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Joan Szymko

Born: 1957. Living in: United States

Joan Szymko is a composer and conductor from the Pacific Northwest. With a catalog of over 100 published choral works, her music is performed by ensembles across North America and abroad. Abundant lyricism, rhythmic integrity and a vigorous attention to text are hallmarks of Szymko's diverse and distinctive choral writing. Fresh and inspiring, her text selections are as notable as her music. Especially significant is Szymko's contribution to the body of quality literature for women's voices. Her music is frequently heard at regional, national and international choral festivals and competitions. Since 2003, her music has been performed at every National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association. The ACDA recognized Szymko's lasting impact on the choral arts in America by selecting her as the recipient of the prestigious Raymond W. Brock Memorial Commission in 2010.

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Arrangements | Recordings

Individual Folios

Displaying 1-44 of 44 items.


A la Media Noche : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP304 : 964807003049

Joan Szymko : A la Media Noche

The gals can really ring out on this festive arrangement. To be sung in Spanish, it will add a special merriment to the holiday concert. Flute part available as a free download.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $2.10 |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP304


African Lullaby : SSA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP809 : 964807008099

Joan Szymko : African Lullaby

The arranger cleverly weaves together two folk lullabies of African origin: the soothing African American song, "Angels Watching Over Me" and "Abiyoyo," from the Bantu people of southern Africa. Choirs of all ages will enjoy this beautiful arrangement.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSA | $1.95 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP809


All Works of Love : SATB : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP942 : 964807009423

Joan Szymko : All Works of Love

This stunning 2010 Raymond Brock Commission for ACDA concludes with the text: "All works of love are works of peace." Joan Szymko is at her best as she takes the text from Mother Teresa and sets it to music, building and weaving beautiful lines to create drama and passion.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SATB | $2.25 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP942


Always Coming Home : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : 15-2447R : 9781429102209

Joan Szymko : Always Coming Home

Written for a large, adult women's choir, the Aurora Chorus, Joan has crafted a piece that explores the full dynamic range and the subtle emotions that a mature women's choir can deliver.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $2.50 |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| 15-2447R


Amazing Grace : SSAA : Joan Szymko : John Newton : SBMP437

Joan Szymko : Amazing Grace

Rich textures, close harmonies, a fresh setting for the four-part women's choir.

Arranger: Joan Szymko | Composer: John Newton

More details
Voicing: SSAA | Sheet Music | $1.75 | A Cappella |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP437


Arise My Love : SA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : Sheet Music : SBMP552 : 964807005524

Joan Szymko : Arise My Love

The famous "Song of Solomon" text is joined by the text of the hymn tune "At the River". A dramatic piece with colorful support added by the piano. With minimal divisi most of which is in octaves, and conservative ranges, this piece is accessible to the average choir.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SA | $2.05 |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP552


Ave Maria : SSA : Joan Szymko : SBMP292

Joan Szymko : Ave Maria

All the beauty of Renaissance vocal lines in a dramatic, contemporary setting. Conservative ranges will allow many age groups to enjoy this beautiful piece.

Arranger: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSA | Sheet Music | $1.30 | A Cappella |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP292


Benedizione : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : Sheet Music : SBMP799 : 964807007993

Joan Szymko : Benedizione

Inspired after a visit to Assisi, the composer uses as text the Italian version of the beloved Blessing of St Francis, "The Lord Bless You and Keep You." The beginning and ending of the piece feature a beautiful unison melody; the middle section divides briefly into 4 parts for a dramatic contrast.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $1.85 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP799


Carpe Diem : SSAATBB : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP862 : 964807008624

Joan Szymko : Carpe Diem

Set to an ancient Latin text that proclaims, "seize the day," composer Szymko is at her creative best, offering lots of drama as the piece unfolds. Tambourine part available as a free download.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAATBB | $2.35 |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP862


Come, Pretty Love : SSA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP492 : 964807004923

Joan Szymko : Come, Pretty Love

A modified round with added descant and hand clapping, this piece is loaded with excitement and spirit.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSA | $1.95 | A Cappella |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP492


