Z. Randall Stroope
|Z. Randall Stroope|
October 25, 1953 |
Albuquerque, New Mexico
|Occupation(s)||Composer, conductor, lecturer|
Z. Randall Stroope (born October 25, 1953) is an American composer, conductor, and lecturer. He has published more than 165 works, with: Oxford University Press, Carl Fischer, Alliance Music Publishing, Walton, Colla Voce, and Lorenz. Among his most famous works are: Lamentaciones de Jeremias, Amor de mi alma, I Am Not Yours, Homeland, Go Lovely Rose, Song to the Moon, and Hodie! (This Day).
Stroope earned a master's degree in voice performance at the University of Colorado (Boulder) and his Doctorate in conducting from Arizona State University. In an electronic publication, Stroope states that even though he had dabbled in composition since the age of ten, it was not until he wrote The Cloths of Heaven, and Inscription of Hope, that he began to gain recognition. He states, “I was quite fortunate to have written some works that found great attraction across the country. That sort of catapulted my career compositionally. I was soon being asked to write pieces and conduct those works with the groups that commissioned them. Through conducting, you learn about what works in composition. Both aspects of my career took hold, and I’ve never looked back. I’m busier today than I’ve ever been.”
In addition to composing music and guest conducting, Stroope serves as the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Oklahoma State University. He also heads the Oklahoma State University Concert Chorale, Chamber Choir, and Women's Choir. Before his appointment to OSU, Stroope held similar positions at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey and at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. As a conductor, he regularly appears nationally and internationally in such venues as: Carnegie Hall, Chicago Orchestra Hall, Sopra Minerva (Rome), and the Kennedy Center.
Mentors and contemporaries
Cecil Effinger and Normand Lockwood, mentors of Stroope, are well-respected American composers. Effinger's Little Symphony No. 1 and Four Pastorales, arguably his most recognizable pieces, are performed by many ensembles across the U.S. and abroad. Normand Lockwood won the prestigious Prix de Rome, a scholarship given the select students within the arts, which allowed him to study in Rome.
Both Effinger and Lockwood were students of Nadia Boulanger, a student of Gabriel Fauré. Fauré was one of the greatest French composers of the twentieth century. Nadia Boulanger, became one of the most influential music theory teachers of the twentieth century, one of her first pupils being American composer Aaron Copland. Stroope credits Boulanger for his mentors' support of his creativity saying, “Efficiency of writing would be the main thing I took from my studies with Effinger. Boulanger didn’t try to replicate herself through her students; she let them be successful in their own way. As a result, Lockwood and Effinger were very open to different styles of music in my writing. It wasn’t a cookie cutter approach to composition.”
Morten Lauridsen, a colleague and friend of Stroope, is the professor of composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and has been for more than thirty years. From 1994 to 2001 he held the position the composer-in-residence at the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Lauridsen, composer of works such as O Magnum Mysterium, Sure on this Shining Night, and Les Chansons des Roses, was named "American Choral Master" by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2007, President Bush awarded him the National Medal of Arts in a White House ceremony. The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government. While Stroope taught at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, Lauridsen held a residency and The Rowan University Concert Choir performed Lauridsen's works. During the concert, Morten Lauridsen was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Rowan University. Since then, Stroope and Lauridsen have continued to engage in collaborative projects. In 2010 and 2014, Lauridsen held residencies at Oklahoma State University similar to that at Rowan University.
Compositions (partial list)
- All My Heart This Night Rejoices
- All So Still
- American Christmas/American Rhapsody
- Amor de mi alma
- An American Te Deum
- An die Freude
- Cantus Natalis
- Caritas et Amor
- Cloths of Heaven
- Consecrate the Place and Day
- Dance for Love
- Danny Boy
- Danse Macabre
- Dies Irae
- Dona Nobis Pacem
- Fanfare from Cantus Natalis
- Four Sonnets of Garcilaso de la Vega
- Go Lovely Rose
- Hodie! This Day
- How Can I Keep From Singing?
- I carry your heart with me
- Inscription of Hope
- I Am Not Yours
- Tarantula (Jubilate Agno)
- Lamentaciones de Jeremias
- Lux Aeterna
- My Flight to Heaven (Charm Me Asleep)
- Northwest Passage: Three Poetic Landscapes
- O Magnum Mysterium
- Odysseus and the Sirens
- Omnia Sol
- Os Justi
- Psalm 23
- Resonet in laudibus
- Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?
- Sicut Cervus
- Song to the Moon (La Luna)
- Soul Speak
- Sure On This Shining Night
- The Conversion of Saul
- The Pasture
- The Rose of Midnight
- There is No Rose
- This Endris Night
- Three Metaphysical Motets
- We Beheld Once Again the Stars
Stroope contributed to the book Composers on Composing along with composers such as René Clausen, Gwyneth Walker, John Rutter and Morten Lauridsen. In this book, Stroope speaks on his experiences with composing, strategies for composing and instructing young composers. Stroope reveals that it is easy for him to write difficult and technically challenging multi-voiced pieces, but writing a simple four-part voiced SATB piece takes him much longer. Stroope recalls his mentor, Normand Lockwood, saying, “You must always write with the essence in mind. It is easy to write with a lot of notes. But it takes a master to say the same with only a few notes, where every note counts.”
Awards and honors
- Australian-American Fulbright
- Douglas R. McEwen award for National Choral Excellence
- Doug and Nickie Burns Endowed Chair in Choral Music 
- Regents Distinguished Research Award 
- 2004 Brock Commission from the American Choral Directors Association.
- Z. Randall Stroope. zrstroope.com.
- Acclaimed composer, conductor joins OSU . URL last accessed 2011-11-15.
- OSU hosts choral composer Morten Lauridsen URL last accessed 2011-11-15.
- Wine, Thomas (2007). Composer on Composing for Choirs. G I A Publications, Incorporated. ISBN 1-57999-664-7
- http://acda.org/page.asp?page=brock_pieces, Retrieved March 2016