wooster and Cornell University with Steven Stucky, Jack Gallagher, Yehudi Wyner and Karel Husa. Since then I've composed over 200 choral, music theater, chamber and orchestral pieces.
*WORDS: I have a passion for the English language which nearly eclipses my love of music. When I'm not being a straight-up composer, I can often be found being a songwriter/lyricist.
*AWARDS: McKnight Composer Fellowship, MN State Arts Board Composer Initiative Grant, Jerome Fund for New Music Grant...and other awards which interested parties may find on my website.
*REVIEWS: I've received both favorable and lukewarm reviews from all kinds of sources, but my favorite of all time came from Philadelphia's Broad Street Review, in which the critic cited one of my choral pieces as "the most personally moving piece I encountered between Thanksgiving and Twelfth Night." No one needs anything more than that.
*MUSIC PUBLISHING: I publish my own music through Seafarer Press, a venture which is more rewarding every year. My accounting software says that I've sold over 150,000 copies of my music. That's a lot of staples
*PERFORMERS (selected): Orchestras: Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Chamber ensembles: North/South Consonance, Sounds New, Society for New Music, Women's Works, The Music Fix. Choirs: Over 2000 choirs, including VocalEssence, Elmer Iseler Singers, National Children's Choir, Gregg Smith Singers, San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, One Voice Mixed Chorus, Harmonium, Octarium, oodles of church choirs, and the entire student body of Waunakee Elementary School.
*MY OTHER HATS HAVE INCLUDED: Composer-in-residence at over a dozen schools, arts programs and churches in 6 states. Music director of a community choir. Master of Ceremonies for a children's concert series. Composition and piano teacher. Mother of two beautiful boys who are now fine men. Grower of greens and tomatoes.
What I love most about composing is the contact it gives me with so many thoughtful and perceptive people: conductors, singers, instrumentalists, listeners, fellow composers, and the poets whose words I set to music. Most of the composers on this website will tell you they have the best job in the world, but as far as I'm concerned I've got it.
Describe your music
Nature Creature (voice, cello & piano) 45'
Commissioned by Ruth MacKenzie (Jerome Fund for New Music) (St Paul, MN)
Same Birds (SATB a cappella) 4'
Commissioned by North Central ACDA for North Central High School Honors Choir (Sioux Falls, SD)
What's Keeping You From Singing? (SSA, piano) 4'
Commissioned by Rochester Women's Chorus (Rochester, NY)
Doors (SSA, cello, piano) 4'
Commissioned by Minnesota ACDA for Minnesota Girls Honors Choir (Mahtomedi, MN)
Luminous, Wonderful (SATB a cappella) 5'
Commissioned by Bethlehem Academy (Faribault, MN)
Let it Matter (SSA, piano) 4'
Commissioned by Amasong (Champlain, IL)
Kindling: Small Reflections on a Limitless Faith (SATB, flute, horn, piano, string quartet) 30'
Commissioned by First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston (Houston, TX)
Sue Loves Butter (SSA, piano) 5'
Premiered by Voices Chorus (Chapel Hill, NC)