WSCM2020, July 11-18 2020, Auckland New Zealand

Joan Szymko

THE GREENING POWER OF SONG

Country: USA

This presentation will explore an alternate paradigm for sacred choral music. Through live performance and audience participation the session will illuminate texts that celebrate that which connects, are non-patriarchal, are earth-centred, awaken awe, nurture the universal yearning for good and provide solace in an age of anxiety.


Joan Szymko is a composer and conductor from the Pacific Northwest. With a catalogue of over 100 published choral works, her music is regularly performed across North America and abroad including performances at national and international choral festivals and competitions.

Notably, her music has been programmed at every National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association since 2003. The ACDA has recognised Szymko's lasting impact on the choral arts in North America by selecting her as a recipient of the prestigious Raymond W. Brock Memorial Commission (2010). She has been commissioned by all manner of choral ensemble and in 2016 Eugene Concert Choir (Oregon) commissioned a major new addition to the choral-orchestral repertoire, “Shadow and Light, an Alzheimer’s Journey," for which ECC’s recorded premiere won a 2017 America Prize.

Szymko currently directs Aurora Chorus in Portland, OR and has served on the music faculty of Portland State University (2013-15). As a visiting artist, she has workshopped her compositions with numerous choirs in a variety of educational settings and festivals across the United States and abroad in the Netherlands.

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