Professor wins national competition, songs performed at Carnegie Hall

Judith Cloud

Most composers just dream about hearing their music played at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, but for Judith Cloud it became a reality.

Cloud, a composer and vocal studies professor at Northern Arizona University, took first prize at the recent 2009 Sorel Medallion Choral Composition Competition for her original work,Anacreontics, for chorus and guitar.

As one of the three women finalists in the competition, Cloud’s composition was performed in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall by the Voices of Ascension Choir, one of the country’s foremost choirs.

“The quality of their performance was really superb with all of the music performed that evening,” Cloud said. “It was indeed a special night listening to the music of the other women composers and then hearing Bach’s Magnificat that ended the program. What an honor to have my music performed in the same evening with Bach’s!”

The competition, sponsored by the Elizabeth & Michel Sorel Charitable Organization, is one of the premier composition competitions for women worldwide.

“When I found out that once again my music had been chosen as one of the three compositions for the winners’ concert I was thrilled,” Cloud said. “Last year my compositionMesa Songs for chorus, Native American flute, drum, and rain stick won the third prize for this competition, and I was encouraged to enter again.”

Recording grants often are awarded to finalists in the competition. Cloud has applied for a grant to record some of the works she has composed for solo voice in a CD with Summit Records titled “…letting escape a song.”

“It features a number of singers and pianists who I have been composing for within the last several years, including myself and our own NAU music faculty members Deborah RaymondRicardo Pereira and Rita Borden,” said Cloud, who is currently working on composing songs to poems of E.E. Cummings.