I am a composer of music for the stage and of “classical” music. I also write the words for some of my pieces, which includes lyrics and librettos.
For some of my stage pieces I’ve written all of the lyrics; most of my classical pieces are settings of other people’s words, a notable exception being “The White Owl,” one of my Christmas pieces, which was published by G. Schirmer in the Craig Hella Johnson Choral Series in 2012 and has been performed all over the world.
Music for the Stage
After completing an MFA in theater at Trinity Rep Conservatory in 1999, I began a collaboration with South African director Liesl Tommy, with whom I worked on several pieces, writing and/or arranging scores: Two Girls from Vermont: A Dirty Pop Extravaganza, Special Audience Award winner in the 2001 New York International Fringe Festival (original music and arrangements of “found” pop music); A Glass Menagerie (workshop production) at the New York Theater Workshop (a score of four songs and piano underscoring based on poems of Tennessee Williams); and A Christmas Carol at Trinity Rep (arranged existing score and wrote new music).
I also wrote a score of faux soap opera music for the faux lesbian soap opera, Coming Soon, at the Key Theater.
I have written the libretto (book), lyrics, and music for two full-length musicals to date: Our Little Secret, a sweet comedy about three bulimic women, based on my one-act straight comedy, Barf, and Savage, a tale of love, loss, and genocide in Colonial America. Both are in development. Cephalopods is a third full-length piece (less finished than OLS and Savage), a gender bender that incorporates singing octopuses, cuttlefish, squids, and a chambered nautilus (named Margie) into a romance between two (human) scientists.
Classical vocal works include
- “Remembering That It Happened Once,” a setting of Wendell Berry’s poem of that name. RTIHO was premiered in the First Readings Project in Minneapolis (J. David Moore conductor) in September 2013 (the live recording is on my classical music page), and it will be performed in January 2014 in the New Voices at CUA, a festival of new music in Washington, DC. The work was also a semifinalist for the 2013 American Prize (Professional Choral Division).
- “The White Owl,” a modern Christmas Carol (my text), published in 2012 by G. Schirmer, Craig Hella Johnson Choral Series.
- The Gentlest Lady: Three Songs Based on Poems by Dorothy Parker, choral settings of the Marion poems of Dorothy Parker: “The Maid-Servant at the Inn,” “The Gentlest Lady,” and “Prayer for a New Mother.” The three songs were released as a choral suite in the 2015 G. Schirmer catalog, also as part of the Craig Hella Johnson Choral Series. An arrangement of “Maid-Servant” for solo soprano received its world premiere in February 2013 by Encompass New Opera Company, sung by Brittany Palmer. “The Gentlest Lady” was a prize winner in the 2013 Manhattan Choral Ensemble’s New Music for New York choral composition competition. “Prayer” is still lookin’ for its premiere.
- “Sh’ma” and “Mi Chamocha,” settings of traditional Jewish liturgical texts, received their world premieres in 2008 with the Westchester Oratorio Society, Ben Niemczyk conductor.
Master of Fine Arts, Trinity Rep Conservatory, 1999 (Graduate Award for Excellence)
Master of Arts in Teaching, Music, Washington University in St. Louis, 1986