Arakaki, Renee

A third-generation Asian-American of Okinawan descent, Renee Arakaki first earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from the University of Hawaii in 1981. After a year of teaching conversational English in Okinawa, she returned to Hawaii where she performed in rock bands as a guitarist, singer, and sound engineer. In 1990 she established Binko Audio which now counts over 30 public school bands, orchestras and choirs among its clients. In 1997 she received a Master’s degree in composition from the University of Hawaii.

Her Precipice for solo violin is published by Arsis Press. She is also published by Media Press, and has received commissions from the Purple Moon Dance Project of San Francisco. One of these, Vessels, was performed at the United Nations International Conference on Women at Beijing, China. 

Austin, Elizabeth Scheidel

“The compositions combine solid craftsmanship with Austin’s impulses and intuition…” (IAWM Journal)

A Baltimore native, Elizabeth R. Austin received her early musical training at The Peabody Conservatory and was awarded a scholarship by Nadia Boulanger to the Conservatoire Americaine in France. While studying for her Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut, Austin won First Prize in the Lipscomb Electronic Music Competition. Other awards include a grant from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, selection by GEDOK (Society of Women Artists in Germany/Austria) for its 70th anniversary exhibition, First Prize in IAWM’s 1998 Miriam Gideon Competition, and a Rockefeller Foundation residency at Bellagio, Italy. While at the Hartt School of Music she established a faculty/student exchange with the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Heidelberg-Mannheim. 

Austin’s music has received critical acclaim worldwide. Pianist Ulrich Urban has championed her music, performing it at the Gewandhaus and The National Gallery of Art. Dr. Michael K. Slayton at Vanderbilt University has written a dissertation on her music and included a chapter on her music in Women of Influence in Contemporary Music: Nine American Composers, while Dr. Teresa Crane has written a dissertation on Austin’s song cycles. In 2015 Austin was the BMI/Vanderbilt University Composer in Residence where an excerpt from her opera, I am one and double too, was performed. She was also awarded a commission in 2015 by the Hartford Musical Club and a concert in honor of their 125th anniversary.

Her music is published by Arsis Press, Tonger Musikverlag, Peer Musik, Certosa Verlag and recorded on the Parma (Capstone) and Leonarda labels and on the 1994 Society of Composers CD and Journal (Vol. 20). Her scores are available through the American Composers Alliance.

Arsis Press has published her sacred choral piece, Christ Being Raised for SATB, now available from the American Composers Alliance.   

Barnett, Carol

Born in Iowa and raised in Minnesota, Carol Barnett is a flutist as well as a composer. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where she studied composition with Paul Fetler and Dominick Argento and she is a charter member of the American Composers Forum. She has been a fellow at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France and has also been a composer in residence with the Dale Warland Singers.

Her music has been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Gregg Smith Singers, the Harvard Glee Club, and the Ankor Children’s Choir of Jerusalem. At present she teaches at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. Her unaccompanied choral piece, Eternal Life With Thee, was published by Sisra Publications, the name used by Arsis Press for ASCAP composers. 

Bohun, Lyle de
AKA Boone, Clara Lyle (1927-2015)

Lyle de Bohun is Clara Lyle Boone’s nom de plume. Composer, founder and publisher of Arsis Press, she studied with Walter Piston at Harvard and Darius Milhaud at the Aspen Music School. She began her music studies at Centre College in Kentucky, majoring in piano and theory. Her teaching career began at a small midwestern college and continued at various teaching posts in Kentucky, Michigan, New York and Washington, D.C., eventually providing the savings that enabled her to found Arsis Press (named after her own first composition) in 1974. In publishing her own music, she has adopted the French spelling of her family name, a family descended from Daniel Boone who was her great uncle. Her detailed biography appears in the International Who’s Who in Music and the International Biographical Dictionary.

Interview and Correspondence: “All-Male Programming: An Antitrust Violation?” IAWM Journal, October 1995, pp. 2-4.

Arsis Press has published her Motive and Chorale for orchestra, The Americas Trio for woodwinds, Songs of Estrangement for string quartet and soprano, as well as twelve songs. 

Bolz, Harriet (1909-1995)

A private student of Paul Creston and Leo Sowerby, Harriet Bolz followed her career in music largely in Ohio, studying at the Cleveland Institute of Music, then graduating from Case Western Reserve University with a B.A. and earning an M.A. in composition at Ohio State University.

Her music has been heard in major cities throughout the country, including performances at Lincoln Center, and in Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Arsis Press has published her Episode-Autumn Joy, and Sonic Essay and Fugue for organ, Floret-A Mood Caprice and Two Profiles for piano, Capital Pageant for piano duet, Narrative Impromptu for harp, and two sacred choral pieces (How Shall We Speak and Sweet Jesus).

Other compositions are published by Sam Fox Publishing Company, Choral Art Publications, Beckenhorst Press, and Harold Branch Publishing. She is listed in Who’s Who of American Women, the Dictionary of International Biography, and the Encyclopedia of Modern Music published in Germany. 

Bremer, Carolyn (1957-2018)

“Bremer’s sonata sounded virtuosic and conservative, sort of an unpredictable extension of Brahms.”
(Infomation, Copenhagen)

Carolyn Bremer has been dubbed a composer “driven by hobgoblins of post modernist cant.” Coming to composition on the heels of intensive training as an orchestral bassist, her catalogue contains works based on feminist symbolism, baseball, and postmodern theory.

