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Roger Ames Biography

Roger Ames

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Living in: United States

Roger Ames was born in Cooperstown, New York, the son of a self-taught church organist and first-grade teacher (his free pass to play the organ as a teenager). This and undoubtedly his mother's 42 years as a teacher helped define his passionate love for creating music as well as teaching and conducting it.

He has written numerous large works, both sacred and secular. His Requiem for Our Time, using the poetry of Anne Sexton, has been performed both in the United States and abroad, and received its New England premiere by the Boston Chorus Pro Musica in November of 2007. It was recently nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Music.

Ames' fascination with American folk music and his love for choral music have inspired him to write many folk song arrangements, some of which are in the GIA catalog. His choral fantasy on Amazing Grace was commissioned and premiered by Dr. James Jordan and the Williamson Singers of Westminster Choir College and has been performed by many choirs since it was published in 2004. His collaborations with Dr. Jordan have helped create several books of choral warm-ups and exercises, all published by GIA. He has several extended works for chorus, Let There Be Joy (for cello, harp, and chorus, in 3 movements), Ancient Songs of the Universe (a rhapsody for piano and chorus). These are currently available by contacting the composer directly at His one-act operas are available at the same address.

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