Composer Bios: S


Steven SametzSteven Sametz
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Dr. Steven Sametz (b. 1954) has been called “one of America’s most respected choral composers.” His compositions have been heard throughout the world at the Tanglewood, Ravinia, Salzburg, Schleswig- Holstein and Santa Fe music festivals. His in time of appears on the Grammy award-winning CD by Chanticleer Colors of Love and his work may be heard on six other Chanticleer CDs, as well as The Princeton Singers’ Reincarnations, Christmas with the Princeton Singers and Old, New Borrowed, Blues.

Dr. Sametz has received commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Connecticut Council on the Arts and the Santa Fe music festival, creating new works for Chanticleer, the Dale Warland Singers, Philadelphia Singers, Pro Arte Chamber Choir, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Connecticut Choral Artists, Los Angeles Master Chorale and the King of Thailand. His compositions are published by E.C. Schirmer Music Company, Oxford University Press, Alliance Music, Walton Music, GIA Publications and Steven Sametz Publications.

Dr. Sametz is the Ronald J. Ulrich Professor of Music and director of Lehigh University Choral Arts in Bethlehem, Pennsylania and is founding director of the Lehigh Choral Union and the Lehigh University Choral Composers’ Forum, a summer course of study designed to mentor emerging choral composers. Since 1998, he has served as Artistic Director for The Princeton Singers. His guest conducting appearances include the Taipei Philharmonic Foundation, the Berkshire Music Festival, the New York Chamber Symphony and the Netherlands Radio Choir.

Dr. Sametz has served as panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and Chorus America. He has been acting Director of Choral Activities at Harvard University. At the Santa Fe Music Festival, he conducted his own works in a program entitled Sametz Conducts Sametz with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. He has conducted Chanticleer in the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 in New York and San Francisco to critical acclaim.

Dr. Sametz holds degrees from Yale University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany.


Felicia SandlerFelicia Sandler
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The music of Felicia Sandler (b. 1961) has been performed by ensembles from across the United States and Europe. Her recent commissions include Hysteria in Salem Village for the Big East Conference Band Directors Association (2004), Frozen Shadow – Quiet Light for Eliot Gattegno, tenor saxophonist for the Radnofsky Saxophone Quartet (2004), a new work for the Corona Guitar Quartet of Denmark, (2004), Rosie the Riveter commissioned by H.R. Reynolds for the University of Michigan Symphony band (2001), and Ring Out Wild Bells! for the University of Michigan Chamber Chorus (2000).

Sandler’s recent performances include Eliot Gattegno (January 2004), the U.S. Navy Band (May 2003), Symposium of New Band Music – VA intercollegiate CBDNA conference (February 2003), Plymouth Symphony (November 2002), Dale Warland Singers (May 2002), SCI 36th National Conference (April 2002). She has received awards from Meet The Composer, the Presser Foundation, and the American Composers Orchestra, among others.

Sandler’s choral compositions are published by E.C. Schirmer Music Company and Mark Foster Music Company; her band music is published by Ballerbach Music.

Sandler received a Ph.D. in composition and theory from the University of Michigan, an M.L.M. in liturgical music from The Catholic University of America, and a B.M. in composition and theory from the University of the Pacific. She is a former faculty member of Bowling Green State University, the University of Michigan, and currently teaches full-time at the New England Conservatory.


David SartorDavid Sartor
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David Sartor received his education at the Blair School of Music, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory, and the University of Tennessee, where he studied with John Anthony Lennon and the late David Van Vactor. He holds full memberships in Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda, the American Music Center (artist member), ASCAP, the American Federation of Musicians, the National Association of Composers USA, the Center for the Promotion of Contemporary Composers, the American Composers Forum, the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and the Society of Composers, Inc., and is included in Who’s Who in American Music, The International Who’s Who in Music and Who’s Who in America®. Sartor’s works are published by ECS Publishing, Shawnee Press, TRN Music, J.W. Pepper, and by his own publishing company, Metamorphic Music. Selected works are also available through Theodore Front Music Literature Inc., Van Nuys, California.