She has had recent performances of her works at Carnegie Hall, WestPoint and in Germany, Norway, and Sweden. Commissions include: Symphony for WindBand, premiered at Indiana University and Returns of the Day, premiered at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Additionally, she was guest composer for the Technology Initiative Conference at Collin County College in Texas, the Women Band Directors International Conference in San Diego, and composer-in-residence at Mansfield University and St. Lawrence University. In July, 2006 the California Philharmonic gave several concerts in Los Angeles that include her “Early Light” with one at the County Arboretum and one at Disney Hall.

Bremer has received grants from Meet The Composer, the American Music Center, and the Kirkpatrick Foundation and studied at the Eastman School of Music and at CalArts, receiving her Ph.D. in composition from UCSB. She was Chair of Composition at the University of Oklahoma until 2000, and was Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at California State University Long Beach.

Arsis Press has published her Sonata for Clarinet and Piano which is also recorded on a CRS CD. 

Brill, Elissa

Elissa Brill writes for musical theater, combines acoustic instruments with electronic sound, and has written a two-act opera called Midas (1991). A native of New Jersey, she now teaches at Holyoke Community College in Massachusetts. She holds a BA in music from the University of Pennsylvania and both a Master’s and Doctorate in music composition from Temple University. Recently she has been commissioned to write music for the Smith College Choirs, the Eastwind Saxophone Quartet, and the Holyoke Civic Symphony. In 1996 she received a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council to write Notes from the New World for chorus and orchestra.

Arsis Press has published her solo piano pieces Story Closet and Etude, her vocal piece, Minnie, and her Klezmer Music for clarinet, viola, and piano. 

Brockman, Jane

“With creative chops on the order of Brockman’s, you might even keep the old ghosts of Mozart’s time happy.”
(Keyboard Magazine)

Brockman’s work is distinguished by its diversity in music for concerts, dance, film, and television. Her concert music is recorded on the Leonarda, Opus One, Coronet and Capstone labels, and has been in the touring repertoires of NY-based ensembles Continuum, the New Music Consort, William Powell, and F. Gerard Errante.

Brockman was the first woman to earn a Doctorate in Music Composition at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and studied in Paris with Max Deutsch on a Fulbright/Alliance Française fellowship. Her mentors and teachers include Leslie Bassett, George Balch Wilson, Ross Lee Finney, and Eugene Kurtz.

She has been awarded honors and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, the State of Connecticut, and the Rackham Foundation, and has been on the Theory-Composition faculties of the Hartt School of Music and the University of Rhode Island. After a composer-fellowship at Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute, Brockman left her tenured professorship of music composition at the University of Connecticut to score films in Los Angeles. Today, her work is solely for the concert stage and incorporates the dramatic power of both film and dance.

Arsis Press has published her piano pieces Character Sketches and Tell-Tale Fantasy, as well as her Shadows for flute and clarinet. 

Callaway, Ann

Ann Callaway began her musical training in Baltimore, Maryland and continued at Smith College with Alvin Etler. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University, where she studied with George Crumb, Jack Beeson, and George Edwards. She is the subject of a documentary produced by Swedish Radio and is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Guild of Organists. She has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Leighton Artist Colony in Banff.

Among her larger works are the Concerto for Bass Clarinet, performed by the Seattle Symphony and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony; the tone poem, Amethyst, premiered by the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra; and The Work of Sun, excerpts of which have been read by the Berkeley Symphony. Other music has been performed by the New York New Music Ensemble, Earplay, and the Gregg Smith Singers and recorded by Capstone Records. She now lives and works in Berkeley, California.

Arsis Press has published her Agnus Dei 1 for chorus and soprano solo. 

Casella, Jane (1960-2010)

Jane Casella earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from SUNY Oswego and in her final semester consumated her studies with an independent study at The Eastman School of Music in performance and composition. She then went on to perform with The Knoxville Symphony. Now primarily a composer, she has had her works played on CIUT radio station in Toronto, Ontario, and WITR, in Rochester, NY.

The Middle of Fortune for piano  was published by Arsis Press.  In January of 2006, she was the featured artist on WHPW Internet Radio. Her compositions include: orchestral, concerto, chamber orchestral, octet, septet, quartets, trios, duos, and many piano solos.

Diemer, Emma Lou

“[she] has a healthily heretical streak in her personality–and a sense of theater that was very striking indeed.”
(Charleston News & Courier)

A composer with over 100 awards along with commissions from the Louisville Orchestra and the Kindler Foundation, Emma Lou Diemer has consciously balanced her output of symphonic and electronic pieces with music for the church and school. She is also an accomplished pianist and organist and has been a Professor of Theory and Composition at the University of California at Santa Barbara since 1971. Kansas City born, she earned her undergraduate and Master’s degrees from the Yale School of Music and her doctorate from the Eastman School of Music.

A Fulbright Scholarship took her to Brussels for further study, and a Ford Foundation grant put her in Washington, D.C. to write music for area schools.

