Sunday, September 15, 2019

Rebecca Oswald

I have always loved playing piano. I started playing duets with my dad at age four, then took lessons starting at age six. During junior high and high school I accompanied several of the school choirs. Then, after three years of graphic design studies at art school, I began a 15-year career in Houston, Texas, as a freelance steady gig solo pianist, accompanist, and studio musician. Throughout that time I also played in several bands, from new age to new wave, from multi-ethnic dance music to heavy metal. Then in the mid-1990s I decided to pursue a formal education in music theory and composition.

In 1998 I completed my BMus, summa cum laude, at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey, where I majored in theory and composition and minored in voice, with piano as my principal instrument. In 2001 I earned my MM in music composition from the University of Oregon School of Music, studying with Robert Kyr and David Crumb. After serving on the theory/comp faculty at the UO School of Music from 2002-2004, I opted to place my full attention on my creative endeavors. Since then I've been a freelance, self-published composer and pianist.

Over the years I've received numerous commissions and creative opportunities. My concert catalog includes music for full, chamber, and string orchestra, chorus with orchestra, a clarinet concerto, various chamber ensembles, all types of choral ensembles, accompanied solo voices, and solo piano. In addition, I wrote, recorded, and produced all of the music beds for two CD-ROM games released in the late 1990s. I've released two full length CDs of original solo piano music — "October Wind" (2005) and "Whereas" (2011). In support of these CD releases I've given numerous solo piano concerts in Oregon, throughout the U.S., and abroad. Additionally, in 2011 two of my orchestral works were released on "Light and Shadow — Modern Orchestral Works", a compilation CD produced by PARMA Recordings. And in late 2013 I released "Aesop's Fables", a chamber work for woodwind quintet and narration.

Throughout my life I plan to continue writing accessible music that has integrity, depth, and substance; music that becomes part of the larger context of creative master works; music that inspires and transforms individuals, making the world a better place; music that expresses our shared journey of joys and challenges as it elevates and celebrates the human spirit.

Representative WorksAesop's Fables (1999, premiered 2000, released 2013),
Wise Words of Love (2000) and Whereas (CD) (2011)

Visit Me Online:
• Music
• Web
• Video
• Social Media

Oregon Connection: I came to Oregon in 1998 to study music composition at the University of Oregon, with a focus on orchestration. Since completing my master's degree in 2001, I've written several works that were inspired by, or contribute to, Oregon's musical landscape. Selections from my catalog of compositions that relate to Oregon include: "Bowerman, Man of Oregon" for chamber orchestra — a 23-minute work celebrating the life of Bill Bowerman, which was premiered by the Central Oregon Symphony in 2007; then a rearrangement of that work for full orchestra as "Man of Oregon", which was premiered by the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra in 2008; "Field Report: News from Rural Oregon", four movements for piano and clarinet; the soundtrack for the three hour video documentary "A History of the University of Oregon"; the theme music for the weekly cable program "UO Today"; and the Linn-Benton Community College's alma mater. Also, I orchestrated composer Rob Simonsen's score for the movie Westender, which was filmed and produced entirely in Oregon.

As music is one of my gifts in life, contributing musically to my community matters to me. I was the music director for the Tango Center in Eugene for four years, and frequently played live piano music for the dancers. Also, since 2009 I've sung in the choir at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Eugene.