Gloria Wilson Swisher

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Gloria Wilson Swisher
Born (1935-03-12) March 12, 1935 (age 87)
Occupationcomposer, music educator and pianist

Gloria Wilson Swisher (born March 12, 1935) is an American composer, music educator and pianist.


Gloria Wilson Swisher was born in Seattle, Washington. She graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle where she received a Bachelor of Music, summa cum laude, Mills College in Oakland, California, where she earned a Master of Music in composition and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where she earned a Ph.D. in 1960. She studied composition under John Verrall, Darius Milhaud, Bernard Rogers, and Howard Hanson. She is a member of The International Association of Women in Music, the Darius Milhaud Society and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.[1] She was awarded the Sigma Alpha Iota Inter-American prize for her composition Salutations for oboe and piano.[2] Swisher was the subject of a 2009 University of Washington dissertation, The choral music of Gloria Wilson Swisher, by Robert Bigley.[3]

Swisher has taught at Washington State University in Pullman, Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Shoreline Community College (1969–1998) in Seattle, and the University of Washington in Seattle. She is a Professor Emerita of Music at Shoreline Community College, and often performs as a duo pianist with Nancy Matesky. She is a founding member of Ars Nova Press, Inc., a non-profit corporation that promotes and reprints the work of quality composers.[4][5]


Selected works include:

Orchestral Works:

  • 1957 Canción, for orchestra
  • 1960 Concerto for clarinet and orchestra
  • 1986 Niigata No. Sumie Black Ink Impressions of Niigata, concerto for piano and orchestra
  • 2004 Concerto for flute and orchestra
  • Serafina, portrait for orchestra

Works for large ensemble:

  • 1955 3 Pieces for Piano & Band
  • 1958 Suite for Piano & Wind Sinfonietta
  • 1963 Dances for Tomorrow
  • 1977 Thanksgiving I
  • 1978 Procession
  • 1984 Words to a Grand Child, for mixed choir and orchestra
  • The Mountain and The Island

Masses and liturgical music:

  • Psalm 150 for mixed choir, 2 trumpets, timpani and piano
  • God is Gone Up With A Merry Noise, for mixed choir and organ

Stage works: Opera:

  • 1983 The Artist and The Other - libretto: Willy Clark
  • 1999 The Prestigious Music Award - premiered on February 18–20, 1999 at the Shoreline Community College Little Theater - libretto: Willy Clark
  • 2008 The Legend of Poker Alice - libretto: Willy Clark[6]


  • 2004 Gallagher And The Moonbeam
  • Incidental music to "For Such A Time as This - text: Ann Chamberlin

Works for choir:

  • 1973 Two Faces of Love, for mixed choir and piano
  • Beat! Beat! Drums, for mixed choir, 2 trumpets, timpani and piano
  • Let Us Celebrate, for mixed choir, 2 trumpets and piano

Vocal music:

  • 1977 Sisters, for soprano and piano
  • I Sit and Sew
  • Tenebris
  • The Cabal at Nickel Nackeys
  • 1983 Sonnets for Donald, for soprano and piano
  • 1990 Three for T, for tenor and piano
  • 1995 A Velvet Madonna, for soprano and piano
  • Montana, song cycle of six songs for mezzo soprano or baritone and piano

Chamber music

  • 1990 Salutations, for oboe and piano
  • In 1991 Caprichos for guitar and piano
  • Pas de trois, for flute, violin and piano
  • Sado, for flute and piano
  • Theatre Trio for trumpet, alto saxophone and piano

Works for Organ:

  • 2001 Chorale Prelude on "Slane" and "In Dulce Jubilo"

Works for Piano:

  • 1983 "Joel" Variations
  • Siciliana
  • Transcending[7]


  1. ^ "Pleasure for the Ear: The Composers". Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
  2. ^ "SIGMA ALPHA IOTA INTER-AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS (under Chamber Music section)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 November 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  3. ^ "The choral music of Gloria Wilson Swisher". Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  4. ^ "Composer Biography:Gloria Wilson Swisher". Archived from the original on 4 May 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
  5. ^ Who's Who in American Music: Classical. Jaques Cattell Press. 1985.
  6. ^ "Sigma Alpha Iota Member Laureate: Annual Updates". Archived from the original on 27 November 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
  7. ^ "The Music of Gloria Wilson Swisher". Music Library of the University of Washington. Retrieved 14 September 2010.

External links[edit]