Et in terra pax : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP493 : 964807004930

Joan Szymko : Et in terra pax

Based on the lydian mode, this is a show piece for the treble choir.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $2.05 | A Cappella |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP493


Everything She Touches : SSA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP738 : 964807007382

Joan Szymko : Everything She Touches

The composer's creativity never ceases to amaze. She discovered the text for this piece when researching the Celtic ritual Imbolc for a Candlemas choral presentation. Her notes explain: The Imbolc festival, celebrated at the very first signs of spring was originally dedicated to the goddess Brigid. Brigid is a triple goddess. The Goddess Triad archetype is found in many ancient Indo-European cultures, as well as in some mythologies of Africa and Asia.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSA | $2.10 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP738


Fire, Burn Bright : SSA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP988 : 964807009881

Joan Szymko : Fire, Burn Bright

This sprightly piece celebrates something we all love on a cold winter's day: the crackling logs in the fireplace. A colorful piano accompaniment adds great interest to the clever melodic realization of the text as it describes the various kinds of logs and how they react when lit.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSA | $1.95 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP988


Here : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : 15-2446R : 9781429103015

Joan Szymko : Here

Joan's music beautifully captures the hope, promise, and contentment of being here and having what we need and want. The solo violin part is included in the choral score and requires an accomplished player.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $2.75 | With Violin |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| 15-2446R


Hodie : SSAA : Joan Szymko : SBMP356

Joan Szymko : Hodie

The opening unison chant is first contrasted by vigorous rhythmic sections, then developed with masterful weaving of the vocal line. A must for outstanding treble choirs.

Arranger: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | Sheet Music | $1.45 | A Cappella |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP356


How Did the Rose : SATB : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : Sheet Music : SBMP548 : 964807005487

Joan Szymko : How Did the Rose

An art song for the choir, beautifully crafted and inspired. Set to a poem by Hafiz.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SATB | $1.85 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP548


I Dream a World : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP613 : 964807006132

Joan Szymko : I Dream a World

The famous text is set to a beautiful melody with a dramatic buildup midway emphasizing the powerful meaning herein. Suitable for all ages of treble choirs; some unison, some two-part, and some four-part writing.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $1.95 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP613


I Dream a World : SATB : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP736 : 964807007368

Joan Szymko : I Dream a World

The famous text is set to a beautiful melody with a dramatic buildup midway emphasizing the powerful meaning herein. The treble version of this piece has been extremely popular. We are pleased that mixed voice choirs can now experience Szymko's special treatment of Langston Hughes's beloved poem.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SATB | $1.95 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP736


I Lift My Eyes : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP658 : 964807006583

Joan Szymko : I Lift My Eyes

A provocative text combining the sentiment of Psalm 121 (I lift my eyes to the hills), with a quote from the Vietnamese Buddhist Monk Thich Naht Hanh (I am solid as a mountain). The composer opens the piece with a beautiful unison melody set to the biblical text. In typical Szymko style, we are treated to a dramatic exploration of the theme, a harmonization of the original melody, and finally a strong statement to end the piece.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $2.10 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP658


I Lift My Eyes : SATB : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP691 : 964807006910

Joan Szymko : I Lift My Eyes

A provocative text combining the sentiment of Psalm 121 (I lift my eyes to the hills), with a quote from the Vietnamese Buddhist Monk Thich Naht Hanh (I am solid as a mountain). The composer opens the piece with a beautiful unison melody set to the biblical text. In typical Szymko style, we are treated to a dramatic exploration of the theme, a harmonization of the original melody, and finally a strong statement to end the piece.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SATB | $2.10 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP691


Illumina le tenebre : SATB : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP861 : 964807008617

Joan Szymko : Illumina le tenebre

The recording, done in a reverberant hall, provides the best description of this outstanding piece. The text is one of the oldest prayers of St. Francis of Assisi. The composer states: "My intention was to create a setting both spacious and intimate." She has succeeded beautifully.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SATB | $2.05 | A Cappella |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP861


