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Composer to occupy Acuff Chair

January 28, 2003

Austin Peay has a new composer in residence for the Spring 2003 Semester. Dr. Elizabeth Vercoe is the newest occupant of the Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence in the Creative Arts.
January 28, 2003

Austin Peay has a new composer in residence for the Spring 2003 Semester. Dr. Elizabeth Vercoe is the newest occupant of the Roy Acuff Chair of Excellence in the Creative Arts.

Vercoe, a distinguished American composer, will be working with music majors in both classes and in private instruction with the department's composition students. She will lecture on her own music, women composers and women's music while in residence and give two public lectures on Feb. 13 and March 25. Her works will be featured prominently in the Dimension Music Series concerts to be performed Feb. 24 and March 31 and at the Women's Music Concert, March 4.

Vercoe's music is characterized by great energy and drama, and it reflects her ongoing commitment to important social issues. Her “Herstory I” and "Herstory II" included settings of women's poetry from America and Japan, while “Herstory III: Jehanne de Lorraine,” a staged monodrama for mezzo-soprano and piano, surrounds the life and legends of Joan of Arc.

Vercoe has shared a long and fruitful relationship with Austin Peay, premiering two of her works on campus in 1986 and 1991. Her works “Irreveries” from “Sapho” and “Herstory III: Jehanne de Lorraine” have been recorded by Dr. Sharon Mabry, professor of music. The Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts also commissioned Vercoe's “A Dangerous Man,” a staged monodrama for baritone and piano, which uses texts about the life of American abolitionist John Brown.

Currently, Vercoe is writing a work for flute and piano to be performed by Dr. Lisa Vanarsdel and Dr. Patricia Halbeck, professors of music. She also is composing a work for the APSU Percussion Ensemble, directed by David Steinquest, professor of music.

Vercoe earned her bachelor's degree in music at Wellesley College, where she received the Hubert Weldon Prize in composition. She received her master's degree in music composition from the University of Michigan and her doctorate of musical arts in music composition from Boston University, where she studied with Gardner Read. She has been a member of the music faculty of Regis College since 1997.

Vercoe was a fellow at the Charles Ives Center, the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has received grants from the Artists Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

She was director of the Women's Music Festival in 1985 in Boston and has been a board member for the International League of Women Composers, the Artists Foundation and the Janus 21 Ensemble. Her writings include numerous articles and reviews regarding music by women composers.

For information regarding upcoming events featuring Vercoe's work, telephone the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at 7818.