Joanna Ross Hersey | O quam mirabilis

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O quam mirabilis

by Joanna Ross Hersey

From the mystic and otherworldly echos of Hildegard von Bingen’s Medieval church music, to the modern concertos being composed today, music by women deserves more of a place in low brass repertoire.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
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  Song Share Time Download
1. O quam mirabilis
Joanna Ross Hersey
2:34 $0.99
2. Trois Pièces: I. Moderato
Joanna Ross Hersey
2:15 $0.99
3. Trois Pièces: II. Sans vitesse et à l’aise
Joanna Ross Hersey
1:37 $0.99
4. Trois Pièces: III. Vite et nerveusement rythme
Joanna Ross Hersey
2:48 $0.99
5. Wax Eloquent: Etude No. 1: Andante
Joanna Ross Hersey
3:35 $0.99
6. Wax Eloquent: Etude No. 2: Allegro Vivace
Joanna Ross Hersey
1:56 $0.99
7. Wax Eloquent: Etude No. 3: Vivace
Joanna Ross Hersey
3:05 $0.99
8. Schwanenlied
Joanna Ross Hersey
2:42 $0.99
9. Liebst du um Schönheit
Joanna Ross Hersey
2:36 $0.99
10. Der Erkennende
Joanna Ross Hersey
3:09 $0.99
11. Dove io Credo
Joanna Ross Hersey
3:38 $0.99
12. Concert Piece for Tuba and Piano
Joanna Ross Hersey
5:47 $0.99
13. Elegy for a King
Joanna Ross Hersey
4:00 $0.99
14. Ouraborus
MobiusB featuring Joanna Ross Hersey
4:42 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The composers whose work I have arranged and performed on this recording represent the rich, vibrant history of women in the field of music composition. From the mystic and otherworldly echos of Hildegard von Bingen’s Medieval church music, to the modern concertos being composed today, music by women deserves more of a place in low brass repertoire. When programming, we all too often think of Galliard but not Francesca Caccini, of Brahms but not Clara Schumann, of Shostakovich but not Alma Mahler. The spirit and energy of these pieces will speak for themselves, they do not need me to speak for them, only to give them a voice.

Musician Biographies

A native Vermonter, Joanna Ross Hersey studied with Dan Perantoni at Arizona State University, received a Master of Music in Tuba Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music studying with Chester Schmitz, and earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in Tuba Performance from the Hartt School. As Principal Tubist with the United States Coast Guard Band, Joanna performed throughout the country as a soloist and clinician after winning the position at the age of nineteen. Joanna has played for three U.S. Presidents, performed at numerous state functions for visiting dignitaries, and has appeared on The Today Show and Good Morning America. In her freelance career she has performed with artists including Placido Domingo, Roberta Flack, Marilyn Horne, Arlo Guthrie, Michael Bolton, Lee Greenwood, Arturo Sandoval and Jack Nicholson. Joanna is a founding member of the Athena Brass Band, a group first created for the 2003 International Women’s Brass Conference which has since performed at the 2006 IWBC, and has been featured at the Great American Brass Band Festival in Danville, Kentucky. As a member of the Alchemy Tuba-Euphonium Quartet, Joanna performs throughout North America and Europe and can be heard on the group’s first compact disc recording Village Dances, and on their 2010 release Live in Jever. Alchemy is in residence each February at the Horn-Tuba Workshop in Jever, Germany where the group performs recitals, gives master-classes and conducts ensembles. Joanna is Assistant Professor of Low Brass at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. For more information visit Joanna at

Dr. Seung-Ah Kim, a native of Pusan, Korea, has recently received her doctorate in piano performance at the University of South Carolina. She holds two master's degrees in piano performance, one from Yonsei University in Korea and the other from The Cleveland Institute of Music. While studying at CIM, she was awarded the Arthur Loesser Memorial Award in Piano, recognizing her outstanding achievement. She also received a prize at the prestigious Darius Milhaud Performance Competition. At USC, she was applauded for the performance of Flights of Passage by Claude Baker, which was the South Carolina premiere at the Southern Exposure Concert. She was also on the piano faculty at the USC Community Music Program and served as the official pianist for the Concerto Competition at the Southeastern Piano Festival and Summer Conservatory at USC. Currently, she is teaching piano and accompanying UNCP Concert Choir as an adjunct faculty at University of North Carolina at Pembroke. In addition to her vigorous solo performances, she has actively performed as a collaborating artist. Most recently, she has accompanied Dr. Joanna Hersey’s Tuba recital at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Mr. Jacob Will’s voice solo recital at the East Tennessee University. With her Husband, tenor Jaeyoon Kim, she has been also presenting art song recitals at various concerts in Carolina area. Her teachers include Dr. Charles Fugo and Dr. Daniel Shapiro. She also studied chamber music with Carolyn Gadiel Warner and was chosen to play for the accompanying masterclass of Warren Jones and Elly Ameling.

Liner Notes

Hildegard von Bingen was a German abbess, mystic, writer and composer. Given to the Catholic Church by her parents at the age of eight, Hildegard flourished under the creative atmosphere she found there, writing lyric poetry, biographies, works on medicine, natural history, and accounts of her personal mystical experiences. She is perhaps best remembered for her musical compositions intended for use at the convents, many of which have been preserved. Hildegard’s songs generally praise saints or martyrs, and the majority are addressed to feminine religious figures such as Saint Ursula and the Virgin Mary. O quam mirabilis is Hildegard’s depiction of the miracle of creation.

