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Unveiling the winning compositions: New repertoire to be performed by Corra Sound

Many of you will remember that we launched a 'Call for Scores' last year, offering composers the opportunity to submit upper voice works for consideration within our performance repertoire at Corra Sound. This forms part of our ongoing quest to shine a light on new talent and to enable musicians to flourish. We are delighted to unveil the winning compositions today!


In our brief, we called for choral compositions that celebrate female power, strength, flowing energy, survival and/or parental advocacy. Applications flooded in from all over the world. 88 submissions from 78 composers were received (with male/female representation at 48/52%) and we are honoured that so many composers chose to share their unique works with us for consideration. We feel deeply privileged and humbled as we know how much personal energy and skill goes into creating new music. And we'd like to take the opportunity to congratulate all those who submitted such interesting works, particularly those who made our shortlist. (See the shortlist of entries here.)


Winning compositions for performance

Such was the wealth of quality scores received, we have decided to honour three outright winners, whose works will be featured in our upcoming performances (details to follow). An additional four workshop winners have been selected, whose pieces will be included in our vocal workshop for women, taking place at Horsell Village Hall in Surrey on Sunday 28th April 2024.


Each of our winners created exceptionally unique and powerfully convincing compositions. Our final selection really showcases what we were looking for and it gives us immense pleasure to announce our three overall winners, as below:


 

WINNER: A Mother’s Farewell, Kate Hill, words: Scarlett Palys

Kate and Scarlett met whilst studying at Trinity College of Music and have remained lifelong friends,

musical collaborators and godmothers to each other’s daughters. Sharing in Corra’s poignant ethos,

Kate Hill

A Mother’s Farewell reflects upon the enduring power of maternal love as well as its vulnerability.


The poem poses a mother’s final lingering question as to whether her love has been enough, or indeed has the depth of it been truly known.


In this work, Kate marries jazz-inspired voicings with an emotively rich yet accessible soundworld and an elegiac soprano lead. Kate’s work reflects time spent at Leeds College of Music and Trinity College of Music, London, where she was awarded the Vaughan Williams Scholarship, followed by postgraduate studies at Berklee College of Jazz in Boston, USA. She has a portfolio career combining teaching (both Classical and Jazz Piano, and Voice), performing, accompanying, writing and arranging. She currently plays Big Band Jazz and in several small Jazz ensembles. www.katehillcomposer.com




 

WINNER: The Land of no more Night, Kari Cruver Medina, words: Christina Rossetti

Rossetti struggled continually to balance her brilliance as a writer with the household responsibilities of care giving and the stifling cultural constraints of Victorian society. Deeply philosophical, neither superficial nor materialistically inclined, she navigated an era that did not encourage women to think beyond pregnancy or the parlor.  Christina, however, thought deeply about everything, and the suffering of the world profoundly impacted her. This poem reflects that tension.


Kari Cruver Medina

The first section is darkly ponderous, fraught with despair, resonating with existential angst. Midway there is a shift. With the sound of the lark, (the herald of dawn, of light, and of new hope) her perspective is beautifully transformed as in her words, “all creation sang its hymn anew". The body of this composition is that lovely singing of a “hymn anew". 


Seattle-based composer and pianist, Kari Cruver Medina attended University of Washington and Washington State University and has a graduate degree in composition. Medina’s award-winning pieces have been performed internationally and include everything from art song and choral works to chamber and orchestral music. Her work also includes scores for theatre and television as well as congregational worship. Literature, history, faith, folklore, and the intersection of arts and culture have always intrigued her. These interests reflect in engaging music that is marinated in an imaginative, often whimsical blend of narrative and nature. www.karicruvermedina.com






 

WINNER: Three Poems by Dorothy Parker - 1. Unfortunate Coincidence, 2. Résumé, 3. Social Note, Erik Meyer, words: Dorothy Parker

Originally 4 short pieces in total, Corra Sound chose its favourite three from this humorous selection

by Erik Meyer, setting Dorothy Parker's darkly sarcastic and witty writing. Erik says “I envisioned

Erik Meyer

them as little encores to send an audience home with a laugh”. Parker’s sharp pen and free spirit made an enormous splash during the 1920s and 30s. Some praised her for opening the eyes of men to see the world from a female point of view. Others panned her as being anti-feminist, especially with her quips such as “if you wear a short enough skirt, the party will come to you”. While Parker is no doubt controversial, she is equally so a genius and an American treasure.



Erik Meyer is an award-winning composer of choral and instrumental music, and recently wrote the new Johns Hopkins University school song. He began studying the organ with J. Bert Carlson, continuing later with Donald Sutherland at Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. He has won numerous organ competitions and performed hundreds of concerts throughout the US and Europe, both solo

as well as part of the AE Meyer flute & organ duo. He is currently the organist at Abington Presbyterian Church, adjunct faculty at Temple University, composer in residence for Elevate Vocal Arts, and freelances in the Philadelphia area. www.aemeyer.com




 

Corra Sound is thrilled to announce these artists as our Call for Scores winners. With rehearsals beginning this month, we look forward to sharing this innovative new repertoire with our audiences in 2024 and beyond. Do keep your eyes peeled for our next blog which will feature our four workshop winners…!



Shortlisted compositions

A special mention goes to all the following compositions, which were shortlisted for performance:

  • The cats are crowding us, Alan Bullard

  • Hope is the thing, Barbara Cobham –WINNER (Workshop)

  • Air Heart, Amanda Dean –WINNER (Workshop)

  • A mother's farewell, Kate Hill –WINNER

  • A Birthday, Nancy Litten

  • Sister walk with me, Caroline Mallonee –WINNER (Workshop)

  • The land of no more night, Kari Medina –WINNER

  • Poems by Dorothy Parker, Eric Meyer –WINNER

  • Barbara Allen, Helen Neeves

  • Mailied, Xingzimin Pan

  • No thank you John, Jasper Swank

  • 8 months old, Caroline Tyler –WINNER (Workshop)



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