Evelyn Pursley-Kopitzke

 1954 -

Evelyn Pursley-Kopitzke, a composer, describes herself as an "ex-nomad, having lived in over a dozen places, four countries, and eight states" in the first thirty years of her life. She has resided in Tennessee since 1984 and has been honored for her writing and activities in promoting music composition.

Evelyn was born in Tanzania and lived in Africa for most of her first decade, the younger of two children of George L. and Esther Logan Pursley, Seventh-day Adventist missionary teachers. She holds a graduate degree in music composition and studied theory and composition with Margarita Merriman while pursuing an undergraduate degree in music at Atlantic Union College and with Barney Childs while doing graduate work at the University of Redlands, California. She also studied with Kenneth Jacobs at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Pursley-Kopitzke has written over 300 pieces in a variety of musical forms, including musicals, oratorio/orchestral tone poems, art songs, and choral and instrumental pieces for both larger and chamber ensembles. Her music has been heard coast to coast in the U.S. and in Europe.

She is also active in the promotion of composing and composers and in 1995 was a co-founder of the greater Tri-Cities Area Composers' Consortium in Tennessee. She has been prominent in its activities since the beginning and many of her works have been performed in all of its productions. She has served as its primary public relations person, writing many of its releases, some of which have been published nationally.

She was twice commissioned to write for the East Tennessee Children's Choir (2000 Continental Harmony project). She has also produced radio commercials and a recording of her own sacred art songs and has compiled 99 New Songs, a collection of Sabbath and Advent Anthems and Hymns released in 2003 but now out of print.

Pursley-Kopitzke received top honors for her Salaam, Frieden in the 2002 Carton Savage international I Wage Peace project. Other recognition has included the inclusion of three of her piano pieces in an anthology commissioned by the Appalachian Music Teachers' Association in 2005 and her selection as AMTA Composer of the Year, also in 2005.

Recent works have included African Vignettes (2007); Reflections, an Arts Build Communities Tennessee Arts commission (2008); Festival (2008); Magnificat (2008); Victoria Vignettes (2009); May in the Greenwood (2009); Adagio, Beyond the Silence (2010) Expectations (2010); Cetacean Suite (2010); and The Constellations, a symphony for large orchestra (2011). Of most recent note is "All Is Still," a Christmas carol for flute, SATB, and piano which is currently receiving significant views on YouTube. In February 2012, she traveled to London, England, for the European premiere of her African Vignettes. 

Because Pursley-Kopitzke lived most of her first decade in African countries and developed a now lost fluency in two African languages, it is likely that elements of African speech and children's songs influence her music. In addition to conventional idioms, her music includes unusual harmonies, migrating tonality, odd accents (5/4, 7/8 and changing meters), and unusual use of traditional instruments such as percussive effects with stringed instruments and key clicking on woodwinds.

She has observed, "Each new work teaches me something new about life. I hope to communicate meaning, beauty, and the power of God's grace through music."

 

ds/2012

Sources: Website biographies including http://99songs.com; Composition Studio, School of music, The University of Tennessee; http://Composersforum.ing.com; The Atlantic Union Gleaner, 28 September 1964, 4; Email with corrections and listing of compositions, 12 March 2012; Email with an update of activity and comprehensive listing of compositions, 7 July 2012.

 

 

Music by Evelyn Pursley-Kopitzke

(A selective listing by the composer)

Instrumental

Orchestra

Adagio, Beyond the Silence (6:00) Chamber Orchestra and Soprano

Deluge! Oratorio/Orchestral Tone Poem (70:00) SSAATTBB, SATB solos, Romantic Orchestra, 21 movements, 5 movements can be performed as an orchestral suite.

