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Composer Spotlight

In this section we highlight the composers behind our music.

  • Amy Beach
    Mrs. H.H.A. Beach (1867-1944) Considered to be one of the first great female composers in the US, Amy Marcy Cheney was born in Henniker, NH. She was a musical prodigy with perfect pitch. She studied piano, and became fluent in German and French. Beach began a concert career as a pianist and received excellent reviews. At age 18, she was a soloist with the Boston Symphony. Despite her success and promising career, she chose to retire from performance when she married Dr. Henry Harris Aubrey Beach in December of 1885, who encouraged her to compose instead of perform. She trained as a composer by studying the masters. She had many successes in large-scale genres, including the Boston Symphony’s performance of her Gaelic Symphony in 1896. After the deaths of her husband and mother, she undertook a concert tour of Germany, where many major European singers performed her songs. When Beach returned to the US, she encouraged many younger female composers. She co-founded the Society of Women Composers, and was also a leader in the Music Teachers National Association and the Music Educators National Conference. Beach was also a member of the New York Composers Forum through the New Deal. She was such a popular composer in her lifetime that Amy Beach Clubs were founded throughout the country. Although her songs are often considered sentimental, she is known for writing beautiful melodies and challenging piano lines. She wrote songs in English, French, and German. Ich sagte nicht employs two of Beach’s usual devices at the climax of the third verse: tremolos in the piano, and the voice ascending to a long high note. The ending of this song has often been compared to Morgen by Strauss. Wir drei is the story of young spring love. Beach creates a calm, serene setting for Nacht. Juni is one of Beach’s most popular songs, and was performed at a concert for the World’s Fair in New York City in 1939. It shows Beach’s love of imagery from nature, and has often been compared to Ständchen by Strauss.
  • Abbie Betinis
    Composer Abbie Betinis writes music called “inventive” (The New York Times), “joyful… shattering, incandescent” (Boston Globe), and music that “expands into ethereal realms” (Cambridge University Press). She has been honored to attend performances of her music from Carnegie Hall to Disney Hall, school assemblies to wedding ceremonies, state prisons to capitol buildings, summer camps to the finest international cathedrals. In 2018, her music was performed on four continents, totaling over 500 performances. Working largely by commission, Abbie has composed new music for world-class organizations, including the American Choral Directors Association, American Suzuki Foundation, Cantus, Chorus Pro Musica, The Dale Warland Singers, Flying Forms Baroque, James Sewell Ballet, LyricFest, New England Philharmonic, St. Olaf Choir, Young New Yorkers’ Chorus, Zeitgeist, and the Zodiac Trio. An eager collaborator, she has worked with poet Michael Dennis Browne, soprano Carrie Henneman Shaw, choreographer James Sewell, and recently composed a rhapsody inspired by ancient Greek oratory for renowned British clarinetist Michael Collins. Inspired by history and culture, patterns and play, other projects incorporate elements from early American shape-note singing, Eleanor Roosevelt’s bedtime routine, Gaelic keening, Japanese origami, and the mysticism of medieval Sufism. In January 2017, spurred to action by the US political climate, she and Tesfa Wondemagegnehu co-founded Justice Choir, a template for community singing and mobile advocacy. With conductor Ahmed Anzaldúa, the three co-edited the Justice Choir Songbook.
  • Victoria Bond
    Victoria Bond leads a multifaceted career as composer, conductor, lecturer, and artistic director of Cutting Edge Concerts. Her compositions have been praised by The New York Times as "powerful, stylistically varied and technically demanding," and her conducting has been called “impassioned” by the Wall Street Journal and “full of energy and fervor” by The New York Times. Bond’s opera, Clara, based on the life of composer and pianist Clara Schumann, premiered at the Berlin Philharmonic Easter Festival in Baden-Baden, Germany in 2019. Recent compositions include The Adventures of Gulliver, commissioned by American Opera Projects through a commissioning grant from Opera America; Blue and Green Music commissioned by Chamber Music America for the Cassatt String Quartet; Simeron Kremate commissioned by the University of Nebraska and Soli Deo Gloria for pianist Paul Barnes; The Voices of Air, commissioned by The University of Missouri UMKC Conservatory for trombonist JoDee Davis; The Miracle of Light, a Hanukkah opera, commissioned by The Young Peoples Chorus of NYC and premiered by Chamber Opera Chicago and That Music Always Round Me commissioned by The Manhattan Choral Ensemble. Bond’s most recent recordings include Instruments of Revelation (Naxos American Classics, 2019), performed by The Chicago Pro Musica; and Soul of a Nation: Portraits of Presidential Character (Albany Records, 2018), with script by Dr. Myles Lee incorporating the words of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt, featuring soloists from the Chicago and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras. Her music has also been recorded on the Koch International, GEGA, Protone, and Family Classic labels, and her works are published by G. Schirmer, Theodore Presser, C.F. Peters, Subito Music and Protone Music.
