Samantha Sherman, a voice student of Dr. Cheryl Coker, Millsaps College, Jackson, MS, collaborated with me on the writing of the art song, “The Key-Note,” (poetry of Christina Rossetti). I sent her several poems; she selected “The Key-Note,” Samantha told me why she chose the poem, spoke of favorite vocal composers, and mentioned some of her favorite musical styles. Her teacher, Dr. Coker, sent me videos of Samantha’s performances that I might get acquainted with her voice which, by the way, is very beautiful. With these thoughts in mind I wrote the music for this art song. On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, Samantha presented her senior recital which included this collaborative art song. Click the link to listen to her performance accompanied by Lynn Raley at the piano.
On February 4, 2022 Robert Voisey’s Composers Voice presented a Virtual Concert of Contemporary Quartets performed by the outstanding Argus Quartet composed of Clara Kim and Giancarlo Latta, violins, Maren Rothfritz, viola, and Audrey Chen, cello. My one movement string quartet, “One, Yet Different,” was a part of the concert. Below are the program notes for the work and a link to the performance. This work was commissioned by the Ohio Federated Music Clubs in honor of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Federated Music Clubs.
Program Notes: Music, a unifying force, is expressed in many differing ways. This thought, central to the National Federated Music Clubs, is this work’s basis. Opening with unison pitches in fanfarelike manner the intervals gradually grow wider leading to the opening theme in the first violin accompanied by sustained fifths in the cello with the second violin and viola offering syncopated pizzicato chords. The cello and first violin exchange roles. Finally the two inner instruments play the theme in unison with the outer ones adding the punctuated chords. Descending pizzicatos lead to sustained chords by the lower strings while the first violin plays a lengthy cadenza-like melody. The final section is in fugato-style using the melody of the NFMC national hymn, “Lasst uns erfreuen,” as thematic material. The ending is the opening in retrograde, the final note being in unison as it was in the beginning.
I recently attended the sixth International Festival of Music by Women at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, MS. A selection from my Seven Signs (Song Cycle for Seven Vocalists and Seven Instrumentalists) entitled “Jesus Has Come at Last” (Soprano/horn) was premiered. Performers were Dana Zenobi, soprano, and Ellie Jenkins, horn. Below are the program notes followed by the live-stream.
The raising of Lazarus from the tomb is revealed through the eyes of Martha, his sister, (soprano) and the descriptive work of the horn.
Jerry Casey, Naples, Florida, has composed works in all genres from solo voice to full orchestra. Her works have been performed across the United States, and in China, London, England, Spain, and Slovakia. She has received the ASCAPLUS award for over 24 years.
Honorable Mention for 2020-2021 American Prize Choral Category (shorter works)
Recently she was awarded Honorable Mention in the Choral Category (shorter works) of The 2020-2021 American Prize for her composition, “Yet, I Will Rejoice,” for SSATB and Chamber Orchestra, performed here by the Concert Choir and Chamber Orchestra of Otterbein University, under the direction of Dr. Gayle Walker. Click play button below to listen.
Finalist for 2020-2021 American Prize Vocal Chamber Category
Mrs. Casey was also named Finalist in the Vocal Chamber Category of The 2020-2021 American Prize for her work, “Bird Raptures,” for Soprano and Solo Flute. Performers are Cheryl Coker, soprano and Gayle Entrekin, flute. Click play button below to listen.
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I was able to attend the Sixth International Festival of Music by Women at Mississippi University for Women, Columbus, MS, March 3-5. My “Fountain Fantasy” was performed on one of the concerts by Michelle Kiec, clarinet and Jonathan Levin, piano. Here are the program notes followed by the live-stream performance.
Program notes: The clarinet opens this work with a fairly long solo meant to depict the “fits and starts” of a great design of multiple fountains beginning to display their glittering water. The piano enters and allows the clarinet to rise and fall in ever ascending passages to picture the great fountain complex. After a short solo section by the piano the clarinet begins its slow, undulating fall until the clarinet solo ending which is the opening in retrograde. Once more the fountain is still.
Jerry Casey values collaborative experiences as she creates, shares, and explores music. Thankfully for my students and me, her music growth seems to be nurtured richly through interactive experiences. When she was invited to participate with one of my classes (Women and Music) her responses to the students were thoughtful and enlightening. Her song “Bird Raptures” for voice and flute which she had sent to me, has been part of my performance repertoire for recital and conferences. Most recently she is collaborating with one of my students, using text selected by the student from options sent by Casey. The well-crafted song has been written and is now being learned for performance in a Senior Recital. I am truly thankful that our paths crossed five years ago during the Festival of Women Composers at MUW in Columbus, Mississippi. Her music has certainly enhanced music-making for many others.
Dr. Cheryl Coker
Associate Professor of Music