Magnificat, text adapted from the Bible, (10:00) Soprano & Mezzo-Soprano solos, SATB, (currently piano only, orchestration forthcoming)

The Constellations (23:00), A Symphony with five movements for large orchestra: Andromeda, Polaris, Crux, Pleiades, Orion

Chamber Music

Cello Trio in A Minor, (1:30) 3 Cellos (Easy)

Cello Trio in D Major, (1:30) 3 Cellos (Easy)

Cetacean Suite, 2 Trumpets- C & Bb, Horn in F, Trombone, Tuba, six movements

Fanfare and Processional, (4:00) String Quartet or String Orchestra

Festival (15:00) 3 C-Flutes, Alto Flute in G, Bass Flute (Also available for ten C-Flutes), four movements

Fugue in D Minor, after J. S. Bach, (3:00) Trumpet, Horn in F, Trombone

Impromptu (2:00) Cello, Guitar (Easy)

Indigo Zephyrs (6:00) Flute, Clarinet in Bb, Violin, Cello, Piano

Nancy's Horn Quartet (7:00) 4 Horns in F

Oboe Sextet (22:00) Oboe, Timpani (4) String Quartet, four movements

Passages (2:00) Viola, Cello (Easy)

Pleiades (4:30) Clarinet, Euphonium, Piano

++Pum! (4:30) Woodwind Quintet

Three Legged Race (2:00) Strings (Easy)

Winter Odyssey (2:00) Easy String Orchestra

Woodland Fragrances and Paths, (3:00) Beginner Ensemble, Flute, Violin 1 & 2, Cello, Guitar 1& 2, Piano 4 Hands.

Vignettes from an African Childhood (15:00) Flute, Clarinet in Bb, Violin, Cello, Piano, seven movements

Victoria Vignettes (15:00), Flute, Clarinet in Bb, Violin, Cello, Piano, four movements

Trio (3:00) Horn in F, Trombone, Tuba

Accompanied Solos

All the Pretty Little Horses, (5:00) Cello, Piano

Nocturne for Renee, (7:00) Cello, Piano

Rondo Capriccioso, (5:00) Cello, Piano

Willow Tree Waterfall Fantasy, (3:00) Viola, Piano

Unaccompanied Solos

The Bells (1:00) Piano

Expectations (6:00) Multi-Percussion Solo

Longing (3:00) Flute

Moonstruck Sonata for Contrabass (20:00) four movements

Rondo, Piano (6:00)

Variations on "Christus ist Erstanden," Organ

Wayfarin' Stranger (4:00) Trumpet

Choral/Vocal

SATB, piano accompaniment

Awake My Soul in Gladness, text adapted from the Bible, (5:00) SSAATTBB

Freedom! (4:00)

Good News, (3:00)

He Was a Man of Sorrows, text adapted from the Bible, (3:30)

May in the Green-Wood, traditional text, (3:30) SSAATTBB

Please Come Soon, Jesus

Salaam, Frieden, 3 part Round, Piano Black Key Improv,

Simple Things (4:00)

Step in the Water (4:00)

The Prayer, Text by Jon McDowell, (3:00)

The Tyger, Text by William Blake, SATB, Piano, (optional Percussion)

This Same Jesus, text adapted from the Bible, (4:00)

SATB (With solos, piano and/or other instrument accompaniment)

All Is Still, (5:00) SATB, flute, (opt. piano, C inst.)

Blessed Is He that Comes in the Name of the Lord, text adapted from the Bible, (4:00) SATB, Optional Brass, Piano, and Childrenís Choir

Come, Lord Jesus, (2:00) SATB, Piano Brass

Kumbaya Jesu, Eni Sha (3:00) Percussion

Magnificat, text adapted from the Bible, (10:00) S,MS, solos, SATB, Piano.

Only a Little Baby, text by Nellie Huston, (3:30) SATB, percussion, (or piano)

Reflections, (15:00) SATB, Marimba, Organ, A multi-part work that includes a marimba solo overture and six sections

Sing a New Song (3:00) SSATBB, Organ

Sleep, Little Babe (3:00) SSAA, harp (or piano)

Snowflakes Drift (5:00) Guitar (or Piano), SATB

The Lord Bless You and Keep You, text adapted from the Bible, SSAATB, Harp

The Tyger, text by William Blake, (4:00) SATB, Piano, optional Percussion

Wasafwa Funeral (3:00) SATB, Percussion:

Woodland Waterways, Text by Burr Oak Shellenbarger, (11:00) Baritone, SATB, Piano (three sections)

SATB

At Sabbath Eve

He Was a Man of Sorrows, text adapted from the Bible, (3:00)

Oh, Hear My Voice when I Call, text adapted from the Bible, (1:30)

Perfect Peace, text adapted from the Bible, SSAATTBB (2:30)

