Composer Bios

Solo Vocal Music

Arsis Press scores may be ordered from individual composers.
Arsis Press Composers)


Bohun, Lyle de (1927-2015)
of Washington, D.C.

Songs of Estrangement
for string quartet & soprano
Score and parts 6'45" $ 8.00 #040022 AP-301

The four songs are entitled: Snow Has Lain, Flowers Fall, Death Has Risen and Love Is A-Borning.

With metaphors from nature, this four movement work dramatically depicts the developing intensities of a romantic relationship which over time matures and stabilizes into mutual contentment.


All of Lyle de Bohun's songs are poignantly influenced by the melodic folk traditions of the Appalachian Mountains where the composer spent her childhood. Nevertheless, some melodies are unabashedly twelve-tone rows. This is essentially a collection of love songs with the exception of Beyond the Stars, Lovely Heart, Slumber Song, and When Songs Have All Been Sung, which offer commentary on the meaning of human existence.

Beyond the Stars
(C to F-sharp) $ 4.00 #040031 AP-310

The song is dedicated to Daniel and Nancy Boone, and is set to a text by Gwen Frostic.

(C to F-sharp) $ 4.00 #040023 AP-302

(A-flat to F) $ 4.00 #040024 AP-303

score sample (pdf)
(Beyond the Stars)

score sample (pdf)

score sample (pdf)

Goodnight Kiss
(C to F) $ 4.00 #040025 AP-304

Lovely Heart
(C to B-flat) $ 4.00 #040032 AP-311


Mirrored Love
(D-flat to F) $ 4.00 #040026 AP-305

score sample (pdf)
Goodnight Kiss)

score sample (pdf)
(Lovely Heart)

score sample (pdf)
(Mirrored Love)

Sea Thoughts
(C to F) $ 4.00 #040027 AP-306

Slumber Song
with melody instrument (C to E) $ 4.00 #040033 AP-312

(C to G) $ 4.00 #040028 AP-307
The song is a setting of Shakespeare's Sonnet, "Since brass nor stone nor earth nor boundless sea."

score sample (pdf)
(Sea Thoughts)

score sample (pdf)
(Slumber Song)

score sample (pdf)

Time Cannot Claim This Hour
(C to E) $ 4.00 #040029 AP-308

When Songs Have All Been Sung
(C-sharp to D) $ 4.00 #040034 AP-313

Winter Song
(C to A) $ 4.00 #040030 AP-309

score sample (pdf)
(Time Cannot...)


score sample (pdf)
(When Songs...)

score sample (pdf)
(Winter Song)

Brill, Elissa Email:
of Holyoke, Massachusetts

for medium voice and piano
3'30" $ 6.00 #040035 AP-314

Minnie is a light-hearted setting of Eleanor Farjeon's humorous poem about Minnie who just could not make up her mind. The song is a whimsical caricature that spotlights both the vocal and theatrical talents of the performer. It is an audience pleaser that easily fills the spot for humor on a concert program.

Diemer, Emma Lou Website
of Santa Barbara, California

And I Saw a New Heaven and a New Earth
from "Revelations 21" for medium high voice, trumpet, and organ or piano
6'45" $ 7.00 #040036 AP-315

This dramatic work varies in mood from declamatory or dynamic to lyrical.

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God
from "Psalm 51" for medium voice and organ or piano
3'35" $ 6.00 #040037 AP-316

The music is quite tonal, very expressive and moving. A portion of the piece appears as an Offertory response in The New Century Hymnal (Pilgrim Press, 1995).

I Will Sing of Your Steadfast Love
from "Psalm 89" for high voice and organ
4'25" $ 6.00 #040038 AP-317

This is a joyous solo, rhythmic and colorful, ending with a jubilant expression of praise.

Who Can Find a Virtuous Woman?
from "Psalm 31" for medium high voice and organ or piano
4'35" $ 6.00 #040039 AP-318

"Proverbs 31" is a chapter exalting and honoring women of stature and virtue. The setting is lyrical and tonally uncomplicated, and should be sung with dignity of expression.

Donahue, Bertha Terry (1917-1994)

The Castle Yonder
a cycle of songs for soprano with piano accompaniment
7'30" $ 7.00 #040040 AP-319

These songs are settings of poems by children collected by Richard Lewis in his book Miracles, published by Simon and Schuster, New York 1966. They reflect a mother's comprehension of a child's world interwoven with her own. The six songs are titled: The Castle Yonder, The Dew, Household Problems, Rain, A Cat, and The Four Winds.

