About Pamela J. Marshall

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Short biography for concert programs

Pamela J. Marshall photoPamela J. Marshall (b.1954) studied at Eastman and Yale and has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony. She has written for chamber ensembles, synthesizers, mandolin, and orchestra, including commissions from organist Carson Cooman, Assabet Valley Mastersingers, Unitarian choirs in Massachusetts and Minnesota, the Fisher Foundation, Axiom Duo, Trio Arundel, mandolinist Neil Gladd, and DanceArt.

Her Christmas arrangements for orchestra “Traditional Christmas” and “Three Appalachian Carols” have been played throughout the United States. Her mandolin music is recorded on a Plucked String and Uncommon Strings CDs and chamber music is recorded on the Clique Track label. Her company, Spindrift Music, publishes her recent music (on the Web at www.spindrift.com).

Since 2005, the Spindrift Commissioning Guild has supported several projects for new chamber music. A major project for 2007 is Art-Poem-Music, a collaboration with visual artist Sirarpi Heghinian Walzer and poet Elizabeth Kirschner. Pamela plays horn, leads composing and improvisation workshops, records concerts and nature soundscapes, and does photography and web design (www.honeycreeper.com).

Long biography

Pamela J. Marshall (b.1954) writes music for chamber ensembles, orchestra, solo voices & chorus, mandolin, and synthesizers. Her music is published by Seesaw Music, Plucked String, and her own company, Spindrift Music (on the Web at www.spindrift.com).

She received degrees in composition from the Eastman and Yale Schools of Music, where she also studied horn, conducting, and electronic music. Her teachers have included Jacob Druckman, Joseph Schwantner, Betsy Jolas, Warren Benson, and Samuel Adler in composition; horn studies with Verne Reynolds, Paul Ingraham, Charles Kavalovski, and Jean Rife; and conducting with Arthur Weisberg.

From 1998 to 2005, she was a member of Just In Time Composers and Players, a Boston-area collaborative of composers and performers that presented several concert seasons of accessible new music in local towns. Just In Time presented Ms. Marshall’s chamber music, songs, and excerpts of her opera-in-progress "Melete’s Quest". She was the group’s director for the 1999-2001 seasons.

She is interested in improvisation for classical musicians and has led improv workshops at the Northeast Horn Workshop and the Lexington Music Club. With Carroll Ann Bottino, a piano teacher in Lexington, MA, she has developed a workshop curriculum that introduces composition and improvisation to music students.

She enjoys collaborating with other artists, and in 2007-08 she is working on Art-Poem-Music with visual artist Sirarpi Heghinian-Walzer and poet Elizabeth Kirschner to produce several concerts and a CD of songs inspired by Walzer’s art with texts by Kirschner.

In 2006, the Concord Chamber Ensemble performed “Enchanted” for oboe and chamber orchestra. In 1999, the Concordia Orchestra played her orchestral piece "Through the Mist" in a New York reading session. Her orchestral arrangements “Traditional Christmas” and "Three Appalachian Carols" have been played in Massachusetts and throughout the United States.
The CD "Noises, Sounds & Strange Airs" includes her "Sky's Mirror" for voice and cello and "Soliloquy" for cello, featuring mezzo soprano D'Anna Fortunato and cellist Emmanuel Feldman. The CD "Mandolin X 4" from Plucked String includes her "Mandolin Night" performed by Neil Gladd. In 2004 the mandolin ensemble Enigmatica recorded "Blue-Gold Variations" from "Loosely Blue" on their debut CD.

Ms. Marshall has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, and has received commissions or grants from organist Carson Cooman, Assabet Valley Mastersingers, Unitarian choirs in Massachusetts and Minnesota, the Renee Fisher Foundation, Mass. Council for the Arts, the New Works/New Composers series at the Composer's Forum, NEWCOMP, DanceArt, mandolinist Neil Gladd, American Women Composers, the Axiom Duo, and Trio Arundel. She has written music for Esprit de Cor, Enigmatica, the Arden Quartet, and Luis Leguia. She founded the Spindrift Commissioning Guild in 2005 and has invited friends and patrons to join together to support several recent projects of new chamber music.

In addition to composing, she has written music software and developed sounds for Kurzweil synthesizers and written technical documentation for software for computer programmers. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts and plays French horn in local orchestras and chamber ensembles. She has displayed her photography in local galleries and on the web at honeycreeper.com.

Updated February 2011