Cheryl Coker

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

Millsaps College

Jackson, MS

Review of Performance

We’re Marching to Zion, a work for organ, was performed at the annual conference of Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers (CFAMC) on March 2, 2013, at Mississippi University, Clinton Mississippi, by Dr. Robert Knupp, faculty member. Walter Saul, a composer-member, wrote the following review in his blog:

Jerry Casey’s stunning arrangement of We’re Marching to Zion starts with a magnificent fanfare intro that explores the chromatic mediants of G Major (Eb Major, Db Major, Bb Major, and E Major), suggesting the whole world is marching to Zion. The melody is stated first simply in the right hand, then in the pedal (wonderful reed stop here!). Then motives of the theme are developed with some marvelous chordal parallelism involving more chromatic mediants and a modulation to A, ending brilliantly on a rather jazzy AM9. This fantasia unveils Casey’s love of this tune! She has studied the music of Olivier Messiaen and, even in this arrangement of a Gospel song, it shows. Robert Knupp, Mississippi College music faculty member, gave a spirited interpretation of this fine piece. The unmitigated joy and energy in this work – a rarity in much music these days – is certainly worth celebrating!