"Scribe the light!" ~ Judith
In the sacred music arena, notes flew by in 2018, accents aligned, and sounds filled the pages as I finished work on Hallelujah: A Praise Suite. It is ready for performance, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. After a year that challenged my status quo, my musical understanding, and my patience, this composition represents a huge breakthrough in sound for me.
I have dedicated it to my husband, Richard, who fought a battle against cancer from 2015-2017 and won. This composition takes hallelujahs through the happy times and the sad.
In the secular arena, 2018 brought Beyond the Noble Way for brass quintet, written for a dear friend and colleague who was ripped up by the loss of his dear wife. It will be premiere in the fall of 2020 by the Akron University Faculty Brass Quintet. After that composition, a new work, Emergence: Tone Poem on the Hymn Tune “Purpose,” was commissioned and premiered by conductor Rebecca Vendemo and the Spring Hill Orchestra on October 26, 2019. What an exciting night for all of us as we were joined by members of a Brazilian women’s orchestra. It was especially significant because this is the season that women composers, performers, and conductors are emerging into their purposes and moving to the forefront after generations of hiddenness.
2020 also bears the birth of a new string quartet called Lament for piano quintet and empty chair, following the devastating news of the death of a dear friend and colleague, Laura Flax. This piece expresses the depths of my numbness, anger, denial, and eventual surrender. Not for the light-hearted. The Lockdown Ladies, a group formed on Facebook from South Africa, London, and Calais, France will premiere this intense work.
February 2020 started work on an unaccompanied piece, and the challenge is significant, especially since it is (purposely) for an instrument not in my woodwind wheelhouse. A multi-metered showpiece, Three Miniatures for unaccompanied viola had its online world premiere at the Festival Komm, Bach in Paris on June 6, 2020. Brett Deubner gave a thrilling performance with great attitude, passion, and finesse.
In the spring of 2020, The Dabbling Duck for English horn and cello, commissioned by Roger Wiesmeyer of the Nashville Symphony, was composed to lightened hearts heavy from the pandemic lockdown. It was such a fun project and full of joy. Due to COVID-19, Roger had to postpone the world premiere in Nashville in September 2020, but a premiere will come after that by Beth Wheeler, English hornist with the Arkansas Symphony. I am so honored to work with these world-class musicians.
In June of 2020, a pensive piano improvisation from 2016, Remember, was committed to notation and made available. Four versions were created: (1) piano, chime, (2) clarinet, piano, chime, (3) viola, piano, chime, and (4) English horn, piano, chime.
Initial sketches for a deeply emotional choral/instrumental chamber piece called Lost Daughters for chorus, percussion, clarinet, and English horn are being developed over the summer of 2020, as well as work on a commissioned viola concerto for international viola soloist, Brett Deubner. My musical, The Soul Felt Its Worth, rests in a dusty “to-be-edited” folder, along with an orchestral tone poem for Jerusalem.
Please visit Judith’s dedicated composer website, ScribeLightMUSIC (ASCAP), for more information on these pieces.
My Short Story
Up to age 65, I had no idea I was a composer, nor had I ever had a composition course. Out of necessity, I dabbled with arranging for my band/orchestra programs as a private school teacher–how do you balance three trumpets, one flute and five drummers? However, I didn’t consider that composing nor myself a composer. As I learned to improvise for worship, I began to jot down little fragments of tunes and toss them in a drawer. Out of sight, out of mind. Looking back, I see a composer was developing in me outside of my awareness. Then I met an amazing composer/teacher/worship leader and musician colleague, David Moser McKay, who has helped fill in the holes from my lack of compositional training. In August of 2019, I also began to mentor with Joan Tower. At 71, the fact that I truly am a composer became a no brainer for me.
Hopefully, this website will convince you that it is never too late,
nor are you too old to believe in the callings on your life,
whether composing or writing, even if those gifts have been buried for decades.
You are worth it!
Keep your bookmark set on: https://scribelightmusic.com for announcements of new musical compositions. You will find audio samples there as well as on my page at: https://SoundCloud.com.
ALSO ACCESS MY UPDATES AND OTHER COMPOSITIONS HERE!