  • Jenni Brandon
    Jenni Brandon is a composer and conductor, creating music in collaboration with other musicians and artists. She writes music that is beautiful and lyrical, telling stories through memorable musical lines often influenced by the collaborator’s story, nature, and poetry. She has been commissioned to write music for soloists, chamber ensembles, concertos, opera and orchestra. Her music appears on over 20 albums, and has been awarded the Sorel Medallion, American Prize, Paderewski Cycle, Women Composers Festival of Hartford International Composition Competition, and Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition among others. Her works are published and distributed by Boosey & Hawkes, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Graphite Publishing, TrevCo Music Publishing, Imagine Music, J.W. Pepper, and June Emerson. She also runs her own publishing company, Jenni Brandon Music, which publishes and distributes her works. ​ As a conductor she often conducts her own works and works by living composers. She conducted her one-act opera 3 PADEREWSKIS in the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center in 2019. She also presents workshops and talks on collaboration and the business of music, striving to create a supportive environment where collaboration leads to an exploration of ideas. ​ She received her undergraduate degree in Music Composition at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. She then received her Master’s degree in Music Composition from the University of Texas at Austin. She did doctoral work at the University of Southern California. ​ When she is not making music, Jenni is often on her yoga mat, either practicing or teaching yoga. Jenni also loves walking her dogs and travelling with her husband to snorkel in tropical waters. Visit to learn more.
  • Rebecca Clarke
    Rebecca Clarke was an English composer and violist. She studied violin at the Royal Academy of Music 1903-1905 and the Royal College of Music 1907-1910 where she became one of Charles Stanford’s first female composition students. Stanford persuaded her to shift her focus from violin to viola at a time when viola was emerging as a legitimate solo instrument. Carrying the baggage of an unhappy and abusive childhood, she was cut off from her family in 1910 after confronting her father about his extramarital affairs. As a result, she was forced to drop out of RCM. Clarke supported herself as one of the first female professional musicians. In 1912, Sir Henry Wood selected her to play in the Queen’s Hall Orchestra, an ensemble which was formerly male. Residing in London, she performed as a soloist and chamber musician. Clarke suffered from intense self-doubt and bouts of depression which were only reinforced by the constant resistance she received as a female composer. There is an anecdote describing a recital she gave in 1918 with cellist May Mukle in New York City which illustrates the sexism she endured. The program had a mix of works by Rebecca Clarke and “Anthony Trent,” a pseudonym which Clarke chose for herself. After the concert, everyone praised the Trent and ignored the works credited to Clarke. Similarly, in 1919 she entered her violin sonata in the Elizabeth Collidge competition. Her sonata tied first place with Ernest Bloch’s (a sonata that is currently well recognized as standard in the viola repertoire), but Coolidge later declared Bloch the winner. Even in the 20th century, people did not believe a woman was intellectually capable of composing such an outstanding work, in addition to it being socially inconceivable. Clarke entered the Coolidge competition again in 1921 with her piano trio and was not awarded, but in 1923 Coolidge sponsored her rhapsody for cello and piano, making Clarke the only female recipient of Coolidge’s patronage. At the outbreak of World War II, Clarke was in America living with her two brothers. She had returned to composing after a dry period of several years. However, she took a position as a nanny in 1942 and married pianist James Friskin in 1944 which put a halt to her newfound productivity. Clarke herself said she found it nearly impossible to balance composing and a personal life saying, “I can't do it unless it's the first thing I think of every morning when I wake and the last thing I think of every night before I go to sleep.” Only 20 of Clarke’s works were published during her lifetime and most were already out of print by the time she died. Over half of her output remains unpublished, as it is still the property of her estate. In 2000, the Rebecca Clarke Society, Inc. was founded by Liane Curtis and Jessie Ann Owens. Because of their efforts, Clarke’s music has seen a revival in the form of publications, recordings, scholarship, and publications. Over 25 works have been published since the Society was founded.