Emma Lou Diemer was guest composer at the sixth annual Women in Music Festival 2010 at the Eastman School of Music in March, 2010, where a concert of her works for chorus, organ, guitar, and a new commissioned chamber work was premiered.

Sisra Publications (the name used by Arsis Press for ASCAP composers) has published her widely performed Toccata for Piano as well as her Encore for Piano along with four sacred vocal solos (And I Saw a New Heaven and a New Earth, Create in Me a Clean heart, O God, I Will Sing of Your Steadfast Love, Who Can Find a Virtuous Woman?, and a choral piece, God is Love. Over 100 of her works are published elsewhere and many are recorded. 

Donahue, Bertha Terry (1917-1994)

Born in New York City, Bertha Terry Donahue majored in composition at Smith College where she studied with Ernest Levy and John Colman. An outdoor enthusiast who enjoyed salmon fishing and mountain climbing, she was also an active supporter of community arts in her adopted city of Washington, D.C.

Her compositions include carols, pieces for strings, a song cycle based on poems written by children and two operettas. Her music has been performed by groups in the Washington area and in New York, including the Norman Scribner Choir and Philomela.

Arsis Press has published her song cycle, The Castle Yonder for soprano and piano. 

Dutton, Leslie

Born in Odessa, Texas in 1968, Leslie Dutton received undergraduate and Masters degrees in piano, voice and choral conducting from East Texas State University, now Texas A & M. Recently she received a doctorate from Texas Tech University. She has served as staff accompanist at the University of Texas at Tyler and at Lubbock Christian University and has been assistant professor of music at Mount Olive College as well as choir director at the Mount Olive Presbyterian Church. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the College Music Society.

Arsis Press has published her song cycle, Rimas de Amor for voice and piano

Fine, Vivian (1913-2003)

Vivian Fine produced over 140 works in her 70 year career. Best known for her chamber music, she wrote in virtually every genre, including symphonic, chamber and choral works along with two chamber operas. Two books are available on Fine’s life and music: The Music of Vivian Fine by musicologist Heidi Von Gunden (1999) and Vivian Fine: A Bio-Bibliography by poet Judith Cody (2002).

Born in Chicago and a piano prodigy, Fine studied with Ruth Crawford at the Chicago Musical College. At age 18 she moved to New York to continue her studies, joining Aaron Copland’s Young Composers Group and becoming a founding member of the American Composers Alliance.

Besides composing, Fine studied with Roger Sessions and continued to perform as a pianist, premiering works by Ives, Copland, Cowell and others. Later she became an adjunct professor at Juilliard, NYU, and Bennington College.

Her early style was dissonant and contrapuntal, although she varied her choice of musical subjects and expressive style. Henry Brant noted that “No two Fine pieces are alike either in subject matter or instrumentation; each new work appears to generate its own style appropriate to the subject, and there are no mannerisms which persist from work to work.” Among her many works for voice are settings of Shakespeare, Keats, Whitman, Kafka and Neruda and the chamber opera, The Women in the Garden (1978) to the writings of Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Isadora Duncan, and Gertrude Stein. Her awards included a Guggenheim Fellowship, and grants from NEA and the Ford, Rockefeller, Koussevitsky, and Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge foundations. She was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and letters in 1980.

Note: Vivian Fine’s Lieder for viola and piano published by Arsis Press along with other works can be found on Petrucci and can be downloaded from that site

Frasier, Jane

A Colorado native, Jane Frasier received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education and a Master of Music degree in Theory and Composition from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. Ms. Frasier is a former public school music teacher, private clarinet instructor, and currently has her own music copying company, The MusicPrinter. She was chosen as an Associate of the Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute for the 1984-85 year. Her compositions include chamber works, a piece for orchestra, a cantata for chorus and orchestra, a piano sonata, choral works, and four compositions for band.

Arsis Press has published her three-movement Festivous Sonata for piano. 

Frazier-Neely, Cathryn

Cathryn Frazier-Neely is on the voice faculty of the Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C., where she founded the Levine Women’s Chorus. She also founded the Washington Vocal Consortium and currently works with singers in classical music and in musical theater as well as with recording artists in Nashville, Tennessee.

Arsis Press has published her sacred choral work for unaccompanied women’s voices, Bless The Lord, O My Soul

Funk, Susan

A native of Kansas, Susan Funk is a choral musician and Composer in Residence at the Cathedral Center of Saint Paul Episcopal Diocese in Los Angeles. Her training includes a B.A. in music with honors from Yale University where she studied oboe and instrumental conducting as well as composition, and an M.B.A. from Stanford University where she also studied choral conducting. She has participated in international festivals in Germany, Holland, and Waterloo and has performed in Carnegie Hall and other venues across the United States.

Arsis Press has published her Vision of the Cross for SATB with baritone and organ and For My Beloved, A Wedding Song for voice, oboe and piano. Her other music includes sacred choral works, songs and instrumental chamber music. 

Hyson, Winifred (1925-2019)

A graduate magna cum laude of Radcliffe College in physics and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Winifred Hyson went on to study music theory and composition at American University under Esther Ballou and piano with Evelyn Swarthout.