Compositions by Sartor have been featured nationally and internationally at the Tanglewood Music Festival, the Aspen Summer Music Festival, the International Double Bass Festival, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the International Music Festival in San Jose Costa Rica, The World’s Largest Organ Concert, and at Carnegie Hall, with broadcast performances on National Public Radio and local affiliates. As Guest Composer, Conductor and Lecturer he has completed residencies at venues that include the Washington (D.C.) National Cathedral, Illinois State University, and California State University Bakersfield, sponsored by New York City’s Meet The Composer Foundation.

Sartor has been honored with prestigious awards which include the American Bandmasters Association’s Ostwald Prize for Symphonic Wind Ensemble Music, the National Fine Arts Award, a New Music for Young Ensembles composition prize, eighteen consecutive ASCAP awards, and a “highly commended” award in England’s Oare String Orchestra Third Annual International Music for Strings Composition Contest. The recipient of multiple commissions from a variety of ensembles, his works have been performed by noted artists such as the Cincinnati, Knoxville and Brevard Symphony Orchestras, the Minneapolis Vocal Consort, bassist John Deak, soprano Cheryl Studer, organist Peter Fyfe, the Cathedral Choral Society at the Washington (D.C.) National Cathedral, and the “President’s Own” United States Marine Corps Concert Band in Washington, D.C. His Metamorphic Fanfare, commissioned and premiered by Kirk Trevor and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, has received widespread critical acclaim and, along with his Concerto for Orchestra and Black Ball Counts Double, has been recorded by the Kiev Philharmonic with Robert Ian Winstin conducting for release on ERM Media’s prestigious “Masterworks of the New Era” CD series.

Sartor resides in Middle Tennessee with his wife, the author Nancy Sartor.


James SclaterJames Sclater

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James Sclater grew up in Mobile, Alabama and graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a B.M. and M.M. in Theory-Composition. At U.S.M. he studied clarinet with Gomer Pound. He earned the D.M.A. in Composition from the University of Texas at Austin in 1970. Sclater has been a faculty member at Mississippi College since 1970 and retired from the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in the year 2000 after serving in the clarinet section for 29 years.

Sclater’s compositions have been performed both nationally and internationally. His chamber opera The Christmas Gift is a regular feature of the Children’s Musical Theatre in Cheropovets, Russia. He won the Ostwald Prize in 1974 and has been honored for thirteen straight years with a Serious Music award from ASCAP. Recent works include Images of Southern Religion for Organ and Brass Quintet, commissioned by the AGO, Region IV.

Sclater performs with colleague Angela Willoughby in the chamber duo LYRICAS. He is married to Judy Davis, a multi-talented musician who also dyes Ukrainian Easter eggs. They have a daughter, Patricia Ann, who lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri.


David A. Seitz

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David A. Seitz was born into a singing family in 1943. He showed early interest in leading hymns and conducting choirs in the Mennonite churches of his youth. After graduating from Eastern Mennonite College (now University) at Harrisonburg, Virginia, he earned a master’s degree in choral conducting at Indiana University. At Bloomington he studied conducting and choral literature under Charles Webb, Fiora Contino, and Julius Herford, one of Robert Shaw’s primary mentors.

In 1968 David joined the faculty of Eastern Mennonite College teaching voice and conducting the touring choir. At this time he also was active singing, arranging, conducting, and recording for Mennonite Broadcasts (now Mennonite Media). He was closely involved with the production of three LPs that have since been reissued as CDs. In addition wrote, directed, and performed music for the summer stage productions of Good Enterprises in Lancaster County, PA.

Since moving to Indiana in 1971, David has served as music director at Prairie Street Mennonite and Trinity United Methodist Churches in Elkhart. In 1999 he began his current position as music director at First United Methodist Church in Mishawaka where he shares the music leadership with his wife, organist/pianist Christine Larson Seitz.

