More than twenty-five years ago, given my life as a composer, and given the high profile and power of music during the Advent and Christmas season, I determined to start writing brief hymns or carols to close friends and family. I did so for two years and the music, originally presented on regular staff paper and stuffed into large envelopes, was greatly appreciated by all. Eventually, I asked my husband, who had studied with artists Lou Bonemarte and Deane Keller at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, to create graphics that would become the front face of the cards reflecting the music in the interior. For twenty-three years we have continued our collaboration unstintingly, sending out our cards to a growing list of recipients. Two years ago, I felt that it was time to pull together the vocal and instrumental forces, to record all of the music inherent in the cards, and to produce the music on an enhanced CD as proof that the tiny musical representations inside the card were, in fact, “real” music! Voce, an inspiring chorus based in Hartford, CT. has recorded all of the musical material to date under the brilliant direction of Mark Singleton, Artistic Director.
In accordance with my wishes and Voce's charitable mission, a portion of the proceeds from sales of this CD will be donated to Hospice.
Composer/pianist Sarah Meneely-Kyder is a graduate of Goucher College, Peabody Conservatory and Yale University. Her composition teachers have included Robert Hall Lewis, Earle Brown, and Robert Morris. In the years following her formal education in Western musical tradition, she studied the North Indian sitar and was eventually initiated by Roop Verma, a student of world renowned sitarist, Ravi Shankar. As a composer, she is noted for pieces that fuse disparate musical elements and traditions into unified works. She is a member of American Composers Alliance, New York Women Composers, and she was a founding member of Connecticut Composers Inc. Her creative endeavors have been rewarded with many commissions, grants, and prizes including Yale University's Rena Greenwald Memorial Prize and several Artist Project Grants from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. She has two CD recordings on the NORTH/SOUTH RECORDING, INC. label, the second of which was nominated for a Grammy award in December of 2003. Recent commissions include a work for Friends of Voce, (Soprano/Clarinet/Piano) which was premiered in February of, 2008 and a work for choral ensemble Voce (S-A-T-B/Piano) to be premiered in February of 2009. Sarah has been working in collaboration with poet (and sister) Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely on a War Oratorio which depicts the life of her father during and following his experience as a doctor in the Tenth Mountain Division in WW 11. She is published in the Dictionary of Contemporary Music, edited by John Vinton, and she has an entry on her music in the revised edition of Baker's Biographical Dictionary, edited by Nicholas Slonimsky.
Sarah is on the faculty of Wesleyan University where she teaches piano, chamber music and composition.
For reviews and pictures go to www.meneely-kyder.net