The genre of women’s choral music is very special to me. The first piece of music I ever wrote, at age 13, was for the choir at the all-girls middle school I attended in Los Angeles, long before I knew it was even possible to be a professional composer. Each of the movements of I Rise: Women in Song is inspired by the words of a female author who has shaped our world with her thoughts and actions. Some of the movements are sweet, subtle, and nostalgic. Others are fiery and bold. Some coalesce into their shape as they move along and others unravel towards their ends. Each movement is a reflection on a single facet of the multifaceted experience of being a woman in this world.

I Rise: Women in Song is not just my work – it is the product of so many incredible women and their creative spirit: the four authors whose words are the centerpiece of this work (Emily Dickinson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou and Arlene Geller), the wonderful Lehigh Women’s Ensemble – Dolce, and the many other singers who are joining them for this performance, and of course, their incredible conductor, Sun Min Lee, whose vision and belief in this piece of music has inspired me at every step of the creative process.

1: The Beauty of Their Dreams (Eleanor Roosevelt)

2: Phenomenal Woman (Maya Angelou)

3: River Song (Arlene Geller)

4: Love is Anterior to Life (Emily Dickinson)

5: Still I Rise (Maya Angelou)