David composed and directed music for the outdoor drama Firemakers that opened in the summer of 1975. Later in 1975 David started the community chamber choir Camerata Singers based in Elkhart County, Indiana. He and Christine have collaborated in the group’s artistic leadership since 1978. In 2003 Camerata Singers reorganized as the current St. Joseph Valley Camerata, a professional level chamber choir of eighteen singers.

A strong area of David’s music activities has been choral composition and arranging. Over the past forty-five years he has written more than 125 pieces for his choirs.


Aline ShaderAline Shader

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Aline Shader (1936-2002) was a prolific composer of children’s songs, compiling a portfolio of over 200 titles containing her music and lyrics. Her most well-known song is Here in My House,a winter-holiday song about Christmas and Chanukah, published in 1982 by Coronet Press and sung by thousands of school children across the United States each holiday season for the last two decades.

In 1998, 17 of Mrs. Shader’s songs were recorded on a CD, Singing To Benefit Children, which she provided at cost to non-profit organizations that work for children. All profits from the organizations’ retail sales are used to fund their programs. Yo-Yo Ma said of Mrs. Shader’s music and the CD that “Aline Shader provides a wonderful opportunity for children to become involved with music.”

Mrs. Shader graduated in 1958 from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, with a degree in dance. After graduation, she performed in cabaret and off-Broadway reviews, and in the national touring company of The Boy Friend. After her first child was born, she began teaching dance and exercise, and in the mid-1960s began teaching drama to elementary school children in Newton, MA, where she and her family had settled. Over time, realizing that children loved to sing as well as act, she began writing incidental music to the plays and eventually developed musical productions of her own based on American history, mythology, the bible, and many other themes.

Later, Mrs. Shader earned a master’s degree in education from Cambridge College in Cambridge, MA, and began accepting invitations for one-week composer-in-residence positions at elementary and middle schools throughout the Northeast. She composed Una Luna Bria (One Bright Night) while composer-in-residence in the elementary schools in Chelsea MA. She sought to compose a song that was upbeat and could be sung in both English and Spanish by her students, most of whom were bilingual. Chosen by the National Association of Music Educators (MENC) to be performed at the Music Educator’s National Conference in March 2003, Una Luna Bria was available for one year from MENC during which time it was sung by millions of children.


Carlyle SharpeCarlyle Sharpe
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Carlyle Sharpe (b. 1965) is Associate Professor of Music in Composition and Theory at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. He graduated summa cum laude with Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in composition from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and was a recipient of the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts. Upon completion of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition at Boston University, he was one of five graduating students to receive the Kahn Career Entry Award for the Arts, a generous grant awarded to launch the recipients’ professional careers.

Commissions include those from the Seraphim Singers, Providence Singers (Proud Music of the Storm), Suburban Youth Symphony Orchestra (Chicago), Colorado Brass Band, Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, ALEA III Contemporary Ensemble in Boston, and Olympic Quartet (Luge) for the 2002 Winter Olympics Festival Concerts celebrating the Cultural Olympiad. His Laudate Nomen for SATB Chorus and Organ won the 2000 American Guild of Organists/ECS Publishing Award in Choral Composition, Confitemini Domino for Brass Quintet and Organ won the 1997-98 Holtkamp/American Guild of Organists Award in Organ Composition, and Psalm 122 for SATB Chorus, Tenor Solo and Organ won the 1996-97 American Guild of Organists/ECS Publishing Award in Choral Composition. He is published by ECS Publishing, Hinshaw Music, Inc. and Colla Voce Music, Inc., and has been honored through the ASCAP Foundation Grants to Young Composers, an ASCAP scholarship, the ASCAP Awards, and Meet the Composer.

His music has been broadcast over WGBH Radio-Boston, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Minnesota Public Radio and Nebraska Public Radio, and his works have received numerous performances including those by the San Diego Symphony, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, San Diego Master Chorale, Innovations en Concert-Les Solistes “Amérique” in Montréal, Minnesota All-State Choir, New England Philharmonic, Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, Kwang Ju City Choir in Korea, Charlotte Symphony, Omaha Symphony, and at the Oberlin College-Conservatory, Aspen Music Festival, Washington National Cathedral, the American Guild of Organists National Conventions in Denver and Philadelphia, the 4th Curso Internacional de Regencia Coral in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Melbourne 5th International Festival of Choirs in Australia, and the Tanglewood Music Festival.