Pum! (5:00) SSAATTBB

Santa Kitties, (3:00) Novelty

Childrenís Choral

Angels' First Christmas (45:00) Musical, SA or Unison, multi-part Christmas work that includes a script and seventeen sections

Bulela Mwa Sikolo (4:00) SSA, Percussion

Song Cycle for Thanksgiving (15:00) SA or Unison

A Spring Fantasy (35:00) Musical Pageant, SA or Unison, A multi-part pageant that includes a script and 14 sections

Blessed Is He that Comes in the Name of the Lord, text adapted from the Bible, (4:00), SATB, Optional Brass, Piano, and Childrenís Choir

Appalachian Chant, traditional text, (3:00) SA (also unison), Piano

Coffee Grows on White Oak Trees, traditional text, (3:00) SA (also unison), Piano

Unison or SA, Piano

Freedom! (4:00) Unison, Piano

Peace I Leave With You, text adapted from the Bible, (2:00) S(ATB). Piano

Through Troubled Waters (3:00) SA, Piano

SSA or SSAA

After All This Time, (5:00) SSA, piano

Dear Lord, Send an Angel (3:00) SSA, Piano

Sleep, Little Babe (3:00) SSAA, Harp. (or piano)

The Still Small Voice, (3:00) SSA, Piano

Christmas Choral Collection

Ah, Dearest Jesus, Text by Martin Luther, (2:00) SB, piano

All Is Still, (5:00) SATB, flute, (opt. piano, C instrument)

Good News, (3:00) SATB, Piano

Only a Little Baby, text by Nellie Huston, (3:30) SATB, percussion, (or piano)

Sleep, Little Babe (3:00) SSAA, Harp or piano)

Now Let Thy Servant Depart In Peace, text adapted from the Bible, (2:00) SB, Piano.

Simple Things (4:00) SATB, piano

Snowflakes Drift (5:00) SATB, Acoustic Guitar or Piano

Welcome, Christmas, (2:30) SATB, Piano

Wise Men Still Seek Him (5:00) ATTB solos, SATB, Piano

Choral Preludes, Responses, Benedictions

Ah, Dearest Jesus, text by Martin Luther, (2:00) SB, piano

Christ Is Risen, Alleluia (2:00) SA Round with B Obligato

Doxology, 2nd Tune (1:00) SAB or SATB

Go Live as People of God, text traditional, (1:00) SAB or SATB

Let the Words of My Mouth, text adapted from the Bible, (1:00) SAB or SATB

Now Let Thy Servant Depart In Peace, text adapted from the Bible, (2:00) SB, Piano.

Peace, I Leave With You, text adapted from the Bible, (2:00) SAB or SATB, Piano

Praise God with Shouts of Joy!, text adapted from the Bible, (1:00) SATB

The Grace of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, text adapted from the Bible, (1:00) SAB or SATB

As Sets the Evening Sun (1:00) SATB

Amen #1, 3-fold with Mizpah (1:00) SATB

Amen #2, 3-fold (0:30) SATB

In the Hollow of Your Hand (2:30) SAB or SATB, Piano

The Lord Bless You and Keep You, text adapted from the Bible, (2:30) SS(AATB), Piano

Vocal Solos

Adagio, Beyond the Silence, (6:00) with Chamber Orchestra, or Marimba, or Piano

After All This Time, (5:00) with Piano

All Things are Possible, (3:00) with Piano

Dear Lord, Send an Angel (3:00) with Piano

Entreat Me Not To Leave Thee, text adapted from the Bible, with Piano

Go to Sleep My Baby, with Piano

Itís Not My Fault, with Piano

Keep Believing, with Piano

Simple Things, Song Cycle on the life of Christ, (48:00) with Piano (fifteen songs)

Song Cycle on a Text by Romalee Davis (three songs)

Sleep, Little Babe (3:00) with Harp or Piano

The Still Small Voice, (3:00) with Piano

Still, with Piano

They that Wait upon the Lord, text adapted from the Bible, with Piano

Wedding Prayer, with Piano

We Shall Behold Him, with Piano

When I'm Dead and the Buzzards Come, Drive Them Away with a Big Shotgun, text by Burr Oak Shellenbarger, with Piano

Contact Information:

Website: http://epursleykopitzke.com Composer composurself@aol.com

Some recordings can be accessed on YouTube channel EPursleyKopitzke