  • Ashi Day
    Ashi Day is a composer and educator working in Washington, DC, interested in exploring unconventional intersections between music and theater, using the voice as a compositional tool, and creating meaningful works for all ability levels and ages. She also writes a lot of songs about animals. ​ Ashi creates vocally driven works created as much for the experience of the performers as the listeners. Recently, she has been a festival artist at New Music DC, Opera From Scratch 2018, the 2018 Music by Women Festival, and the 2017 Women Composers Festival of Hartford. She has collaborated to co-create theatrical works for Cultural DC’s Source Festival and the Capital Fringe Festival. Pieces have been commissioned or performed by choirs, churches, and individuals from Florida to Alaska, including Cantate Chamber Singers, Cantilena Women’s Chorale, Connecticut Yankee Chorale, Bucknell University, Mat-Su Community Chorus, and Anthology Quartet. She is also a past winner of the New York Treble Singers Composition Competition. ​ Ashi earned a B.M. and M.M. in Composition respectively from Bucknell University and Westminster Choir College. Composition teachers include William Duckworth, Jackson Hill, Stefan Young, and Joel Phillips. Equally dedicated to education, Ashi was a teacher in public and charter schools for half a decade, gaining licensure in both music and elementary education. She later earned her Ed.M. in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she was named an Urban Scholars Fellow. She now works in arts education administration, creating opportunities for people of all ages to experience, explore, learn through, and train in music and opera. As a soprano, she is an active choral and church musician, and regularly holds section leader positions for professional octets or quartets in various church choirs.
  • Melissa Dunphy
    Born in Brisbane, Australia, to a Chinese mother and a Greek father, Melissa Dunphy moved to Pennsylvania in 2003 and has since been hailed as "unquestionably the city's leading Shakespeare ingénue" by the Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2014 she performed in iHamlet, Robin Malan's one-person adaptation of Hamlet, for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, earning a Falstaff Award nomination from PlayShakespeare. She has also performed with the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater (Puck, Juliet, Lady Macbeth, Marina), the Lantern Theater (Ophelia), Harrisburg Shakespeare Festival (Ariel, Ophelia, Hotspur, Lear’s Fool), Theater of the Seventh Sister (Juliet, Perdita), People's Light, Plays and Players, and PlayPenn. Melissa has been a full-time company member of Gamut Theatre in Harrisburg, and has been featured on television, film, radio, and in print as a commercial actor and model. Melissa began her music training on piano at age three, and took up violin lessons at seven; she has also dabbled in drum kit, French horn, and flute. Her major instrument during her Bachelor of Music was cello, however, her current instruments of choice are the viola and electric mandolin. At sixteen, she graduated high school with the highest marks in Queensland in music performance and an Associate Diploma of Music from the Australian Music Examination Board in viola, and toured to Asia and the United States with the Queensland Youth Symphony and Sydney Youth Orchestra. Melissa has played in orchestras and chamber groups, contributed to bands of all genres from folk to funk to cyberpunk (her latest outfit Up Your Cherry is a rock duo with husband Matt), recorded as a session musician, and been a conductor and musical director for several theater productions and organizations, including the O'Neill National Puppetry Conference. Learn more at
  • Melika Fitzhugh
    A native of Stafford, Virginia, Melika M. Fitzhugh (A.B. Harvard-Radcliffe: Music Theory and Composition, M.M. Longy School of Bard College: Composition) has studied conducting and composition with Thomas G. Everett, Beverly Taylor, James Yannatos, Julian Pellicano, Roger Marsh, Jeff Stadelman, and, most recently, Osnat Netzer and John Howell Morrison. Performed internationally, Mel's compositions have been commissioned by John Tyson, Catherine E. Reuben, John and Maria Capello, Laura and Geoffrey Schamu, and the Quilisma Consort, and have been performed by those artists as well as the B3:Brouwer Trio, the PHACE Ensemble, the Quarteto L'Arianna with guitarist Daniel Murray and double bassist Pedro Gadelha, the Radcliffe Choral Society, Berit Strong, Patricia R. Abreu, Miyuki Tsurutani, Libor Dudas, Aldo Abreu, and Sarah Jeffrey. Mel was the 2020 winner of the PatsyLu Prize for IAWM’s Search for New Music, the 2020/2021 Composer-in-Residence of the Women Composers Festival of Hartford, and the 2014 winner of the Longy orchestral composition competition, and has performed with the Radcliffe Choral Society, Coro Allegro, the Harvard Wind Ensemble, the Village Circle Band, and WACSAC. The artist, who has composed music for film and stage, was a member of Just In Time Composers and Players and is currently a member of world/early music ensemble Urban Myth and the early music ensemble Quilisma Consort, in addition to playing bass guitar with acoustic rock singer/songwriter Emmy Cerra, the ambient rock band Rose Cabal, the symphonic metal band Illusion's End, and the Balkan folk dance band Balkan Fields. Mel enjoys teaching and playing a variety of instruments for folk dance ensembles, including: violin/viola/violoncello/double bass; acoustic guitar/bass; recorders; flute; clarinet; saxophone; trumpet; hand percussion including dumbek/djembe/kahoun.