Prior to teaching at Drury University, he was Assistant Professor of Music in Theory and Composition at Boston University’s School of Music and taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While at Boston University, he studied composition with John Harbison, Charles Fussell, and Marjorie Merryman. His composition teachers at Rice University were Paul Cooper, George Burt, and Arthur Gottschalk. As a student in the Advanced Master Class Program in Composition at the Aspen Music Festival, he studied with Jacob Druckman and Bernard Rands.


Judith ShatinJudith Shatin
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Judith Shatin is a composer, sound artist, community arts partner and educator. Called “highly inventive… on every level; hugely enjoyable and deeply involving (Washington Post), her music reflects her inventive approach to musical timbre and her strong dramatic sense. She is as likely to draw upon the sounds made by a weaver at her loom (Penelope’s Song), or by a sculptor carving (Tree Music), as she is to find imaginative uses for traditional instruments and voices.

In recent years, Shatin has been drawn increasingly to choral music, with commissions from the New York Treble Singers (Amulet), the San Francisco Girls Chorus (Beetles, Monsters and Roses), the Virginia Glee Club (The Jabberwocky), and the Young Peoples Chorus of NYC (Why the Caged Bird Sings). Commissions have also come from the Ash Lawn Opera, Barlow Foundation, Core Ensemble, Hexagon Ensemble, Kronos Quartet and the National Symphony, among many others. A recipient of four National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, Shatin has also been honored with awards from the American Music Center, Meet the Composer, New Jersey State Arts Council and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. A two-year retrospective of her music, culminating in her folk oratorio COAL, was sponsored by the Lila-Wallace Readers-Digest Arts Partners Program. Performed by such ensembles as the Denver, Houston, Illinois, Knoxville, National and Richmond Symphonies, her music has also been presented by the Cube Ensemble, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; the Cassatt, Ciompi and Kronos Quartets; the Contemporary Music Forum, New York New Music Ensemble, Orchestra of St. Lukes Second Helpings, and Da Capo Chamber Players.

Currently William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor at the University of Virginia, Judith Shatin is a staunch advocate for new music, She has served twice on the Board of Directors of the League-ISCM as well as serving on the board of the American Composers Alliance and as President of American Women Composers (1989-93). She is currently on the advisory board of the International Alliance for Women in Music and the Copland House.

Educated at Douglass College (AB), The Juilliard School (MM) and Princeton University (PhD), she has twice been a fellow at the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio, with additional residencies at Bramshaus, the Charles Ives Center for American Music, La Cité des Arts, Mishkan Amanim, the MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for Creative Arts and Yaddo.

Shatin is in high demand as a master teacher, serving in that capacity at the Wellesley Composer Conference, Austin Peay State University New Directions Series, University of Minnesota, and in numerous other settings. Her music is recorded on the Capstone, Centaur, Innova, Neuma, New World and Sonora labels. It is published, in addition to Ione Press, by C.F. Peters, Colla Voce, Hal Leonard and Wendigo Music, the latter distributed by MMB.


Martin ShawMartin Shaw
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A composer of several hundred works, Martin Shaw was a leading pioneer for the revival of English music during the early part of the 20th Century. This work laid the foundation for the world-wide success of English and American music we know today.

Shaw’s musical ambitions were to bring good music to a wide audience rather than compose works for a musical elite. However, he also composed many songs for professional singers. The discovery of these songs in the UK combined with the recent acquisition of his archive by the British Library means his reputation is ripe for reappraisal.


Allen ShawnAllen Shawn

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Allen Shawn is a composer, pianist, educator, and author who lives in Vermont and teaches composition and music history at Bennington College. His previous books include Arnold Schoenberg’s Journey and Twin: A Memoir.

