Eurydice Valenis Osterman
Eurydice Osterman, a composer, organist, and pianist, taught music at one academy and served as department chair, choir conductor, and composition and theory teacher in the music departments of two Seventh-day Adventist universities. At both she was an innovator, positively affecting the status and integrity of those programs.
Eurydice was born in Atlanta, Georgia; grew up in Darlington, South Carolina; and graduated from high school in Indianapolis, Indiana, after moving there following the death of her father. She completed B.Mus. and M.Mus. degrees at Andrews University in 1972 and 1975, respectively.
She started her teaching career as the choir director and voice and keyboard teacher at Mount Vernon Academy in Ohio in 1972. Four years later she moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she taught music at the Berean SDA Church School, grades K-8, for two years.
She accepted a position at Oakwood College, now University, in 1978 as the primary theory teacher and director of the Oakwood College Choir, a leadership role she would hold until 1992. While the primary role of this nearly 100-member singing group was to provide music in the church, for on-campus events, and represent the school in nearby Huntsville, they also went beyond those assignments to represent the school with distinction in other ways, taking one major tour each year. During that time she started and completed a doctorate in composition/theory at the University of Alabama.
In their spring concert in 1979, they presented Vivaldi's Gloria, assisted by the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra string section and in the following year performed Bach's Magnificat and Beethoven's Choral Fantasy with full orchestra. These accomplishments were followed by the choir's singing of Alleluia by Osterman at the 1981 Festival of Choirs held in the college church, a program broadcast on Alabama Public TV. They sang Dubois' Seven Last Words, again with full orchestra, in 1982.
In that same year, the choir was chosen to represent the college at the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee, and in 1984 they participated in the World's Fair in New Orleans. During the 1983-84 school year they also assisted in the recording of Wintley Phipps' album I Choose You Again, singing "Climbing to Zion," a composition, written by Phipps and arranged by Osterman.
An appearance at the General Conference Session in New Orleans in June 1985 was followed by another at the 1990 GC Session in Indianapolis, Indiana, where they sang How Great Thou Art with Del Delker as soloist and Osterman as arranger.
From 1994 to 1996 she directed the Aeolians, OU's select choir. She thoroughly enjoyed the experience as the choir traveled and sang on the East Coast from New York City to Miami, Florida, and did combined concerts with the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The final Aeolian concert under her direction coincided with the celebration of the school's centennial in the spring of 1996. That performance was recorded and released as The Aeolians Live: A Centennial of Celebration.
In her thirty years at OU she attained the rank of Professor of Music, served as chair of the department (1994-96), conducted the choir (fourteen years), and the Aeolians (two years), and was the primary theory teacher.
In 2009, Osterman accepted the position of chair of the music department at Northern Caribbean University. In the next three years, she prepared and submitted the required documents to the University Council of Jamaica for accreditation of the music program, wrote a department handbook, upgraded the credentials of the music faculty, and presented a five-year strategic plan for the program. She conducted music seminars in SDA Conferences in Jamaica and conducted the first music education conference on campus.
Osterman also established the Community Music Program (an enrichment program for children and adults who want to learn to sing or play an instrument) which included a string orchestra, and established a music teachers association for Manchester Parish via the Ministry of Education. On the personal level, she published an article in the first peer review journal of the university and completed the draft of another book. She returned to the U.S. in 2012.
Osterman is an award-winning composer and has published music with Alliance Publishers, Lorenz Corporation, Oxford Music Publishers, and AWSAHM MUSIC, her own publishing company. She has penned numerous articles for Adventist magazines and has also written two books, What God Says About Music and Worship: From Praise Him to Praise Hymn. She served as a member on General Conference Music Committees that developed guidelines and standards for SDA music and worked on the Youth Hymnal. She is a frequent guest lecturer and has lectured on four continents.
She received a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Turkey in 2006. In studies which took place at three universities in that country and included tours, informal visits at cultural centers, and interactions with the people, she learned about Islam, secularism, and women in that society. She also observed the music and uses of it in their society and wrote an article, excerpted from an extended talk about her visit, titled "Music in Turkey," which was published in IAMA's magazine, Notes.
Osterman has received many awards, including an Outstanding Teacher Award, OC, 1983; Huntsville Jaycees nomination: Outstanding Young Educator, 1983 and 1984; Zapara Excellence in Teaching Award, 1990; and Outstanding Young Women of America Award, 1993. Additionally, she received the Commendation Award for Meritorious Service, OC, 1993 and 2005; a listing in Notable Adventist Women of Today, in 1995, and numerous composition awards. She is also a member of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
She served on many faculty and administrative committees while at OU. Off-campus activities at OU have included giving lectures, conducting numerous music festivals and clinics, presenting concerts, adjudicating, and serving as a consultant. An organist, Osterman has served as church organist throughout her career. While at OC she served as Dean of the Huntsville Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
Osterman has been listed in Who's Who of American Women, 23rd edition, 2003-2004; Dictionary of International Biography, 23rd Edition, 1993-1994; A Bibliography of Available Scores at the Music by Black Women Composers website; CBMR Monographs, No. 5, 1995; and others. She was the subject of a doctoral dissertation written by Angelique Clay, Incorporating the African-American Composer within the Confines of a Western European-American Structure: Selected Solo Vocal Works of Eurydice Osterman, The University of Kentucky, Lexington, 2006.