Dutton, Leslie
of Lubbock, Texas

Rimas de Amor
Spanish song cycle for voice and piano
14'25" $ 40.00 #040153 AP-344

Rimas de Amor is dedicated to John Gillas, Professor of Horn at Texas Tech University. The cycle consists of six poems by the Spanish Romantic poet, Gustavo Adolfo Becquer (1836-70). Most of the songs are through-composed except for #2 which is ternary and #1 which is strophic in form. The composer writes that it is her interest in the language and culture of the West Texas area that inspired her to select these poems for her song cycle.

Funk, Susan
of Los Angeles, California

For My Beloved
a wedding song (easy) for medium voice, oboe and piano
3'30" $ 6.00 #040041 AP-320

A technically easy piece for weddings or recitals, this song was the composer's gift to her bridegroom. The text is from the Song of Solomon.

Hyson, Winifred (1925-2019)
of Bethesda, Maryland

Songs of Job's Daughter
for soprano with piano accompaniment
10'40" $ 8.00 #040042 AP-321

These songs were a prize winner in the 1971 Mu Phi Epsilon Composition Contest, and was the required selection for sopranos in the 1980 Mu Phi Sterling Staff Competition.

The six songs on texts by Jean Starr Untermeyer comment on the ultimate lack of real life choices for a woman, the ambiguous feelings of a young mother, and the rapture of fulfilled love.

For further information contact:

Laitman, Lori
of Potomac, Maryland

I Never Saw Another Butterfly
Six songs for soprano and alto saxophone or clarinet or bassoon on texts by children of the Holocaust.

Edition for Alto Sax and Soprano: #040043 AP-322, $17.50
Edition for Clarinet and Soprano: #040043B AP-322B, $17.50
Edition for Bassoon and Soprano: #040043C AP-322C, $17.50
Recording: Mystery: Songs of Lori Laitman

Based on poetry by children from the Terezin concentration camp and written in 1996, the six songs of the cycle use varied imagery and musical styles. The composer writes: "One cannot help but be touched by the hope and innocence that these children put into their poetry, despite their terrible surroundings. The accompaniment of saxophone is intended to be haunting and soulful, with echoes of Klezmer music. The song titles are: The Butterfly, Yes--That's the Way Things Are, Birdsong, Man Proposes, God Disposes, and The Old House . The first performance was at John Hopkins University in 1996 with soprano Lauren Wagner and saxophonist Gary Louie, for whom the piece was written.

Larson, Anna (1940-2007) Website
formerly of Takoma Park, Maryland

The Listeners
for medium low voice and piano
6'53" $ 8.00 #040044 AP-323

The composer describes her dramatic narrative setting of the poem by Walter de la Mare: "This setting of The Listeners was written in the late 1970's as a surprise gift for my father, Arthur Larson, at the suggestion of my mother who sent me several of his favorite poems. I was immediately drawn to this text because it combines a beautifully crafted dramatic form with a stirring expression of human integrity in a world where absolute knowledge is mysteriously withheld."

for soprano and cello
Based on A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen.
$ 30.00 #040148 AP-342

Based on the title role of Ibsen's play, Nora received its first performance in 2001 on a concert of the Contemporary Music Forum at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C.
The composer writes:
"I have chosen to write this dramatic chamber work from inside Nora's mind and memory, as she ponders and relives her experience with Torvald [her husband]. When she finally leaves him, she is completely clear on the need to escape his influence, but she steps into the unknown. Nora is divided into six parts, including a prologue and epilogue of my own poetry and imagery."

Lomon, Ruth (1930-2017)
of Cambridge, MA

for soprano and piano
6' $9.00 #040151 AP-343

The texts are by Marguerite Bouvard and the music is dedicated to her. There are three canticles: Honoring the Hidden Work, Mindfulness, and Questions.

score sample (pdf)

Five Songs after Poems by William Blake
Five polyphonic duets for contralto and viola.
6' $ 8.00 #040045 AP-324

The first four poems by William Blake set here are from his Songs of Experience and the fifth is from his Satiric Verses and Epigrams. The pieces are polyphonic duets with the titles: The Sunflower, The Fly, The Sick Rose, The Clod and the Pebble, and Injunction. In a paper entitled A Comparative Stylistic Analysis, Carol Ann O'Connor writes: "This set of five polyphonic duets for contralto and viola incorporates many aspects of musical personality and technique found in [the composer's] later works...and illustrate Lomon's sensitivity to capturing in music the essence of a poetic gesture or image."