Shawn began composing at the age of ten, but dates his mature work from 1977. He has written a dozen orchestral works, including a Symphony, and Piano Concerto, and a Violin Concerto; three chamber operas; four piano sonatas and many additional works for piano; a large catalogue of chamber music, songs and choral music. Among Shawn’s available recordings are several of chamber music, three CDs of piano music, a Piano Concerto performed by Ursula Oppens with the Albany Symphony Orchestra under the direction of David Alan Miller, and a chamber opera “The Music Teacher”, with a libretto by his brother, Wallace Shawn.

Valerie Shields

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Valerie Shields (b. 1951) lives in Seattle, where she is organist at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church and accompanist at Temple de Hirsch Sinai. She served as Director of Music at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Park Ridge, Illinois from 1974–1985 and was assistant director of the Northwest Girlchoir from 1985-1997.

The needs of her children’s choirs, congregations and commissioning choirs have been the inspiration for over eighty published pieces. Shields’ composing and arranging reflect her wide experience as a choir director, organist, pianist and instrumentalist. She is committed to the musical expression of children and enjoys teaching them and encouraging them to improvise and compose their own texts and music. Shields’ passion and love for creating is also expressed in her garden.

She received her Bachelor of Music degree in organ and violin from St. Olaf College and a Master of Music degree in organ from Northwestern University.


Clare ShoreClare Shore
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Clare Shore, the second woman to earn the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition from The Juilliard School (1984), has received critical acclaim for her works, with reviewers from the New York Times, New York Post, Boston Globe, Washington Post, and others hailing her works as “provocative” … “immensely dramatic” … “unpretentious” … “ingenious and evocative” … “intriguing” … “romantic to the core”. While at Juilliard Ms. Shore studied with David Diamond, Vincent Persichetti, and Roger Sessions, and subsequently with Gunther Schuller. Since then, she has received numerous commissions, awards, and grants, including a 1995 Composer Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Shore has taught at Fordham University, Manhattan School of Music, the University of Virginia, George Mason University, and Palm Beach Atlantic College. She currently holds an exclusive publishing contract with ECS Publishing. Other works are found in the catalogs of Arsis Press, Plucked String Editions, and Seesaw Music. Her works are recorded on CRS, Owl Recordings, and Opus One, produced by Grammy Award-winning Elite Recordings.


Kevin SiegfriedKevin Siegfried
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Kevin Siegfried (b. 1969) holds a doctorate from the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Lee Hyla, Michael Gandolfi, and Daniel Pinkham. He is currently a faculty member at The Boston Conservatory. His choral music is published by E. C. Schirmer Music Company, Trinitas, and Earthsongs and is featured on the Loft Recordings label.
sirettWEBMark Sirett
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Dr. Mark Sirett (b. 1952) is a native of Kingston, Ontario, and a graduate in choral conducting and pedagogy from the University of Iowa. He has taught at the University of Western Ontario, the University of Alberta, and Queen’s University . He is the founding Artistic Director of the Cantabile Choirs of Kingston, a seven-choir educational program involving almost 300 singers.

Dr. Sirett has won two international awards in choral conducting: the Jury Prize for Imaginative Programming and Artistry at the Cork International Choral Festival, 2002 in Ireland, and the Outstanding Conductor Award from the Young Prague 2004 Music Festival. Choirs under his direction have won numerous provincial, national, and international honors, including First Prize in the CBC Choral Competition in the Church Choir Category. In 2008 he was awarded the President’s Leadership Award by Choirs Ontario for his contribution to the arts in the province.

Dr. Sirett is award-winning choral composer and arranger. Recently the Association of Canadian Choral Communities awarded him with “Outstanding Composition for 2010.” His works have been commissioned, performed and recorded by some of world’s leading choirs including the National Youth Choir of Canada, The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Toronto Children’s Chorus. He is frequently in demand as a guest conductor, choral clinician and adjudicator.


