Z. Randall Stroope is an American composer, conductor and
lecturer. He has had recent conducting engagements at the Sopra Minerva (Rome),
American School in Singapore, Canterbury Cathedral (England), Berliner Dom
(Germany), Salzburger Dom (Austria), Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Kennedy Center
for the Performing Arts and National Presbyterian Cathedral (Washington, D.C.),
Carnegie Hall (New York), and five performances at the Vatican in the past four
years. He is also the Artistic Director for two summer music festivals in
Stroope's composition teachers were Cecil Effinger and
Normand Lockwood, both students of the famous French teacher/composer, Nadia
Boulanger (student of Gabriel Fauré). The principal publishers of his 125
publisher works are Alliance Music Publications, Walton Music, Colla Voce and
Oxford (England). His shorter choral works — best known of which are Conversion
of Saul, Lamentaciones de Jeremias, Magnificat, We Beheld Once Again the Stars
(ACDA Raymond Brock Commission), O Magnum Mysterium, The Pasture, Revelation,
Homeland, I Am Not Yours, Caritas et Amor, Song to the Moon and Inscription of
Hope — have sold over three million copies. His choral cycle — Four Sonnets of
Garcilaso (which contains Amor de mi alma) — is based on the poetry of Spanish
poet, Garcilaso de la Vega and one of his most performed works. Extended works
include Hodie! (This Day) for brass/organ/percussion and mixed/treble choirs,
the solo song cycle Love's Waning Seasons, and American Rhapsody are also very
popular. He has published many instrumental works, including Fanfare
(brass/percussion/organ) and Amor de mi alma (wind ensemble). Stroope is
particularly drawn to the poetry of Sara Teasdale, George Herbert, Rainer Maria
Rilke, James Agee and Robert Frost. He
has conducted and produced 28 YouTube recordings of his works.
Dennis Schrock, in his book Choral Repertoire (2009),
recognizes Stroope for his compositional output and quality of writing, noting
several works that have entered the mainstream of the choral medium. Conducting
Women’s Choirs (2012), edited and compiled by Debra Spurgeon, and Composers on
Composing for Choir (2007) both have a myriad of quotes and discussion of Dr.
Stroope’s compositional output.
His works have been recorded or performed by prestigious
ensembles nationally and internationally, including the Santa Fe Desert
Chorale, Luther Nordic Choir, University of Miami Frost Chorale, Cincinnati
Pops Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival, Concordia Choir, Oklahoma State
University, Prairie Voices (Canada), Oriana Women’s Choir, United States Navy
Sea Chanters, Grex Vocalis, NOVA, Bella Voce, Turtle Creek Chorale, Westminster
Choir College and University of British Columbia. His We Beheld Once Again the Stars was
recently performed by the Philippine Madrigal Singers in their win of the
European Grand Prix for Choral Singing. Stroope’s Revelation (watch the video)
was performed by the Ehwa Chamber Choir (South Korea).
Dr. Stroope is the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies
at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where he conducts the
Concert Chorale, Chamber Choir, and Women’s Chorus and coordinates the undergraduate
and graduate choral conducting program.
The OSU Concert Chorale recently recorded Stroope’s Song to the Moon
(watch the video), Go Lovely Rose (watch video here), toured France and England
(2013) and plan a tour of Ireland and Scotland in 2015. Under his direction, the ensemble also
presents a seven-concert season each year, which has included works such as Ein
Deutsches Requiem (Brahms), Messiah (Handel), Requiem (Verdi) and Rejoice in
the Lamb (Britten).
Dr. Stroope has received many awards, including
Distinguished Professor of Creative and Scholarly Research (1995–2001), the
Douglas R. McEwen Award for National Choral Excellence, Nebraska Choral
Director of the Year, Doug and Nickie Burns Endowed Chair in Choral Music
(2013), and one of five Oklahoma State University Distinguished Professors
(2013-2014), as well as several composition awards.
As a guest conductor, Stroope has directed 38 all-state
choirs, and conducted music festivals in 45 states. He has directed 12 summer
international music festivals in England, Germany and Italy.
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Stroope completed a
Master of Music (Voice Performance) degree at the University of Colorado
Boulder, and Doctor of Musical Arts (Choral Conducting) degree at Arizona State
University. He did post graduate work
with Margaret Hillis, Chorus Master of the Chicago Symphony. As a recipient of
the Australian-American Fulbright, he has also done work in western Australia.
He and his wife, Cheryl (a junior high choral teacher), love to travel and
spend time with their sheltie.