Songs from a Requiem
for soprano with piano accompaniment
10' $ 9.00 #040046 AP-325

"Lomon's intense, emotional songs have profile and character." (Boston Globe)

The songs are inserts in the setting of a Requiem Mass composed by Ruth Lomon in 1977, and dedicated to the memory of her sister. The Mass is set for chorus with trumpets and trombones. The songs, settings of poems by the composer from 1970-72, are orchestrated for soprano, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, and bassoon. Thisversion for soprano and piano was written in 1982. The titles are: Les Baux, Interregnun, The Mammoth Head, Cancrizans, Black Mesa, and Incantation.

Munn, Zae Website
of Notre Dame, Indiana

Lauber Lieder: Four Songs for Soprano and Piano
12' $10.00 (soprano) #040047 AP-326 (mezzo) #040136 AP-341

The titles are: The Slowly Opening Rose, I have Washed and Buttoned Up, Geese Along the Flowage, and The Sermon. The texts of these emotionally direct and attractive songs are by Peg Carlson Lauber, with whom Zae Munn has collaborated on other works. The poems are linked by the theme of coping with, and overcoming burdens and challenges. The songs were written in the summer of 1994, and while conceived as a set, may be performed separately.

Two for Three
for soprano, flute and viola
8' Score and parts $11.00 #040048 AP-327

Two for Three (1994) is based on two poems by Peg Carlson Lauber: For a Few Minutes Lie in the Sun and Contemplate Cliché Angels. The structure of the first song puts musical parentheses around anger and bitterness by alternating serenity, venomous emotions and a return of serenity. The second song alternates humorous music with jazz references to celebrate words. The two songs may be performed separately

What's for Supper?
four songs for soprano, viola and piano
14' Score and parts $17.50 #040049 AP-328

Composed both to entertain and educate young people about contemporary concert music as well as serve as recital pieces, What's for Supper? was written on a COSTAR Grant from Saint Mary's College. The titles of the four songs are: I'll Go Along, What's for Supper?, If I Could, and Oh no! Not Me. The individual songs may be performed separately and the piece may be performed without viola.

Pierce, Alexandra
of Redlands, California

Psalm 100
for low voice and piano or high voice and piano
Please specify which version. 5' $ 6.50 (low) #040050 AP-329A (high) #040132 AP-329B

Written in 1993, the piece is dedicated to Tina Haddon. It contains strong shifts of character, ornamentation with a Middle-Eastern flavor, and a vocal part for an agile and lyric soprano. The piece is written to be freely danced or gestured as it is sung (if desired). The pianist is an equalpartner to the singer.

Shaffer, Jeanne (1926-2007)
of Montgomery, Alabama

Christina Rossetti, My Mother and Me
A cycle of five songs for mezzo or baritone & piano
13' $ 9.00 #040051 AP-330

Dedicated to her mother, the piece is the composer's Op. 207. The titles of the songs are: Up-Hill, Sleeping at Last, Song, Remember, and Another Spring. The poems are about life, death, and using well our time with those we love. The first performance was at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C

Emptiness Became Music
Four songs for high voice, flute and piano
8' $ 8.00 #040052 AP-331

The songs are on texts by the composer and are entitled: When Did Our Love Begin?, How Dare You?, I Hear the Music Still, and Love Is Like That.

Eternity - Five Songs to poems of William Blake
for soprano with piano accompaniment
7' $ 8.00 #040053 AP-332

" It was well crafted not only with technical skill but, more important, with audience awareness and a sense of the value of communication." (The Washington Post)

Composed in 1992, Eternity has five parts: The Wild Flower's Song, Soft Snow, Infant Joy, Infant Sorrow, and Eternity. The first version of this piece was performed at the Piccolo SpoletoFestival in Charleston, SC. The published version was first performed at the 1996 Women's Music Festival at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.


On Gardens, Minutes and Butterflies
five songs for high voice, flute and piano
10' $ 9.00 #040054 AP-333

The songs are on texts by the composer and are entitled: Come slowly, Paradise, What Can I Give You, My Love?, Beautiful Fool, On Planting a Garden and all that Jazz, and Sing for Days Like Today.

Shore, Clare Website
of West Palm Beach, Florida

Four Dickinson Songs
for soprano & harpsichord
12' $ 8.00 #040055 AP-334

"...interesting contrapuntal writing"(NY Times)

Written in 1981-82, the songs to texts by Emily Dickinson have the following titles: With a Flower, I'm Nobody, Summer Shower, and I Shall Know Why...

Van Appledorn, Mary Jeanne (1927-2014)
formerly of Lubbock, Texas

Five Psalms
for trumpet, tenor voice and piano
8' 30" $ 7.00 #040056 AP-335

Written in 1998 and based on Psalms 100, 13, 117, 23 and 150.

