A Tanzania-born American living in Tennessee, Evelyn Pursley-Kopitzke is an active freelance published composer, lyricist and master musical storyteller whose extensive opus includes chamber, choral, art songs and orchestral works. Her music has been heard from coast to coast and in Europe. She holds a masterâ€™s in composition and studied with Drs. Margarita Merriman (undergrad), Barney Childs (University of Redlands, California), and Kenneth Jacobs (University of Tennessee). In 1995, sheco-founded the Greater Tri-Cities Composersâ€™ Consortium.
She received top honors in the 2002 Carton Savage International â€œI Wage Peaceâ€ project for her â€œSalaam, Frieden.â€ Three of her piano pieces were included in an anthology commissioned in 2005 by the Appalachian Music Teachersâ€™ Association and that year was AMTA Composer of the Year. Pursley-Kopitzkeâ€™s â€œCeltic Homage: Letâ€™s Danceâ€ for piccolo, three C flutes, and alto flute earned a first-place rating at the 2017 Upper East Tennessee Solo and Ensemble Festival. Her ballet â€œMagic Butterflyâ€ won a 2018 Virginia Commission for the Arts grant toward its production.
Selected works include â€œDeluge,â€ an oratorio for soprano, alto, tenor and bass, â€œReflectionsâ€ for marimba, soprano, alto, tenor and bass and organ;â€œFestivalâ€ four movements for flute ensemble; â€œMagnificatâ€ for two soprano soloists, chorus and orchestra; â€œAdagio, Beyond the Silenceâ€ for soprano and chamber orchestra; â€œCetacean Suite,â€ six movements for brass quintet; â€œTheConstellations,â€a symphony, five movements for large orchestra; and commissions and premieres of multiple smaller works.
She traveled to London, England, in 2012 for the European premiere of herâ€œAfrican Vignettesâ€ by the group Twenty-21, a London-based group directed by Dr. Craig Combs.She was commissioned by the North Cambridge Family Opera to write â€œWater from the Lovely Lakesâ€for their H2Oratorio. part of the 2013 Cambridge Science Festival.
The Paramount Chamber Players have been highly instrumental in promoting Pursley-Kopitzkeâ€™s music. They premiered three of her larger works: â€œAfrican Vignettesâ€ and â€œVictoria Vignettesâ€ and â€œSecond Sight,â€ a setting of four poems by the late Samuel E. Miller, M.D.
Recently she completed â€œThereâ€™s Music,â€ a five-movement song cycle for coloratura soprano and piano commissioned by Dr. Sun-Joo Oh, of East Tennessee State University; â€œThe Ballade of Dryopeâ€ for harp solo, commissioned by harpist Martha Painter; and â€œFantasiaâ€ for saxophone and marimba, commissioned by Dr. Elizabeth Soflin; â€œPoor Valley Pilgrims,â€ a commission for the Milligan College Orchestra; and â€œFaces of Springâ€ for oboe and viola.
For more information, visit https://pursleykopitzke.com.
There's More: Paramount Chamber Players premiere ballet