  • Margaret Garwood
    Margaret Garwood (1927-2015) was an American musician who turned to composition at age 35 seeking emotional fulfillment after the divorce from her first husband. Vocal works were her specialty, both for solo voice and choirs, and she wrote several song cycles and a well-known opera, The Scarlet Letter. Her Six Japanese Songs are a continuous set of haikus for soprano, clarinet, and piano. These short songs use many devices of Eastern music, including the pentatonic scale.
  • Juliana Hall
    Juliana Hall (b. 1958) American art song composer Juliana Hall is a prolific and highly-regarded composer of vocal music. While in Minnesota, Hall received her first commission for a song cycle (Night Dances) for star soprano Dawn Upshaw. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1989, and since then her music has been performed in 29 countries on six continents at venues including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Library of Congress, and many others. Among many organizations programming Hall’s works are Boston Art Song Society, Calliope’s Call, Cincinnati Song Initiative, Contemporary Undercurrent of Song Project, Joy in Singing, Lyric Fest, Oxford Song Network, Song in the City, Sparks & Wiry Cries’ and Zenith Ensemble. The five songs of Christina's World, on poems by Christina Rossetti, loosely follow a narrative arc beginning with the joyful emotions of true love, and continuing with darker observations about the nature of being alive and questions of life and death. The tension is resolved at the end of the cycle with a positive sense that as one approaches the end of this life, all will be well and a place of welcome and rest will be found. Christina's World was commissioned by soprano Gwen Coleman Detwiler, who premiered the song cycle with pianist Marie-France Lefebvre on a concert of the Cincinnati Song Initiative on April 8, 2017. Christina's World is published by the E. C. Schirmer Music Company. (notes by the composer)
  • Jocelyn Hagen
    Jocelyn Hagen composes music that has been described as “simply magical” (Fanfare Magazine) and “dramatic and deeply moving” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis/St. Paul). She is a pioneer in the field of composition, pushing the expectations of musicians and audiences with large-scale multimedia works, electro-acoustic music, dance, opera, and publishing. Her first forays into composition were via songwriting, still very evident in her work. The majority of her compositions are for the voice: solo, chamber and choral. Her melodic music is rhythmically driven and texturally complex, rich in color and deeply heartfelt. In 2019, choirs and orchestras across the country are premiering her multimedia symphony The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci that includes video projections created by a team of visual artists, highlighting da Vinci’s spectacular drawings, inventions, and texts. Hagen describes her process of composing for choir, orchestra and film simultaneously in a Tedx Talk given at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, now available on YouTube. Her dance opera collaboration with choreographer Penelope Freeh, Test Pilot, received the 2017 American Prize in the musical theater/opera division as well as a Sage Award for “Outstanding Design.” The panel declared the work “a tour de force of originality.” In 2013 Hagen released an EP entitled MASHUP, in which she performs Debussy’s “Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum” while singing Ed Sheeran’s “The A Team.” She is also one half of the band Nation, an a cappella duo with composer/performer Timothy C. Takach, and together they perform and serve as clinicians for choirs from all over the world. Hagen’s commissions include Conspirare, the Minnesota Opera, the Minnesota Orchestra, the American Choral Directors Associations of Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut and Texas, the North Dakota Music Teachers Association, Cantus, the Boston Brass, the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and the St. Olaf Band, among many others. Her work is independently published through JH Music, as well as through Graphite Publishing, G. Schirmer, Fred Bock Music Publishing, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and Boosey and Hawkes. Learn more at
  • Barbara Harbach
    Barbara Harbach has a large catalog of works, including symphonies, opera, string orchestra, musicals, works for chamber ensembles, film scores, modern ballets, organ, harpsichord, piano, choral anthems, and many arrangements for brass and organ of various Baroque works. She is also involved in the research, editing, publication and recording of manuscripts of eighteenth-century keyboard composers as well as historical and contemporary women composers. Her work is available in both recorded and published form through MSR Classics, Naxos Records, Gasparo Records, Kingdom Records, Albany Records, Northeastern Records, Hester Park, Robert King Music, Elkan-Vogel, Augsburg Fortress, Agape Music and Vivace Press. Harbach is also the editor of the journal, Women of Note Quarterly. Pioneer Women is a collection of four portraits of American women who helped to settle the wilds of Alaska. Taken from their diaries, letters, monographs, and journals, the texts chronicle their journeys through Alaska, from Skagway, the Southeastern entrance into Alaska, to White Mountain, near Nome, on the western coast of the Bering Sea. Catherine Van Curler and her husband landed in Skagway August 24, 1898, where they began the difficult journey to Dawson, by land and treacherous water. They took a train over the White Pass to White Horse and arrived in Dawson on September 16th. Her portrait