Sources: Wayne H. Hooper and Edward E. White, Companion to the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, 1988, Review and Herald Publishing Association, 509-10; "Hail the Day!," a chapter by Osterman in the book The Aeolians, Directors Recall Precious Memories, Roy E. Malcolm, editor, Oakwood College Publishing Association, 121-131; Oakwood University website biography, Information provided by Eurydice Osterman, 17 August 2011, July 2012, and January 2014; personal knowledge.
Music by Eurydice Osterman
A partial listing of Compositions and arrangements
Eurydice Osterman can be contacted at: www.awsahmmusic.com. 256-851-8513 or 256-852-8100 (Fax).
002A Create In Me A Clean Heart
003A Make A Joyful Noise Unto the Lord
004A O Sing Unto the Lord
005A The Song of the Lamb (Orchestra)
Hymn Arrangements (SATB)
001H Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
002H How Great Thou Art
003H I Want To See Jesus
004H Lift Up the Trumpet
001S Good News
002S I Want Jesus To Walk With Me
003S Little David Play On Your Harp
004S Oh What A Beautiful City
005S Ol' Time Religion
006S The Song of Moses and the Lamb
007S Walk Together, Children
009S Fix Me, Jesus
001C Day Has Finally Come
002C I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes
001X Away In A Manger
002X Christmas Medley
003X Deck The Halls
004X Silent Night
005X We Three Kings
001CT Hail the Day
All My Trials
Piano, Op. 1
001PC Sonatina (No. 1)
002PC A Matter of Time (No. 2)
I Stood on de Ribber ob Jerdan
002PS Love Medley: Jesus Loves Me/My Jesus I Love Thee
003PS Medley: Jacob's Ladder/I Want Jesus to Walk With Me
004PS Morning Has Broken
005PS My Faith Looks Up To Thee
006PS O Love That Will Not Let Me Go
007PS Whiter Than Snow
Organ, Op. 3
001OC Aria (No. 1)
002OC Gloria (No. 2)
003OC March Triumphant (No. 3)
004OC Meditation (No. 4)
005OC Passacaglia and Fugue (No. 5)
001HS Amazing Grace 002HS Poor Wayfaring Stranger
003HS Prelude on Hyfrydol
004HS Holy, Holy, Holy
005HS All Glory, Laud, and Honor
006HS Rejoice, the Lord is King
Piano/Organ, Op. 4
001PO When Morning Gilds The Sky (No. 1)
Orchestral, Op. 5
001O Aria di Bravura (No. 1)
002O Serenitas (No. 2)
003O Symphony #1– Heritage Symphony (No. 3)
String Orchestra, Op. 6
001SO Tribute (No. 1)
Band, Op. 7
001B Were You There (No. 1)
Chamber Music, Op.8
Cat and the Bird, The (No. 1)
002CC Chorale (No. 2)
003CC Fanfare– Brass (No. 3)
004CC Fanfares for Brass and Timpani (No. 4)
005CC Intrada (No. 5)
006CC Reverie – Piano, Flute (No. 6)
007CC Three Pieces for Woodwind (No. 7)
008CC Sound Tracks– Percussion (No. 8)
001CS Medley: Safe In the Arms of Jesus/Leaning on the
Everlasting Arms – piano, horn, clarinet (No. 9)
002CS Silent Night (No. 10)
Voice (Sacred), Op. 9
001VS Be Still and Know that I Am God (Duet) (No. 1)
002VS From Deepest Woe I Cry To Thee (No. 2)
003VS In Thee O Lord We Trust (No. 3)
004VS Wedding Prayer (No. 4)
Voice (Art), Op 10
001VA For My People (No. 1)
Voice (Song Cycle), Op. 11
001VC Musings (No. 1)
002VC Reflections of the Motherland (No. 2)
Who Stretched the Spangled Heavens (Henisee)
How Lovely Is Thou Dwelling Place (Dwelling Place)
Unity Hymn (Unity Hymn)
Time Worth Living
Christ, Our Hope
Friends For Life
I Don't Understand Myself At All
If I Had My Way
Jesus In Me
Judge Me Not
Love, It Comes In All Colors
Praise The Lord
Renewing Our Minds
United In Christ
We Shall Behold Him
Where To Turn