Her song cycle, Songs of Job’s Daughter for soprano and piano (Sisra Publications, the name used by Arsis Press for ASCAP composers), was chosen as required repertory for sopranos in the 1980 Sterling Staff Competition. Other works of hers are published by Elkan Vogel and Neil A. Kjos Jr. She is active in the Maryland State Music Teachers Association and has also been chairman of a composers group within the Friday Morning Music Club of Washington, D.C., directing broadcasts of local composers on local radio. 

Koplewitz, Laura

Laura Koplewitz was raised in Northern Vermont and now divides her time between New England and New York City. She studied music, literature, and philosophy at Hampshire College (B.A), New York University (M.A.), and the City University of New York Graduate Center (Ph.D. enroute). Her composition mentor was Joan Tower, with additional training and influence from Thea Musgrave and Tania Leon. Her works include music for solo, duo, and small chamber ensembles. In 1993 she was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University on a National Endowment fellowship to study interdisciplinary aspects of ‘time.’ Her String Quintet was premiered at Harvard in 2007.

Laura Koplewitz is a graduate school professor at S.U.N.Y./ Stony Brook, NY. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Recent compositions include Lake Spirit Journey, commissioned by Jaime Laredo for the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, and Upon a Dream of Enlightened Shadows, a violin concerto written for Joanna Kurkowizc, concertmaster, Boston Philharmonic, along with chamber music commissioned by the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble. Arsis Press has published her Ukiyo-E for clarinet and piano. 

Laitman, Lori

After graduating magna cum laude with honors in music from Yale, Lori Laitman went on to receive her M.M. from the Yale School of Music. She has composed for theatre, film, and a wide variety of ensembles including voice. She has been a fellow at the Charles Ives Center in Connecticut and a recipient of grants from Meet the Composer, the Maryland State Arts Council and the Montgomery County Arts Council. Her music has been performed by The Skylight Opera Theatre in Wisconsin, The National Gallery Vocal Arts Quartet, the Contemporary Music Forum and at the French Embassy and the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Her music is also published by E. C. Shirmer, Theodore Presser.

Arsis Press has published her I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Six Songs for Soprano and Saxophone. The music is available on her website and at the New York Public Library.

Lauer, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Lauer has been occupied with inventing music since she was a small child and her formal education at Bennington College and Columbia University was in music composition. She received a Fulbright scholarship for study at the Stätliche Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg, Germany from 1955-57 and was assistant to the president of Columbia Records for five years and an associate producer for Columbia Masterworks for one year. More recently she has added performing to her musical activities as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral pianist. She is on the faculty of the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.

Her music includes song cycles, chamber music, an opera and several choral pieces. Arsis Press has published her Six Haiku for Solo Piano, Five Miniatures for Three Winds, Diamonds for Xylophone and Piano plus two vocal works: Fear No More and Sigh No More on texts by William Shakespeare, now available on a Capstone CD. Other music by Elizabeth Lauer is available through Carl Fischer and Kjos, and is recorded on the Newport Classics, I Virtuosi and Capstone labels. 

Lomon, Ruth (1930-2017)

“Lomon’s musical language is a model of coherence…[with] elegant imagination, subtle craft, and an unfailing sense of apt sonority.” (Mel Powell, composer)

Born in Montreal, Ruth Lomon lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Los Alamos, New Mexico. Her interest in Native American ceremonials was a catalyst for much of her music. She attended McGill University, the Conservatoire in Montreal, and New England Conservatory. She also had residencies at various artist colonies including Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and was a fellow at the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe in 1995. She received grants and commissions from the Massachusetts Council on the Arts, NEA and the New England Foundation on the Arts. Her symphonic works were performed by the Warsaw National Symphony and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. She also had performances by Dinosaur Annex, Alea II and Coro Allegro in Boston as well as the Cube in Chicago and the Helios Quartet in New Mexico. Her last project was a concerto for the 35th anniversary of the Pro Arte Orchestra for Charles Schlueter, first chair trumpet with the Boston Symphony.

Arsis Press has published her Esquisses and Five Ceremonial Masks for solo piano, Soundings for piano duet, Seven Portals of Vision for organ, Dust Devils for harp, Five Songs after Poems by William Blake, Songs from a Requiem for soprano and piano, and Terra Incognita for orchestra

McKay, Frances Thompson

“Outstanding…beautifully evocative…some remarkable sounds.” (Washington Post)

Improviser of piano accompaniments for silent films at the National Gallery, former student of Nadia Boulanger with a doctorate from Peabody Conservatory, faculty member at Georgetown University, Theory Chair at the Levine School of Music, composer member and former program director of the Contemporary Music Forum’s Corcoran Gallery concerts, Frances Thompson McKay has a rich and varied career in music.

Besides Pegasus for Flute, Elegy in the Form of a Dream and River Time, published by Arsis Press, she has written works ranging from SummerVerses–The Book of Ruth, for soloists, chorus and chamber ensemble to her light-hearted Nursery Rhymes written for her three-year-old twins to texts of Beatrix Potter. She has also written a history of women’s music in Virginia from 1607-1984 entitled Virginia’s Voices. 

Monroe, Deborah Jean

Deborah Jean Monroe is a composer and church musician living in the Dallas area. Following her studies at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in Chicago and a Masters at the University of North Texas where she studied with Cindy McTee, she has taught private piano and given lessons on various music and other software packages. She has received recognition for her music from the National League of American Pen Women, the International Alliance for Women in Music and Wheaton College. Currently she is the Worship Minister at Faith Episcopal Church in Allen, Texas.