portrays the struggles of traveling across Alaska. ​ As a young divorcee, Cordelia Nobel came to Nome in the early 1900s to make a life for herself. By 1913 she was living in Seattle; for reasons unknown, she committed suicide in November. While in Nome, she wrote regular letters to her mother telling of her quest for adventure, evening wintering up North for the sake of the experience. She assured her mother that she did not have all sorts of “affairs of the heart.” “There are a great many of the opposite sex (God bless them) that I like very much, but therein lies the great and insuperable trouble-if they could be rolled together and made into one grand Composite Man, then I could fall in love and stay in love for all time, but that is an impossibility and therefore I am heartwhole.” Noble’s portrait is of a self-assured coquette, able to take care of herself and reveling in it. ​ Margaret Murie was an early environmentalist. She writes: “I think my main thought is this: that perhaps Man is going to be overwhelmed by his own cleverness; and I firmly believe that one of the very few hopes left for Man is the preservation of the wilderness we now have left; and the greatest reservoir of that medicine for mankind lies here in Alaska.” The portrait of Murie captures her anticipation and exhilaration in the rugged environment she explored. ​ A single woman, Gertrude Fergus Baker spent two years (1926-1928) in Alaska as a nurse. One year was spent at White Mountain, and in 1927 she moved to Tanana. In 1928 she served on a government hospital boat on the Yukon River. She later married and settled in Clallam Bay, WA. As a nurse in Alaska, she traveled by dogsled to the outlying villages to provide health care to the natives. The portrait quotes her poetical words of the magic of nature’s colors and the beauty of its silence.
  • Lori Laitman
    Described by Fanfare Magazine as "one of the most talented and intriguing of living composers," Lori Laitman (b. 1955) has composed multiple operas and choral works, and over 250 songs, settings texts by classical and contemporary poets (including those who perished in the Holocaust). Her music is performed widely throughout the world, and it has generated substantial critical acclaim. The Journal of Singing wrote "It is difficult to think of anyone before the public today who equals her exceptional gifts for embracing a poetic text and giving it new and deeper life through music."
  • Cherise D. Leiter
    Born in Florida, Cherise Leiter received a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theory and a Master of Music degree in Composition from the University of Florida where she studied with Dr. Budd Udell. She relocated to Colorado and is currently Professor of music at Metropolitan State College of Denver, where she teaches music theory and composition. A composer with works for choir, piano, opera, voice, carillon, orchestra and assorted chamber ensembles; her compositions have been performed in the United States, Canada, Scotland, France, Italy, Romania, and Japan. Her works have been finalists in the Ithaca College 25th Annual Choral Composition Contest, the Outside the Bach’s Competition, the Flute New Music Competition, and the Columbia Summer Winds 2016 Composition Contest. She won the Braintree/Nashoba Valley Chorale choral competition and the Ars Nova Composition Competition, and her cycle Love Letters from a War was a vocal winner in the Boston Metro Opera competition and received an Honorable Mention from the 2010 NATS competition. American Folk Suite, a cycle for soprano and flute received a Merit Award from Boston Metro Opera in 2014, and The Life in a Day for flute, guitar, and cello won the Flute New Music Chamber Music competition in 2017. She was a featured composer at the New Music Symposium in Colorado Springs, the University of Central Missouri’s New Music Festival, the Aspen Composer’s Conference, the Hartford (Connecticut) Women Composer Festival, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Music By Women Festival, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, and at June in Buffalo. She is a member of ASCAP. ​ In her spare time, she is an avid knitter, hiker, swimmer, cook, and bibliophile. She also has a vested interest in anything made of chocolate. Visit for more information. Originally for soprano and flute, American Folk Suite was transcribed for Whistling Hens in 2019.
  • Dannielle McBryan
    Oboist and composer Dannielle McBryan (b. 1994) completed her Bachelor studies in oboe performance at the Manhattan School of Music with Stephen Taylor in 2016. During her time there, she was the recipient of two fellowships; Yale School of Music’s Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. After she completed her studies, she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study oboe in Bremen, Germany, where she currently is working on her Master’s with Christian Hommel. She is currently an awardee from the Oscar und Vera Ritter Stiftung in Hamburg, Germany. Dannielle has performed as a guest with Ensemble Connect at both their residency at Skidmore College in 2016, and at a performance at the French Consulate in New York City in 2017. She has performed numerous times as a guest with Ensemble Modern and has been on tour with them at such venues as the Bockenheimer Depot in Frankfurt, the Koelner Philharmonie, the Prinzregententheater in Munich, and the Berliner Philharmonie. She is the co-founder and artistic director of Avant Projekts, a grant-winning social media-based dance company which presents classical art forms in a relatable format that appeals to viewers from all backgrounds. ​ It's Bedtime was commissioned by Whistling Hens in 2018 and was premiered March 2019.