Illumina le tenebre : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP955 : 964807009553

Joan Szymko : Illumina le tenebre

A reverberant hall will serve this special piece very well. The text is one of the oldest prayers of St. Francis of Assisi. The composer states: "My intention was to create a setting both spacious and intimate." She has succeeded beautifully.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $1.95 | A Cappella |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP955


It Takes a Village : SATB : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP331 : 964807003315

Joan Szymko : It Takes a Village

The familiar African saying, "It takes a village to raise a child," is given African-style treatment. A great closer, this piece is a proven audience favorite.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SATB | $2.05 |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP331


It Takes a Village : TTBB : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP1127 : 608938359223

Joan Szymko : It Takes a Village

The familiar African saying, "It takes a village to raise a child," is given an African-style treatment. A great closer, this piece is a proven audience favorite.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: TTBB | $2.05 |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP1127


Lorica : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP800 : 964807008006

Joan Szymko : Lorica

Ever seeking dramatic texts, for this piece the composer chose an excerpt from text traditionally held to have been inscribed on the breastplate, or "lorica," of Saint Patrick. As we have come to expect from Szymko, the drama of the music brings the text to brilliant and colorful fruition. Flute part available as a free download.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $1.95 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP800


maggie and milly and molly and may : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP588 : 964807005883

Joan Szymko : maggie and milly and molly and may

Always stylish and highly creative, composer Szymko has great fun with this e e cummings poem.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $1.95 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP588


Nada te turbe : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP334 : 964807003346

Joan Szymko : Nada te turbe

Saint Teresa of Avila, Spain authored the sixteenth century sacred text, here rendered both in Spanish and in English. The accompanying cello first plays in the style of a guitar, then in a lyric counterpoint to the drama of the voices. Cello part available as a free download.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $1.95 |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP334


Only Light, Only Love : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP840 : 964807008402

Joan Szymko : Only Light, Only Love

The text, taken from a sermon by Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction." Composer Szymko shows her skill and compassion with the artistic setting of this powerful text.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $1.85 | A Cappella |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP840


Peace Like a River : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP417 : 964807004176

Joan Szymko : Peace Like a River

Arranged with dramatic flair and great sensitivity to the text.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $2.05 |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP417


Purple night : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP363 : 964807003636

Joan Szymko : Purple night

Composer Szymko had great fun with this the third piece of the set titled "This Wonderful Feeling." The word painting is extensive and highly dramatic, the conclusion rousing supported by the marimba and the percussion instruments. Marimba and percussion parts available as a free download.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $2.05 |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP363


The Beauty of Your Dreams : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP564 : 964807005647

Joan Szymko : The Beauty of Your Dreams

Famous statements of Eleanor Roosevelt provide the text for this inspiring piece. The dramatic writing of Joan Szymko vividly brings the text to life. A special showpiece for the women's choir.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $2.10 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP564


The Giver of Stars : SSA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP956 : 964807009560

Joan Szymko : The Giver of Stars

With her great sensitivity to text, the composer has created a musical painting of Amy Lowell's touching poem. Anyone who has experienced romantic love will relate to the message and enjoy the expressive melodies that abound in this piece.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSA | $1.95 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP956


The Peace of Wild Things : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP561 : 964807005616

Joan Szymko : The Peace of Wild Things

Wendell Berry's poem offers respite from the "despair of the world" in the peace found in nature. Composer Szymko does an outstanding job connectng the music to the spirit of the text. A dramatic piece for women's choirs.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $2.05 |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP561


The Peace of Wild Things : SATB : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP692 : 964807006927

Joan Szymko : The Peace of Wild Things

Wendell Berry's poem offers respite from the "despair of the world" in the peace found in nature. Composer Szymko does an outstanding job connecting the music to the spirit of the text. A dramatic piece.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SATB | $2.05 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP692


The Roses : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP293 : 964807002936

Joan Szymko : The Roses

Accordian part available as a free download.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $2.05 |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP293