Her music includes Prayers of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication for soprano and chamber ensemble, the electronic works Almost and Shimmering Waves, A Chase for two saxophones, and A Caravan of Variations commissioned by bassist Charles Federle.

Arsis Press has published her Variations on a theme by Johannes Brahms for piano.

Munn, Zae

Zae Munn is Professor of Music at Saint Mary’s College in Indiana where she has taught composition, theory, and orchestration since 1990. In the summers she teaches at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. Her education includes masters and doctoral degrees in composition from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a bachelors degree from Chicago Musical College. Her early musical training was as a cellist, with additional studies in piano, voice, and conducting.

She has written for orchestra, string quartet, large brass ensemble and choruses including children’s voices, as well as for many solo instruments. Choral projects include works for choirs at Harvard, Central Michigan, Otterbein, and the University of Illinois. Her music is published by Amoriello Guitar Publications, Earthsongs, HoneyRock, Jaymar Music and Yelton Rhodes Music and recorded by Amasong, Capstone, Centaur, and Pro Organo Records.

Sisra Publications (the Arsis Press label for ASCAP composers) has published her Two for Three for soprano, flute and viola, Lauber Lieder: Four Songs for soprano and piano, Memorial for unaccompanied chorus, What’s for Supper? for soprano, viola and piano, A Fraction of Your Grace for clarinet and string quartet, Our Hands Were Tightly Clenched for string quartet, In the Maze of the Moment for horn and string quartet, and two orchestra pieces: Symphony of Alcoves and It’s the Soup That Animates the Noodles

Owens, Terry Winter (1941-2007)

Terry Winter Owens was an internationally published composer, pianist and harpsichordist, born in New York City.  Her music is published by Universal Edition in Vienna, Carl Fischer and E.C. Schirmer, among others, and has been performed in England, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Laos, Thailand and the U.S.  In 1996 her compositions won prizes in the Whitney Museum’s Duo Piano Festival and at the Concorso Internazionale di Pianoforte e Composizione Ennio Porrini.

She also received a commission from the American Composers Forum, served on the faculties of several schools in New York, and has worked as a free-lance editor for several publishers.  She is a graduate of The City College of New York and did graduate work at New York University.  Many of her compositions such as Ancient Fire and Celestial Music were inspired by astrophysics and the physics of light and both works are available from the American Composers Alliance.

Arsis Press has published her choral work, The New Jerusalem: Revelation, Chapter 21.

Peachey, Janet

With Diplomas in composition and conducting from Die Hochschule für Musik in Vienna where she was a Fulbright Fellow for two years, Janet Peachey also holds a B. Mus. from The Catholic University. She has received grants from NEA, the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts, the Alban Berg Foundation and the City of Vienna Cultural Council.

Her music for orchestra, various vocal and instrumental ensembles, and solo instruments has been performed and broadcast in the U.S. and abroad. She teaches music theory and composition at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C.

Arsis Press has published her Fable for string quartet

Pierce, Alexandra

” Pierce understands instruments and their players, and that knowledge is reflected in music that has ample challenges and rewards for players and listeners alike.” (The American Record Guide

“… a gifted composer…professional craft and a keen sense of formal balance.” (Turok’s Choice)

Alexandra Pierce is Professor Emerita of Music and Movement at the University of Redlands, where she headed the theory and composition programs. She has received annual ASCAP Standard Awards since 1979. Educated at New England Conservatory, Harvard, and Brandeis (Ph.D.), she is a pianist, movement artist, and a founding member of Moving Voices, a repertory company that performs poetry with music and gesture ( She has published books and articles relating music theory, performance, and movement. Many of her 175 works are published (by Seesaw Music Corporation, Hildegard Press, Media Press, and Arsis/Sisra Press) and recorded (on Arizona University Recordings, New Ariel, Black Canyon, and VMM).

She received commissions for two string quartets from Pacific Serenades in Los Angeles, for a symphony from Redlands Symphony Orchestra, for a chamber work for dance from Eyes Wide Open, Los Angeles.

Sisra Publications (the name Arsis Press uses for ASCAP composers) has published her Set of Three for oboe and piano, Psalm 100 for voice and piano, and two sacred choral works Resurrection and The Road to Calvary.

Polin, Claire (1926-1995)

A student of many famous composers of her time including Vincent Persichetti, Lukas Foss, Roger Sessions, and Peter Mennin, Claire Polin earned degrees in music from the Philadelphia Conservatory and studied at Juilliard and at Tanglewood. A flutist as well as a composer, she collaborated with her former flute teacher, William Kincaid, on a five volume flute method.

She was on the faculty at Rutgers University where she taught Biblical music, music of ancient Wales and of Russia as well as composition. In addition she published books on music of the Near East and on a medieval Welsh tablature manuscript. She directed international university exchange concerts, including three exchanges with the Soviet Union beginning in 1982.

Recent performances of her works include the premiere of her unpublished Variations for Flute along with a presentation of her life and works in collaboration with flutist William Kincaid by the New York Flute Club’s 2019 Flute Fair, and a performance of her Sonata for Flute #1 by Musicians of Lenox Hill. A full feature article is in an  Flute Talk. Her four string quartets were published in 2019.