Charles Villiers StanfordCharles Villiers Stanford

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Irish by birth, Charles Villiers Stanford was destined to follow his father’s footsteps as a lawyer. As a condition of allowing him to attempt a musical career, his father insisted that he read classics at Cambridge before taking the usual course of intending musicians… in Leipzig. The young and hopeful musician obediently went to Queen’s College, Cambridge and, as so many have since done, spent more time in making music than reading for his degree. In his third year he was appointed organist of Trinity and conductor of two choral societies which he combined to form the Cambridge University Musical Society, known ever since affectionately as ‘CUMS’.

In 1874, still only 22, Stanford managed his third-class honours degree in classics and immediately left for Germany. After Leipzig he studied in Berlin and travelled all over Germany and France listening to all the ‘new music’ of Wagner, Brahms, Meyerbeer and Offenbach. With unbridled energy he returned regularly to conduct CUMS in much contemporary music (including his own) and to begin the tradition of performing the great classical choral works (including his own edition of the Bach St Matthew Passion which remains an outstanding tribute to English musicology).

His unrivalled knowledge of contemporary music, together with his love and respect for earlier choral music, allowed him to make the biggest impact of all his collegues in the renaissance of English music in the late 19th century. First came the church services, almost symphonic in design, with meaty organ parts which gave the kiss of life to the almost extinct English choral tradition. Then, writing for the new upsurge of amateur choirs born of the Industrial Revolution, who joined together in large ‘festivals’, he re-vitalised the oratorio which had been the province of the priveleged ruling classes.

At a time when few Englishmen thought much of serious music in the theatre, he wrote 10 operas on subjects ranging from The Canterbury Pilgrims to Shakesear’s Much Ado by way of the Irish comedy Shamus O’Brien and – his masterpiece – The Travelling Companion (with libretto by Newbolt, after Hans Anderson). His partsongs such as The Bluebird and Heraclitus can be sung with no unfavourable comparison beside the greatest of English madrigalists whilst among the solo songs La Belle Dame sans merci and The Fairy Lough are only two of the lyrical settings in English musical history.

Such an English genius had not been acknowledged since the days of Purcell, another great man of both theatre and church music. The musical establishment claimed him – he was both Professor of Music at Cambridge and Professor of Composition at the Royal College of Music simultaneously for nearly 40 years – and every amateur singer in the country sang his music. Above all, his students in London and Cambridge read like a roll-call of British composers of the first half of the 20th century: among those who owed much to Stanford’s teaching were Bridge, Holst, Howells, Ireland and Vaughan Williams, naming only a few.


Neil StippNeil Stipp

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Neil Stipp is a full-time music teacher, organist, and award-winning composer. He received his bachelor of music degree at Biola University, his master of music degree from the University of Southern California, and his doctor of musical arts degree from the University of California at Los Angeles, all majoring in organ performance. Neil has studied the organ with Rayner Brown, Ladd Thomas, Thomas Harmon, and Christoph Bull.

Dr. Stipp has received the ASCAPlus award for the prestige value of his catalog of composed works each of the last five years. Recently, he won first prize in the 2010 AGO/ECS Publishing Award in Choral Composition for his anthem “May Your Life Be Filled with Gladness.” His works have been published by Darcey Press, Broadman Press, and EC Schirmer, and his articles have been published in The American Organist, the most widely read journal devoted to organ and choral music in the world.

Neil currently enjoys his organist positions at Grace Lutheran Church and First Presbyterian Church, both in Covina, CA, and is the college organist and artist-in-residence at Whittier College. He is a member of the American Composers Forum, ASCAP, and the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. When he’s not busy with music, his hobbies include hiking, sudoku, skiing, and dining with his three sons.
Harold StoverHarold Stover
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Harold Stover was born in Latrobe, PA in 1946. He attended Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh and is a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York. He is presently Organist and Director of Music of Woodfords Congregational Church, UCC, in Portland, ME, director of the Portland-based chamber chorus Renaissance Voices, and a member of the faculty of the Portland Conservatory of Music. His music draws on the many musical influences in his life, from Messaien and Ives to Bach and Mozart to Gershwin and Sowerby. Critics have noted his flair for instrumental color and audiences praise his new insights into familiar forms.