Nadia Boulanger was an energetic and talented composer, conductor and teacher. After entering the Paris Conservatoire to study composition at the age of ten, she went on to place second in the coveted Prix de Rome prize for composition in 1908. Under Nadia’s tutelage, her sister Lili won the Prix de Rome in 1913, the first women ever to do so. Upon the tragic death of Lili in 1918, Nadia ceased composition and focused the remainder of her life on teaching, first at the Paris Conservatoire and later at the Juilliard School. Despite a lifetime of musical achievement, she is perhaps best remembered for her famous pupils, among them Elliot Carter, Walter Piston, Thea Musgrave and Aaron Copland. In 1915, Nadia took three short organ pieces she had previously composed, and transcribed them for cello and piano.

Wax Eloquent, composed by Kathryn Mishell in 1992, is a fantastic example of modern composition for the tuba. Technically challenging for the performer and spanning a three and one-half octave range, this work contrasts the lyrical qualities of the instrument with effects such as flutter tonguing and extreme leaps. Formerly a member of the faculty at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Kathryn is a pianist and composer currently living in Austin, Texas, where she produces Into the Light, a weekly radio program devoted to the finest art music of the past and present composed by women.

Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel was a prolific composer, a talented pianist, and a respected leader in Berlin’s musical society. As Felix Mendelssohn’s older sister, Fanny was raised in a home where she was constantly exposed to music and art. Although she was given the same musical education as her brother, Fanny was not encouraged to become a professional musician, consequently only a small number of her more than four hundred compositions were published during her lifetime. Schwanenlied is a lullaby from a collection of lieder published in 1846.

Clara Wieck was born in Leipzig, Germany in 1819, and from an early age showed great talent in music performance and composition. Clara was honored as one of the best pianists in Europe by the time she married Robert Schumann in 1840. Clara continued to compose and perform, often financially supporting her family, and raised eight children during her fourteen years of marriage. After Robert’s death in 1856, Clara composed, taught and performed regularly until her death nearly forty years later. Clara’s songs are beautiful examples of German lieder at the height of the Romantic period.

Born in Vienna in 1879 to wealthy parents, Alma Schindler studied piano and composition before marrying Gustav Mahler when she was twenty-two years old. Gustav died when Alma was thirty-two, and she met and married twice more, fleeing Europe for Los Angeles during World War II with her third husband, poet Franz Werfel. Der Erkennende, written in 1915 and published as a part of a set of five songs in 1924, is set to a portion of one of her husband’s poems.

In the 17th Century, Florence, Italy was home to a thriving musical culture which helped establish the new Baroque style. The wealth of the Medici court supported artists and musicians, including Giulio Caccini, who is well known today, and his daughter Francesca. Francesca, born into the active musical court system, was singing, composing and acting by an early age, both in Italy and France. Her family connections and innate talent allowed her to work professionally throughout her life, and she wrote music for at least sixteen theater productions. In 1625 she composed La liberazione di Ruggiero, today considered to be the first opera composed by a women, commissioned by the Medici family to celebrate a visiting dignitary. The short aria Dove io Credo is about belief in love which was lost, the chorus ending with “And so it goes, for one who loves and believes too much.”

Libby Larson’s Concert Piece for Tuba and Piano is a highly demanding work, featuring both lyrical and technical elements. Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, Libby is one of America’s most performed living composers. A Grammy award winner, she was celebrated in USA Today as “the only English-speaking composer since Benjamin Britten who matches great verse with fine music so intelligently and expressively.” In the Concert Piece the tuba and piano fly through the opening section, written in one, twisting and turning their sets of running eighth notes, arriving at a slower, more contemplative, contrasting section, where the tuba performs “as if deeply breathing.” A return of the lively tempo ends the work. Comprising more than three octaves, this challenging tuba part is marked “Fiercely” at five different points in the piece.

Portia Njoku, a composer and tubist, is currently finishing her double master's degree in Composition and Tuba Performance at CSU Sacramento. As an active performer, Ms. Njoku, has held principal positions with the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band, and Wind Ensemble, the CSU Sacramento Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, the Women's Community Orchestra, and the Folsom Lake Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Njoku loves to write for all types of chamber groups and decided to write for tuba in 2008. "Elegy for a King, a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, initially started out as a trio for a black history concert in 2008. It was great as a trio, but now it is even better as a quartet." Elegy for a King was premiered on the East coast at the 2008 ITEC conference in Cincinnati, Ohio with the Sacramento State Tuba Quartet under the direction of Julian Dixon. Ms. Njoku would like to thank Mr. Dixon, her tuba teacher, and Dr. Stephen Blumberg, her composition professor, for their support and guidance while working on this piece. In the future, Ms. Njoku will pursue her PhD in Composition, continue to teach, and tuba professionally. In her spare time, Ms. Njoku loves to cook, ride her bike, and enjoy time with friends and family.

Ouraborus, by MobiusB, featuring Joanna Hersey, tuba and William Bendrot, Synths, Guitars, Drums and Programming. This collaboration places the tuba in an electronic music setting featuring improvisation within the guitar and percussion framework. Composed by William Bendrot and Joanna Hersey, Copyright 2009 - William Bendrot (BMI)/Joanna Hersey (BMI). Some Rights Reserved under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License - .



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