Sisra Publications (the name Arsis Press uses for ASCAP composers) has published her Shirildang, Trans-Ural Suite for Piano, Phantasmagoria for piano four-hands, and Freltic Sonata for Violin and Piano

Ross, Elaine

Elaine Ross joined the music theory faculty at Ohio University in 2013. Prior to this, she was chair of music theory at the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles, coordinator of music theory/composition at Central Washington University, and taught at the University of Minnesota-Morris, the University of Michigan-Flint, and Interlochen Arts Academy. Her research interests include both the creative aspect of composition and theory pedagogy. In addition to Sisra Publications, her music is published by Southern Music Company, and Triplo Press.

Notable recent compositions include: Canyons for woodwind quintet, premiered in 2009; Neon Fanfare for trumpet ensemble, commissioned by the CWU trumpet club and selected for performance at both the National Trumpet Conference in 2010 and the International Trumpet Guild Conference in 2011; The Presence for choir; Moonstruck for Percussion Ensemble; and Wildfire for Symphonic Winds performed in 2008 in Lille, France.

Sisra Publications (the name Arsis Press uses for ASCAP composers) has published her trio, The Distant Light for flute, horn and piano. 

Schonthal, Ruth (1924-2006)

Composer, pianist and teacher, Ruth Schonthal grew up in Hamburg, Germany where she was accepted as the youngest student ever admitted to the Stern Conservatory in Berlin. When her family was forced to flee Germany and moved to Stockholm, she began studies there at the Royal Academy of Music. After the family fled the dangers of Europe a second time, she began to work with Manuel Ponce in Mexico City. There she met Paul Hindemith who was in Mexico on tour, and accepted his offer to study with him at Yale University where she graduated with honors in 1948.

Her teaching career included appointments to the faculties of New York University, the Westchester Conservatory, and Mercy College. In 1994 she was honored by the city of Heidelberg with a prize and exhibition on her life and works. She has received grants from Meet the Composer and ASCAP and recognition from the Yale Alumni Association and New York University. Her music, reflecting a blend of European traditions and contemporary techniques, has been performed widely at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Recital Hall, and abroad in Belgrade, London, and Paris and is published by Furore Verlag, Oxford University Press, Southern Music Company, Carl Fischer, and Arsis Press. Recordings are available on the Cambria, Leonarda and Capstone labels. A biography by Martina Helmig has been published in Europe under the title of Ruth Schonthal—Ein Werdegang in Exil and is scheduled for publication in the U.S. by Scarecrow Press.

Sisra Publications (the name Arsis Press uses for ASCAP composers) has published her Interlude for harp, and Love Letters for clarinet and cello which is also available on a Capriccio Recording. 

Seeger, Ruth Crawford (1901-1953)

Considered by many to be the most important woman composer of the 20th century, Ruth Crawford Seeger was a prominent member of the circle of American avant-garde composers that included Henry Cowell and Aaron Copland. She was the first woman composer to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship, during which she wrote her well-known String Quartet in 1931. Following her marriage to music theorist Charles Seeger, she collaborated with poet Carl Sandburg and folk song archivists Alan and John Lomax on important collections that led to a revival of American folk music. After the Depression she worked intensively with her husband and stepson, folksinger Pete Seeger, for social change.

In recent years there have been new and remastered recordings of her music on labels such as Deutsche Grammophon, the Musical Heritage Society and CRI. And a highly acclaimed biography, Ruth Crawford-Seeger, by Judith Tick was published by Oxford University Press in 1997. The links page on Peggy Seeger’s website has more information on her mother’s life and music.

Kaleidoscopic Changes on an Original Theme, Ending with a Fugue is the first work by Ruth Crawford Seeger to be published by Arsis Press. Other works are published by C. F. Peters, Continuo Press, Merion Music, and A-R Editions

Shaffer, Jeanne (1926-2007)

A child star, Jeanne Shaffer sang on tour with Paul Whiteman’s Orchestra and played Jeannette MacDonald as a child in the film, Girl of the Golden West. As an adult she earned a Ph.D. from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, continued singing, conducted major choral works, directed many musicals, served as department head at Judson and Huntingdon Colleges, and was a church organist and choirmaster in Montgomery, Alabama. Following her teaching career, she hosted a weekly radio program on women composers called Eine kleine Frauenmusik that was broadcast over Southeastern Public Radio.

In 1987 her opera, The Ghost of Susan B. Anthony, was commissioned by the University of Alabama. In 1989 she was an associate composer at the Atlantic Center for the Arts with Joan Tower and in 1991 with Lucas Foss. Over the years she was awarded grants from NEH, the Aspen Music Festival and the Alabama Arts Council. In 2003 she received an honorary doctorate from Huntingdon College.

Arsis Press (under the name of Sisra Publications for ASCAP composers) has published her Three Faces of Woman for clarinet and piano and four song cycles: Christina Rossetti–My Mother and Me and Eternity–Five Songs to poems of William Blake, Emptiness Became Music. and On Gardens, Minutes and Butterflies with poetry by the composer. Other music is available through Plymouth, Lawson-Gould, MMB Music, and Concordia publishers. 

