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Octava Concert!!!
Sunday April 21st 6pm
Maple Park Church
17620 60th Avenue West, Lynnwood, WA, 98037

The Octava Chamber Orchestra
bringing great music to the PNW


Rebecca Oswald



Rebecca Oswald is an award-winning composer with many areas of expertise and excellence. In 1998 she earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theory and Composition, summa cum laude, from Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey, where she studied composition with Joel Phillips, Stefan Young, and Ron Hemmel; her principal instrument was piano and her minor was voice. In 2001 she completed her Master of Music degree in Music Composition from the University of Oregon School of Music in Eugene, Oregon, where she studied composition with Robert Kyr and David Crumb, and received numerous accolades including a summer research grant, an Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding graduate work in composition, and a Masters Fellowship in Music Research and Scholarly Activity. During her masters program she was a Graduate Teaching Fellow, leading aural skills and keyboard skills labs. From 2002 to 2004 Rebecca was on the adjunct faculty at the University of Oregon School of Music, teaching upper-level aural skills, composition, and orchestration. Since 2004 she has been a full-time freelance composer, arranger, orchestrator, producer, pianist, and singer.

A native of Oklahoma City, Rebecca started playing piano at age four and began taking lessons at age six. After high school shes studied art for three years, then returned to her first love, music. In 1980 she launched a fifteen year career as a solo pianist / accompanist / studio musician in Houston, Texas, playing elegant steady gigs five or six nights a week in fine dining restaurants, hotel lobbies, country clubs, etc., as well as playing in various bands along the way. Eventually she acknowledged her life’s dream was composition, and she realized the necessary musical skills and knowledge would be best pursued through academia. She went back to school in the mid-1990s to study theory and composition and to immerse herself in a formal, classical music education. Coming full circle, in 2005 Rebecca released October Wind, a retrospective CD of thirteen original piano works dating from 1981 to 2005, and one art song for tenor and piano. October Wind and several other of her recordings can be found on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon, and other online retailers. Rebecca performs her original solo piano works several times a year, and has concertized in five countries to date.

Rebecca's instrumental concert music catalog includes works for solo instruments including a piano sonata, various chamber ensembles, full orchestra, a clarinet concerto, and one 22-minute choral/orchestral work. Two of her orchestral works won anonymous, international competitions held by the Women's Philharmonic in San Francisco. Here are a few highlights from her instrumental music catalogue: Her popular woodwind quintet Aesop’s Fables has been performed at least 25 times, and is currently championed by the Jewel Winds Quintet in upstate New York. Bowerman, Man of Oregon is a 22-minute symphonic biography about Bill Bowerman, famed inventor of the waffle-soled running shoe, co-founder of NIKE, and track and field coach for the University of Oregon and U.S. Olympic team. The Central Oregon Symphony premiered it on their three October 2007 concerts, and in July 2008 the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra performed a larger reorchestration of this same work as the centerpiece of a special Bowerman gala tribute concert. And Rebecca has written many more instrumental works, and there have been many more performances given.

In March 2010 Rebecca traveled to Olomouc, Czech Republic, where the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra recorded two of her orchestral works: Finding the Murray River (six minutes, for full orchestra), and Sleep, Child (five minutes, for string orchestra). These two works, produced by PARMA Recordings, will be released on separate CDs in summer and fall 2010 on the Navona label.

Rebecca composes for all types and sizes of choral ensembles, a cappella or accompanied, and often writes her own choral texts, whether sacred or secular. Here are a few highlights from her choral catalogue: Reciprocity, an 11-minute SATB work in eleven non-western languages, was commissioned by the Foundation for Universal Sacred Music and premiered in fall 2005 at the First Festival of Universal Sacred Music in New York City. This multicultural, ecumenical choral work quotes the original teachings of the ethic of reciprocity throughout humankind’s history in the teachers’ native languages, going as far back as 3100 B.C. Journeys to Freedom: Rännakud Vabadusse is a nine-minute work for double SATB chorus and treble chorus, plus four winds and percussion, incorporating folksongs from Estonia and the U.S. in celebration of human freedom and dignity. It was performed by each of its three commissioning choirs in Maryland in spring 2007. Let Him Return, a six-minute work for women’s chorus and piano, received Top Honors in the Waging Peace Through Singing 2002 international choral composition competition; it was recorded and released on CD by the Canadian women’s choir She Sings! in fall 2009. And Rebecca has written and recorded many other choral works.

Enjoying great variety in her musical output, Rebecca wrote, recorded, and produced the music for two Taiwanese CD-ROM strategy games in 1997 and 1998. In 2003 she orchestrated the soundtrack for the independent, critically acclaimed film Westender. She also composed, recorded, and produced the soundtrack for the three-hour video documentary series A History of the University of Oregon (2001, 2007).

From 2006 to 2009 Rebecca was the music director for the Tango Center in Eugene, where she played tango music on the piano, both as soloist and in ensembles, several times a month for the dancers. She still performs at independent milongas and bailongas in Eugene. And yes, she dances tango for fun! Other hobbies include artwork (watercolors, calligraphy), walking, riding her bicycle, and gardening.

Website: http://www.rebeccaoswald.com

E-mail: raoswald@aol.com

Please fan up on Rebecca’s Facebook artist page!

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