His career as an organ recitalist has taken him to The Riverside Church in New York, Westminster Abbey in London, and many other distinguished venues. He frequently serves as composer, performer, lecturer and clinician at regional and national conferences of musical organizations, and contributes articles to The American Organist, The Diapason, and other music journals.


Nick StrimpleNick Strimple
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Nick Strimple, a member of the faculty in the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, and Director of Music at Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church, has had a long, distinguished and versatile career. Born in 1946 in Amarillo, Texas, he was educated at Baylor University and the University of Southern California. Strimple is well-known as a scholar whose interests include twentieth century music, Jewish music, the music of Dvořák and other Czech composers, the aesthetics of sacred music, and virtually all aspects of choral music.

As a respected composer, Strimple has written concert and liturgical works, as well as film and television scores, and has served as arranger, or choral arranger, for Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, Air Supply, and other leading artists. He has received commissions from, among others, the Vienna International Organ Festival, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Diva Complex, Jorge Mester and grants from the Lifebridge Foundation, City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, Los Angeles Jewish Community Foundation, Cotsen Family Foundation, Roth Family Foundation and others.

As a guest conductor, he has performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra (London), the Nuremberg Symphony, the Ensemble Vocal d’Aquitaine, the Slovak Radio Orchestra, the Janáček Philharmonic, the Prague Radio Choir, the New York Oratorio Society, the Hans Sachs Choir, and the Oregon Bach Festival, among others. His recordings of twentieth century choral music are released on the Naxos, Music & Arts, and 4-Tay labels. His choral ensembles have appeared at divisional and national ACDA conventions and at numerous European music festivals including the Prague Summer Festival, the Athens Festival, the Pazaislis International Music Festival (Kaunas, Lithuania), the Vilnius International Music Festival, the Prague Musica Judaica Festival, and others. He has also prepared choruses for some of the world’s greatest conductors, including Zubin Mehta, Michael Tilson-Thomas and Gerard Schwarz.

At USC, Strimple teaches all the Choral Literature and Sacred Music classes as well as Music and the Holocaust, one of the University’s diversity courses. His critically acclaimed book, Choral Music in the Twentieth Century, was released in 2002 and the second volume, Choral Music in the Nineteenth Century, is scheduled for publication in Spring 2008. He is recognized internationally for his work with Holocaust music. He has lectured on the subject at Yale University, Oxford University, Wellesley College, and other distinguished institutions, and served for ten years as a consultant to the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. He has presented and performed Holocaust music programs throughout the United States and Europe. During 2001-02, Dr. Strimple served on the California State Legislature Working Group for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Education (which resulted in legislation mandating the teaching of genocide awareness in California schools). He currently serves as Vice President of the David Nowakowsky Foundation, Vice President of the Beverly Hills International Music Festival, Artistic Director of the annual Los Angeles Interfaith Symposium and Concert, and sits on the Advisory Boards of the Young Musicians Foundation, the Jewish Music Commission of Los Angeles and the Aminadav Aloni Music Foundation.

Nick Strimple also serves as Music Director of the Choral Society of Southern California, the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale, and the Los Angeles Vocal & Instrumental Ensemble (“la vie”).


Conrad SusaConrad Susa
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Conrad Susa (1935-2013) was resident composer for the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and served as dramaturge for the O’Neill Center in Connecticut. He also wrote numerous scores for documentary films and PBS television productions, choral and instrumental works and operas (Transformations, Black River and The Love of Don Perlimplín) commissioned by the Minnesota Opera Company, San Francisco Opera and Pepsico. His church opera The Wise Women, was written for the American Guild of Organists and The Dangerous Liaisons, for the San Francisco Opera.

Mr. Susa served as staff pianist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and as assistant editor of Musical America magazine. He won numerous awards, including Ford Foundation fellowships, National Endowment for the Arts grants and a National Endowment Consortium grant. He earned a B.F.A. from Carnegie Institute of Technology and received an M.S. from The Juilliard School, where he studied with William Bergsma, Vincent Persichetti, and P.D.Q. Bach.