Shatin, Judith

“exuberant and captivating . . . bursting with imaginative detail . . . grabs a listener’s attention right from the opening moment.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“neatly contrived and richly textured atonal work, which drew a dazzling performance . . . and prolonged applause from the audience.” (Washington Post)

Judith Shatin is Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia where she founded the Virginia Center for Computer Music. Her education was at Douglass College (AB), The Juilliard School (MM) and Princeton University (MFA, PhD). She has written music on commission for the Barlow Foundation, Kronos Quartet, the National Symphony, and the Women’s Philharmonic. A two-year retrospective of her music was presented Shepherd College in WV, supported by a Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Foundation grant (1992-94). She has been composer-in-residence at Bellagio (Italy), the Cité des Arts (Paris) and her work has been featured at the Aspen and Grand Teton Music Festivals, and performed throughout America and abroad.

Arsis Press has published her choral work, Tis a Gift to be Simple, Widdershins for piano, Gazebo Music for flute and cello, and Study in Black for flute and percussion. These pieces are now available through the composer’s website. Other music is published by C.F. Peters, G. Shirmer, and Hal Leonard.

Shore, Clare

“eloquent…provocative…immensely dramatic” (Washington Post)

Clare Shore received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1984 from The Juilliard School. While at Juilliard she 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 NEA. Critics from the New York Times, New York Post, Boston Globe, Village Voice, and Washington Post hail her music as “provocative” and “immensely dramatic”. Joseph McLellan of the Washington Post singled out the premiere of her Suite Discovery as a highlight of the year in 1992, calling the work for flute and string quartet “…unpretentious…ingenious and evocative.”

She has taught at Fordham University, Manhattan School of Music, the University of Virginia, and George Mason University, and is currently on the faculty at Palm Beach Atlantic College.

Sisra Publications (the name Arsis Press uses for ASCAP composers) has published her Nightwatch for woodwind quintet and her Four Dickinson Songs. Her music is also recorded on CRS, Owl Recordings, and Opus One. Ms. Shore currently holds an exclusive publishing contract with E.C. Schirmer Music of Boston. Other music is found in the catalogs of Plucked String Editions and Seesaw Music. 

Stölzel, Ingrid

A native of Germany and permanent resident of the United States, Ingrid Stölzel, is both composer and performer with the newEar Contemporary Music Ensemble in Kansas.Missouri and program manager of the Youth Symphony of Kansas City. Stölzel’s music has been performed by the Adaskin String Trio, Third Angle, newEar, Hartt Contemporary Players, and Synchronia among others. She has been invited to the Oregon Bach Festival, Ernest Bloch Festival, New Otterbein Contemporary Music Festival, Hildegard Festival of Women in the Arts, Indiana State Contemporary Music Festival, and James Madison Annual Contemporary Music Festival and has done residencies at the Ragdale Foundation and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Recently she has had masterclasses with Jennifer Higdon, Joan Tower, David del Tredici, Michael Torke, Donald Crockett, Tan Dun, Louis Andriessen, Fredric Rzewski, and R. Murray Schaefer.

Stölzel received her Master of Music in Composition from the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut where she studied with Dr. Robert Carl and Dr. James Sellars. She earned her Bachelor of Music from the Conservatory of Music in Kansas.

Arsis Press has published her Impulse for string quartet and Point of Pressure for string trio. 

Van Appledorn, Mary Jeanne (1927-2014)

“…intelligent, evocative music.” (Fanfare)

Originally from Michigan, Mary Jeanne van Appledorn was Professor of Music at Texas Tech University. She was educated at the Eastman School of Music where she received a B.Mus in piano, an music theory, and a Ph.D. In 1956 she gave her New York debut as a pianist at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall. Her compositions have been performed throughout the United States and in Russia and Japan. The New York City Ballet choreographed her music, Set of Seven, for the company’s fortieth anniversary.

Sisra Publications (the name Arsis Press uses for ASCAP composers) has published these works: A Liszt Fantasie and Contrasts for piano; Parquet Musique pour Clavecin (harpsichord); Sonic Mutation for harp; Missa Brevis for voice and organ or trumpet and organ; Songs Without Words for two high sopranos and piano; Five Psalms for trumpet, tenor voice and piano; Incantations for trumpet and piano; Incantations for oboe and piano; Galilean Galaxies for flute, bassoon, and piano; Four Duos for viola and cello; Cellano Rhapsody for cello and piano; Two Shakespeare Songs for SATB and piano; Incantations for oboe and piano; and Introduction and Allegro for violin and organ.

Other music by Mary Jeanne van Appledorn is available through Oxford University Press, Carl Fischer, Galaxy Music, and Dorn Music. Recordings can be heard on the Opus One, Contemporary Record Society, Century, Crest, and Capstone labels. 

Van de Vate, Nancy (1930-2023)

“Van de Vate knows her stuff.” (American Record Guide)

Born in Plainfield, New Jersey, Nancy Van de Vate lived for many years in Vienna, Austria. She studied at the Eastman School of Music and Wellesley College, received a Master’s degree in composition from the University of Mississippi, and a Doctor of Music degree, also in composition, from Florida State University. Postdoctoral work was in electronic music.