  • Kimberly Osberg
    Kimberly R. Osberg (b. 1992) is a composer from Eau Claire, Wisconsin who specializes in interdisciplinary collaboration. Her projects have included dance, film, environmental sound installations, instrumental theatre, plays, opera, visual art, award ceremonies, and stage combat. Her music has been described as “brilliant,” “highly-engaging,” “wonderfully suspenseful,” and “intensely colorful,” and has received acclaim from academic, commercial, and public audiences alike. Her collaborations have been hailed as “ambitious” and “pioneering,” and have even inspired collaborators to launch annual opportunities for composers (including the Exponential Ensemble’s Fordham Composers Program). Her work has been featured by Samsung as part of their featured VR experiences, and her 2020 Commissions from Quarantine project was a feature story in both the Dallas Morning News and WQOW News 18. She is also an active writer, creating original text for over a dozen musical works—including a tone poem for projected text and chamber orchestra (Rocky Summer, Dallas Chamber Symphony), and an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” for her operetta, Thump (New Voices Opera). During her 3 years in Dallas, TX, Kimberly’s prolific output included collaborations with nearly a dozen DFW-based organizations, musicians, and ensembles, including the Dallas Chamber Symphony, the Dallas Contemporary and artist Ian Davenport, Bruce Wood Dance, Trio Kavanáh, and MAKE. Other notable collaborations include projects with the Pittsburg State University Wind Ensemble, the New Voices Opera company, and the Indiana University Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance (including mainstage shows Macbeth and Prospect Hill, and works for dance and stage combat). Since moving to Portland, Oregon in 2020, Kimberly’s prolific output has exploded into a dynamic array of works, including collaborations with the Merian Ensemble, the Grand Circle New Music Ensemble, the Chaski duo, the Bassless Trio, tuo duo, SANS; duo—not to mention several middle school, high school, and collegiate music programs, as well as countless individual musicians across the country—resulting in over 60 new musical works in just 24 months. Kimberly holds degrees from Luther College (BA) and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (MM). She has also attended several premiere festivals as a composition fellow, including the Brevard Music Festival, IRCAM’s ManiFeste, and the Aspen Music Festival. She was also a featured composer for the New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble’s Annual James Tenney Memorial Symposium, and has enjoyed performances from the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Orford Festival in Canada, the Oh My Ears New Music Festival, the Madison New Music Festival, the Darkwater Music Festival, and the Women Composers Festival of Hartford. She continues to live Portland, Oregon where she continues writing, walking, watching movies with her partner Maurico, and attempting to keep a few plants alive. Learn more at
  • Hannah Rice
    Hannah Rice is a Louisiana-based composer and singer who enjoys exploring extremes through range, timbre, and contemporary techniques in both her compositions and performances. She is currently pursuing a dual degree in composition (with Dr. Mara Gibson) and vocal performance (with Dr. Lori Bade) at Louisiana State University. In 2021, her choral piece “Clara – To Fly a Plane” from Dear World was published by Hal Leonard under the Craig Hella Johnson series. In addition, 4 of Hannah’s tracks have been published by APM Music’s sound library, MPATH, and included on volumes 4, 10 and 11 of the Phenomenal Women Series albums. She has won numerous calls for scores while at LSU, including the Atlantic Brass Call for Scores, Megan Ihnen and Darrel Hale Call for Scores, and the Constantinides New Music Ensemble Call for Scores for Carnegie Hall. Most recently, her piece, “Listen!” was broadcast on WPRB, NJ, “Viva La 21st Century.” Hannah is passionate about uplifting historically underrepresented composers and recently organized a recital featuring female composers and performers, as well as herself, at LSU. She hopes to continue collaborations like these in the future. Learn more at
  • Carrie Rose
    Carrie Rose is a flutist, composer, and teacher in the Washington, DC area.​ She is producer, composer, and performer for the Origins Concert Series in Silver Spring, Maryland—a hub for adventurous music seekers that features a world premiere of her compositions on each concert. The series, in its tenth season, is supported by the Arts and Humanities Commission of Montgomery County. Her work has also received numerous grants from the Maryland State Arts Council, the Arts and Humanities Commission of Montgomery County, and the American Composers Forum. Her interest in contemporary music has led her to give solo flute performances in Washington, DC and New York City and contemporary music workshops at several universities. She is a member of inHale - a flute collective with Lisa Cella and Jane Rigler - three flute players on a mission to bring classical music of our time into the world. Her new music CD, Books of Flutes, released by 11 West Records, features solo and ensemble music and was broadcast it in its entirety by WMUA in Amherst, Massachusetts. In DC’s City Paper, she was named a “favorite local composer”. In addition to the premiers at the Origins Concert Series, her compositions have been featured at the University of DC, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Goucher College, played by the DC Youth Orchestra, and performed at Strathmore Mansion. ​ Rose also plays classical chamber music with Bella Mattina (flute, oboe, harp) and Bambou (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon.) She is an active orchestral freelancer in the DC area. Past venues have included the National Cathedral, Lisner Auditorium, and the Harman Center for the Arts. She is an enthusiastic teacher at her private flute studio in Takoma Park, Maryland, and previously taught general music classes for 10 years at the Oneness-Family Montessori School, an international peace academy in Bethesda, Maryland. She runs Flute-a-rama Flute Camp with Melissa Lindon and has coached chamber music through the DC Youth Orchestra Program. ​ Rose earned Master and Bachelor of Music degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Joshua Smith, principal flutist of the Cleveland Orchestra. ​ At folk dances across the country, Rose can be spotted as both a dancer and a musician. She especially enjoys reliving the time of Jane Austen with the elegance and playfulness of English Country dancing. Rose also enjoys the expansiveness of hiking in the woods.
