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Judith Cloud

CountryUnited States of America
OccupationComposer, Conductor, Performer, Singer, Teacher

Composer Judith Cloud’s gift for vocal writing originates out of her own rich experiences as an accomplished mezzo–soprano soloist. Performing throughout the United States, Cloud premiered many new works by young composers as well as her own music. Highlights of her performing career include a performance of the Brahms Neueliebeslieder Waltzer with the acclaimed radio program Saint Paul Sunday Morning, as well as being the soloist for the American premier performance of Michael Tippett's A Child of Our Time with the Winston-Salem Symphony. She remains active as a recitalist and soloist, performing regularly. Cloud first began composing for the voice in 1974, and she has garnered a reputation as a “singer-friendly” composer. Eileen Strempel, soprano and noted scholar of women’s music has described her work as “eminently singable, displaying a rich harmonic palate with an audience-entrancing sense of vocal line that is both dramatic and beautiful.” She has also composed a variety of choral pieces; commissions from the British women’s ensemble Psallite, and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale attest to her growing reputation. In October 2009, Cloud won first place in the prestigious Sorel Medallion Competition with her work Anacreontics for chorus and guitar, with a performance in Zankel Hall-Carnegie. Recordings include a cantata, Feet of Jesus (Langston Hughes), for soprano and baritone soloists, soprano saxophone, chorus and organ, with BIS on a CD entitled “Spirituals,” released in 1997 by the Saint Jacob’s Chamber Choir and directed by Gary Graden. Words from an Artist’s Palette for TTBB a cappella is included in the Clarion recording “First Day”, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Linda Mack, conducting. Recently released by Centaur is “(In)Habitation: Settings of Margaret Atwood Poetry by American Women Composers”, by the Strempel-Beaudette duo, with her song cycle Night Dreams. Other art song collections include The Secret History of Water (Silvia Curbelo), and Awake On A Spring Night (Betty Andrews), I Spill My Soul, three songs to poems by E.E. Cummings composed for Eileen Strempel and Sylvie Beaudette and a brass quintet, Three Dogs from Greek Mythology, based on poems by Michael Collier. Cloud has been an honored composer in residence with the noted “Escape to Create” program sponsored by the Seaside Institute in Seaside, Florida for two seasons. She has also been “composer in residence” for the Big Bear Lake Song Festival in California. Dr. Cloud received vocal performance degrees from the North Carolina School of the Arts, and Florida State University. Her first composition lessons were with Robert Ward, who advised her to keep singing—but to keep writing music, too. She has been a member of the music faculty for The North Carolina School of the Arts, Florida Community College at Jacksonville, and Indiana State University. She is Coordinator of Voice at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where she teaches studio voice. Inspiring students with her teaching as well as her compositional talents, she was awarded “Teacher of the Year” for the College of Fine Arts in 2004.

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