Concentrating mostly on music in the large forms, she has composed more than twenty works for orchestra and orchestra with chorus. She also has a large catalog of chamber music and works for solo instruments. In 1990 she returned to the composition of opera, an early interest set aside for many years. More than forty of her orchestral, music theater, chamber and solo works appear on Aulos, Cambria, Leonarda, Louisiana Sinfonietta, and Vienna Modern Masters CDs. All of her compositions are in the Music Collection of the Austrian National Library in Vienna, and her orchestral work Chernobyl is included in intermediate music textbooks for study by school children throughout Germany and Austria. In 1989, 1993 and 1997 she was a nominator for the quadrennial Kyoto Prize in Music, the world’s largest music award.

Arsis Press has published her Sonata for Piano, Six Etudes for Solo Viola, Suite for Solo Violin, and Trio for Strings.  Most of her music is available from the American Composers Alliance including all of her Arsis publications. Circulating copies of the highlighted pieces are at the New York Public Library.

Vercoe, Elizabeth

“Elizabeth Vercoe is one of the most inventive composers in America today” (Washington Post)

A native of Washington, D.C., Vercoe has been a composer at the St. Petersburg Festival in Russia and at the Cite des Arts in Paris and has written music on commission for the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, Wellesley College, and various ensembles and soloists. She completed a doctorate at Boston University where she was a student of Gardner Read, and held the Acuff Chair of Excellence at Austin Peay State University in 2003. Recently her music was performed at Tanglewood and Carnegie Recital Hall and was one of five pieces on a concert at Lincoln Center’s Bruno Walter Hall celebrating the 75th anniversary of the American Music Center. 

One of the first composers published by Arsis Press, the catalog includes her Fantasy and Three Studies for piano; Balance for Violin and Cello; Sonaria for cello; Herstory II: Thirteen Japanese Lyrics for soprano, piano and percussion; Herstory III: Jehanne de Lorraine (Joan of Arc) for soprano and piano; Irreveries from Sappho for voice and piano, or SSA and piano; and God Be in My Head for chorus. All nine publications are available from the American Composers Alliance. Also, circulating copies of her music are available at the New York Public Library.

In addition, two all-Vercoe discs from Parma Recordings include the Fantasy, Irreveries, and Herstory II among other works. Other music is recorded on Centaur, Owl, Capstone, Parma, and Leonarda compact discs, and additional scores are available from Plucked String Editions, Noteworthy Sheet Music and Certosa Verlag in Germany. 

Walker, Gwyneth

A graduate of Brown University and the Hartt School of Music, Gwyneth Walker holds BA, MM and DMA degrees. A former member of the faculty of Oberlin Conservatory, she resigned from academia to pursue a full-time career as a composer in Vermont.

Her music includes over 100 commissioned works for orchestra, band, chorus and chamber ensembles. Current projects include a Trumpet Concerto for the Carson City, Nevada Chamber Orchestra and choral works for Whitman College in Washington.

Her Sonata for Flute and Piano is published by Arsis Press. Other music is available from E.C. Shirmer of Boston, and MMB Music of St. Louis. 

Webber, John

A native of London, John Webber is a flexible and dedicated composer, conductor, administrator and teacher. Following nine years in the Royal Maines Band Service playing flute and piano, he studied in Britain, Germany and the U.S. receiving degrees from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Trinity College, London where he was a Fellow. He also holds a diploma in flute performance from the Konservatorium der Stadt Koeln in Germany. He founded and directed the New Music Orchestra of Washington, D.C., the Portsmouth New Music Orchestra in Britain, and the Ithaca Community Orchestra in New York. In addition, he has taught a wide range of music disciplines at various institutions including Boston Conservatory and Indiana University of Pennsylvania as well as in Bonn, Germany and Southampton, U.K.

Dr. Webber is the sole male composer in the Arsis catalog which includes his anthem, Jesus Prayed For His Disciples

Weigl, Vally (1884-1982)

Austrian born, Vally Weigl studied musicology at Vienna University with Guido Adler and composition with Karl Weigl whom she later married. She taught at Vienna University’s Musicology Institute. After moving to New York City in 1938, she earned an M.A. from Columbia University and served as chief music therapist at the New York Medical College, contributing many papers to the field of music therapy. She also became a faculty member at the New School. An award from the National Endowment for the Arts enabled her to complete her Carl Sandburg Cantata which was premiered at Carnegie Hall. She was also a Fellow at the MacDowell Colony.

Her music has been widely performed and is published by E.C. Schirmer, Theodore Presser, Galaxy Music and Jelsor Music. Westminster Press has published her book, Songs For a Child.

The quartet, Dear Earth for horn, violin, cello and piano, is published by Sisra Publications, the name Arsis Press uses to publish ASCAP composers. The piece is now available through the American Composers Alliance.  

Whitworth, Kelly

Kelly Whitworth was born in Massachusetts in 1972. She received a B.A. in music in 1994 from Wheaton College in Illinois. She has since pursued study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston in film scoring, graduating with honors in 1996.

She is currently working on a documentary film entitled “Heart of the Matter,” a biography of a heart transplant patient. She is a member of Women in Film and Video, American Composers Forum and the International Alliance of Women in Music. Additionally, she is continuing work in film music and holds an assistantship with composer JAC Redford in Los Angeles.

Arsis Press has published her Adoration for SATB choir, two flutes, organ and percussion.