  • Diana Rosenblum
    Based in Rochester, NY, Diana Rosenblum is pursuing a Ph.D in Composition at Eastman School of Music, where she holds a prestigious Sproull Fellowship and is a student of David Liptak, having also studied with Robert Morris and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon. ​ She has earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Princeton University — where her senior thesis "Socratic Sophistry: inherent humors of playing the hypocrite" was advised byHendrik Lorenz — and an M.M. in Composition from University of Oregon, where she studied with Robert Kyr and David Crumb and was named Outstanding Graduate Scholar. Diana has been recognized for academic achievement at Eastman via the Imagination Fund, Samuel Adler Scholarship, and Pi Kappa Lambda membership. She was recently awarded Eastman's Belle S. Gitelman Award for Piano Quartet, is a two-time recipient of the Wayne Brewster Barlow Prize - awarded in 2018 for full-orchestral work, Gordian Knot, and 2017 for octet Myrioriama (commissioned by OSSIA New Music for their 20th season) - and received the Anthony and Carolyn Donato Prize in 2016.
  • Dawn Sonntag
    Dawn Sonntag's music intimately connects her listeners with the people, places, and personal experiences that inspire and inform her work. Her works have been commissioned and performed by the Cleveland Opera Theater, the Hartford Opera Theater, and Opera from Scratch in Halifax, Nova Scotia; the Almeda Trio; the Fairbanks Arts Festival resident ensembles Corvus and Concert Black and String Symphony; the Delgani, Del Sol, and Amphion String Quartets, the Orchid Ensemble in Vancouver, Canada; and by university, church and community choirs across the U.S. Sonntag has been honored as the Music Teachers National Association Composer of the Year in both Washington State (2021) and Ohio (2010). Her first opera, Verlorene Heimat, for which she also composed the libretto, is a finalist in the 2021 American Prize for opera composition. She was the 2019 recipient of a Swedish government intercultural exchange fellowship at the Visby International Centre for Composers. Dr. Sonntag is a lecturer in music composition at Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, Washington) and has also taught at Gonzaga University (Spokane, Washington), the University of Saint Catherine (St. Paul, MN.) and at Hiram College (near Cleveland, OH), where she also served as chair of the Music Department. Learn more at
  • Jennifer Stevenson
    Los Angeles based orchestral and chamber musician Dr. Jennifer Stevenson performs regularly with the chamber music group Definiens, and also serves as its Director of Education and Outreach. As a composer, her works for chamber ensemble have been premiered at the Chicago Civic Center as part of the New Artists in Chicago Festival, the International Clarinet Association’s convention in Ostend, Belgium, and at multiple new music festivals, including the Fresno New Music Festival. She has received commissions from the Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival, the LA Musical Salon, and private artists from around the globe. Jennifer is also a multiple recipient of Meet the Composer’s Creative Connections grant and received an American Composers Forum SUBITO Grant through the San Francisco and Los Angeles chapters. A CD of her Musical Adventures, musical stories for children, was released through Tessella Music.
  • Barbara Strozzi
    Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677) Italian composer and singer Barbara Strozzi was the adopted (and possibly illegitimate) daughter of poet-librettist Giulio Strozzi. Her father’s connections to Monteverdi and other Venetian musicians caused him to encourage her musical endeavors. She often sang and played lute at meetings of the Accademia degli Unisoni, which her father founded. Most of her works are ariettes, arias, and cantatas for solo voice, usually for the soprano. Over 100 of her works were published in her lifetime. Her opus 2 was published in 1651 and is dedicated to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III of Austria and Leonora II. Opus 3 was published in 1653 and is dedicated to an unknown goddess.