Missa Brevis
for voice and organ or trumpet and organ
8' 30" $ 7.00 #040057 AP-336
Recording: Contemporary Record Society 8842

The piece had its premiere in October Hall at the Saratov State Conservatorie in Saratov, U.S.S.R., in 1987. The performance was by Anatoly Selianin with organist Trina Khudiakova. Robert Birch, trumpet, and Carol Feather Martin gave the American premiere at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. and have recorded the piece on a Contemporary Record Society album entitled Brass and Pipes.

Songs Without Words
for two high sopranos and piano
3'30" $ 7.00 #040058 AP-337
Recording: Living Artist Recording CD5

These three songs were written in 2000 and dedicated to Kathy and Linda McNeil. The titles are "La la la," "Ooo-Ah" and "Ta-ka-ta-ka-tu." The two vocal parts consist of imitative lines sung on nonsense syllables. The piano part includes several special effects such as glissandi and tone clusters played with the arm on the black keys.

Vercoe, Elizabeth Website
of Rockport, Massachusetts

Herstory II: Thirteen Japanese Lyrics
for soprano, piano and percussion (on texts by Japanese women)
Duration: 18 minutes
Recordings: Capstone CD 8613, Northeastern 221
Score: American Composers Alliance

"spare, reticent" (Boston Globe)

score sample (pdf)

Gardner Read writes the following in his jacket notes for the Northeastern Records recording: "Elizabeth Vercoe is a composer whose music reflects great sensitivity to sound materials. Her works are frequently brief, highly compressed-even aphoristic-expressions, generally with clear rhythmic foundations. It was characteristic of this composer that she sought out an exotic source for her texts, such as these haiku-like aphorisms by nine female poets of ancient Japan. Their musings on love-ecstatic, despairing, questioning, nostalgic-are deftly mirrored in Vercoe's concise and atmospheric settings... Piano and percussion together contribute an always apt and sensitive underpinning to the melodic vocal flow, the whole of Herstory II becoming the sum of its diverse but invariably relevant parts."


Herstory III: Jehanne de Lorraine (Joan of Arc)
for soprano and piano
Duration: 23 minutes

Recording: Owl Recording CD 35
Score: American Composers Alliance

"The most powerful work I know by a woman on a feminist theme." (Washington Post)

"This extraordinary work would be a wonderful second half for any vocal recital." (The NATS Journal)
Herstory III was commissioned by Austin Peay State University in Tennessee and was premiered there in 1986. The composer writes: "My monodrama on the 19-year-old Joan of Arc is based on writers from Shakespeare and Shaw to Mark Twain and Christine de Pisan. Documents from Joan's trial show her faith and her sharp tongue which emerge as fresh today as in 1429, the year of her trial and death. The piece is intended as a dramatic performance with lighting and costume, and is in twelve sections. There are set pieces, combinations of speech and music, some special effects (gong, finger cymbals, woodblock and use of mallets or fingers directly on the piano strings) and a return to the spare simplicity of the beginning in the concluding prayer."


Irreveries from Sappho
for mezzo or soprano and piano
Duration: 7 minutes

Recording: Capstone CD 8714 and Leonarda CD 338
Score: American Composers Alliance

"hugely funny, elegant" (St. Louis Dispatch)

The titles are: Andromeda Rag, Older Woman Blues, and Boogie for Leda.
Irreveries from Sappho is wickedly satiric and full of musical jokes and parodies. The composer comments: "Although Sappho's poetry is over 2500 years old, it seems remarkably up-to-date. Its wit calls for whatever musical sleight of hand a composer might muster: thus, the use of popular idioms and hidden tunes (Turkey in the Straw, Auld Lang Syne), as well as the more respectable tricks of the trade, such as counterpoint and recitative. Sappho's three women have clearly distinctive voices, but all three bespeak a fierce pride."

Weigl, Vally (1884-1982)

Dear Earth-a quintet of poems from Frederika Blankner
for French horn, violin, cello and piano, with medium voice (optional)

Score and Parts: American Composers Alliance
170 W. 74th St., New York, NY 10023
Recording: Orion Master Recording 80393

The song titles are: Evolution, Redemption, Post Factum, Dear Earth, and This Gift of Mine. The piece is dedicated to Ilse Sass.

The composer writes: "Although based on Frederika Blankner's poems, this music is instrumental in essence and can also be performed as Songs Without Words, with various instruments taking over the vocal melody as indicated."

Arsis Press scores may be ordered from individual composers.
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