To Know the Dark : SSA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP754 : 964807007542

Joan Szymko : To Know the Dark

The composer paints a musical picture with this setting of a Wendell Berry poem. The piece begins dramatically with a reading of the short but poignant poem above a quiet choral underlay that creates the mysterious mood of the dark.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSA | $1.95 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP754


To the Holy Spirit : SATB : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP838 : 964807008389

Joan Szymko : To the Holy Spirit

Wendell Berry's poem inspires us to imagine the extreme reaches of the "holy spirit." As always, Joan Szymko perfectly captures the sense of the text to bring us a dramatic piece.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SATB | $1.70 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP838


Ubi Caritas : SATB : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP291 : 964807002912

Joan Szymko : Ubi Caritas

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SATB | $1.95 | A Cappella |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP291


Variations on a Theme by Rilke : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP294 : 964807002943

Joan Szymko : Variations on a Theme by Rilke

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $2.05 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP294


Vivos Voco : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP615 : 964807006156

Joan Szymko : Vivos Voco

The text consists of Virtutes, literally, "moral virtues," the name given to the short statements inscribed (primarily in Latin) on church tower bells in medieval times. Bells rang outward, chasing away the evil spirits that were believed to hover over the rooftops, and upward, as prayers to the heavens. Not only were church bells rung to ward off evil spirits, but to protect the faithful from storms, fires, human enemies and disease. The handbell part is available as a free download.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $2.10 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP615


Waly, Waly : SSAA : Joan Szymko : SBMP364

Joan Szymko : Waly, Waly

At times woven like a tapestry, other times in rich harmonic texture or simply in unison, this is a masterful setting of this long-time favorite Scottish ballad.

Arranger: Joan Szymko | Country: Scotland

More details
Voicing: SSAA | Sheet Music | $1.50 | A Cappella |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP364


Ye Jaliya-o : SATB : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : Sheet Music : SBMP726 : 964807007269

Joan Szymko : Ye Jaliya-o

From the notes by the composer: I am an admirer of traditional West African music, with its direct simplicity and wonderful rhythmic complexity. I have composed an original piece of music with text excerpts from "The Pulse of Life" by Catherine De Vinck interwoven with the dominant Lambango lyric: "Ye Jaliya-o, Allah le ka Jaliya da" Oh music, God created music. The "you are the heart, you are the sound...." "Pulse of Life" chant begins as an undercurrent that rises and falls until it overtakes the piece. The rhythms in this piece are clearly African influenced, as is its tonality. The raised fourth (C sharp) is characteristic of Sauta, one of the kora traditional tunings. The kora is a 21 string harp-lute played by the griots as a lead instrument. Percussion part is available as a free download.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SATB | $2.35 |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP726


Ye Jaliya-o : SSA Div : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP734 : 964807007344

Joan Szymko : Ye Jaliya-o

From the notes by the composer: I am an admirer of traditional West African music, with its direct simplicity and wonderful rhythmic complexity. I have composed an original piece of music with text excerpts from "The Pulse of Life" by Catherine De Vinck interwoven with the dominant Lambango lyric: "Ye Jaliya-o, Allah le ka Jaliya da" (Oh music, God created music.) The "you are the heart, you are the sound...." "Pulse of Life" chant begins as an undercurrent that rises and falls until it overtakes the piece. The rhythms in this piece are clearly African influenced, as is its tonality. The raised fourth (C sharp) is characteristic of Sauta, one of the kora traditional tunings. The kora is a 21 string harp-lute played by the griots as a lead instrument. Percussion part is available as a free download.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSA Div | $2.10 |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP734


You Are the Music : SSAA : Joan Szymko : Joan Szymko : SBMP804 : 964807008044

Joan Szymko : You Are the Music

Inspired by the sensitive, imaginative text, the composer has painted a glorious picture with soaring melodies, building to a dramatic climax, supported along the way by an artistic piano accompaniment. Wonderful for the large choir.

Composer: Joan Szymko

More details
Voicing: SSAA | $2.10 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| SBMP804

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