  • Iris Szeghy
    Composer Iris Szeghy was born into a Hungarian family in Presov (Czechoslovakia, now Slovakia). She studied composition at the Academy of Music in Bratislava, later she finished her doctoral studies of composition at the same school. Szeghy is a freelance composer and lives in Zürich in Switzerland. Iris Szeghy went through different composition residencies in Germany (Stuttgart, Hamburg, Worpswede), Holland (Amsterdam), Switzerland (Boswil, Stein am Rhein, Willisau), Spain (Mojácar), France (Paris), Poland (Warsaw), Hungary (Budapest), England (London) and in the U.S.A. (San Diego). She writes orchestral, chamber and choral music, her works are performed in concerts and prestigious festivals in many countries of Europe, in America and Asia. Szeghy cooperated with distinguished performers, ensembles, orchestras, e.g. with the Hilliard Ensemble,London Sinfonietta, Concorde Ensemble Dublin, Gemini Ensemble and Composers Ensemble London, „ensemble recherche“ Freiburg, Musikfabrik Cologne, Camerata Berne, Festival Strings Lucerne, with Harry Sparnaay, Teodoro Anzellotti, Jane Manning etc. She obtained more compositional awards and prizes, especially in Switzerland, Slovakia and Czech Republic. Two Portrait-CDs (2001 in Germany, 2008 in Switzerland) have been published.
  • Germaine Tailleferre
    Born and raised in Paris, Germaine Tailleferre was a piano prodigy and equally skilled artist. At age 12 she entered the Paris Conservatoire, much to her father’s consternation, to study with Eva Sautereau-Meyer. It was there that she met Auric, Honegger, and Milhaud. In 1919 Le Six was formed, with Tailleferre as the only woman. Unfortunately, this distinction did not engender economic prosperity for many reasons, among which was that Tailleferre, a modest woman, was afraid of promoting herself properly. Driven by commissions, she often wrote hastily, and much of her work was film music.
  • Gwyneth Walker
    Widely performed throughout the country, the music of American composer Gwyneth Walker is beloved by performers and audiences alike for its energy, beauty, reverence, drama, and humor. Dr. Gwyneth Walker (b. 1947) is a graduate of Brown University and the Hartt School of Music. She holds B.A., M.M. and D.M.A. degrees in Music Composition. A former faculty member of the Oberlin College Conservatory, she resigned from academic employment in 1982 in order to pursue a career as a full-time composer. For nearly 30 years, she lived on a dairy farm in Braintree, Vermont. She now divides her time between her childhood hometown of New Canaan, Connecticut and the musical community of Randolph, Vermont. ​ Gwyneth Walker has been a proud resident of Vermont for many years. She is the recipient of the 2000 "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Vermont Arts Council as well as the 2008 "Athenaeum Award for Achievement in the Arts and Humanities" from the St. Johnsbury (VT) Athenaeum. In 2012, she was elected as a Fellow of the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences. She also received the 2018 "Alfred Nash Patterson Lifetime Achievement Award" from Choral Arts New England. Walker's catalog includes over 350 commissioned works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, chorus, and solo voice. A special interest has been dramatic works that combine music with readings, acting, and movement. ​ The texts for The Laughter of Women are found in "Alive Together", the 1997 Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of poems by Lisel Mueller. This poetry encompasses a broad spectrum of mood: reverent, irreverent, witty, poignant, independent, reflective and triumphant.
  • Joelle Wallach
    Visionary composer Joelle Wallach writes music for orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo voices and choruses. Her String Quartet 1995 was the American Composers Alliance nominee for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize in Music. The New York Philharmonic Ensembles premiered her octet, From the Forest of Chimneys, written to celebrate their 10th anniversary; and the New York Choral Society commissioned her secular oratorio, Toward a Time of Renewal, for 200 voices and orchestra to commemorate their 35th Anniversary Season in Carnegie Hall. Wallach’s ballet, Glancing Below, a 1999 Juilliard Dance Theater showcase production originally commissioned by the Carlisle Project, was premiered in Philadelphia during the summer of 1994, entered the repertory of the Hartford Ballet in February 1995, and received its New York City premiere that June. As early as 1980 her choral work, On the Beach at Night Alone, won first prize in the Inter-American Music Awards. Wallach grew up in Morocco, but makes her home in New York City, where she was born. Her early training in piano, voice, theory, bassoon and violin included study at the Juilliard Preparatory Division, and she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University respectively. In 1984 the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with John Corigliano, granted her its first doctorate in composition. Dr. Wallach served as Visiting Professor of Composition at the College of Music of the University of North Texas, while continuing to present pre-concert lectures for the New York Philharmonic where she speaks on a broad range of musical subjects, bringing fresh insights to familiar works and opening doors to modern ones and to those less frequently heard.
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