Phillip Schroeder (b.1956) lives and works in Las Vegas, New Mexico. His music has been described as “…full of elegant nuance” (Ron Schepper, Textura) and “…luminous, meditative, and deeply spiritual…” (Richard Moule, Signal to Noise). Schroeder has performed throughout the US and in Europe, and has presented his own works on more than 250 concerts.
Born in Rancho Cordova, California, his musical life began early and paralleled the diversity of his surroundings, living in eleven states, playing trumpet in concert bands and electric bass in rock and jazz bands, singing in choirs, conducting orchestral and chamber groups, improvising with a variety of ensembles, and concertizing as an ensemble pianist. Recordings of his music are available on the Innova, Cold Blue Music, Ravelo/Capstone, Boston, Albany, and Vienna Modern Masters labels.
During 32 years in academia Schroeder taught at Henderson State University, Sam Houston State University, the University of Iowa, Hamilton College, Butler University, and Grinnell College. He received music degrees from the University of Redlands, Butler University, and a Ph.D from Kent State University.
Among the significant influences on his life and work are mystical traditions, daily meditations, nature, astronomy, geology, stillness, cats, baseball, and the love and patience of his wife, Margaret Jones.
Peace for a cappella choir was written in late 2018 for and is dedicated to the Hot Springs Music Festival Chorus, Lynn Payette, Director. This is the premiere performance. The work uses a procedure also applied to Giving Thanks – a single word in English – in this case ‘peace’ – is translated into 18 other languages, allowing for the setting of the inner meaning of ‘peace’ rather than the relative complexities of a poem or prose text. Peace utilizes only the 7 diatonic pitches of the G major scale. The music is generated through expansion and contraction of step motion and thirds, creating clear shapes of consonance to dissonance, resolving back to consonance.
Liner Notes from WiZARDS! WORKS!, The world series of double reed playing, Boston Records, BR1052CD, written by Mark Weiger
Reminiscence was written for WiZARDS! in 1996 and performed at the 1998 International Double Reed Society Conference in Arizona. A tone poem in ABA form, it explores a full palette of colors while displaying both the introspective nature of double reeds as well as their full-voiced tenor of emotion. The rich embellishments used throughout are framed by a freedom of time and silence, allowing the highly fertile sounds and effects to beyond the spacial requirements, to breathe, and be linked. The composer writes. “As with the mental process of reminiscence, the music progressively presents materials previously stated only in fragments (alluding to long-forgotten experiences), finally culminating in the presentation of their complete forms…The piece is highly virtuosity in its demand that all four players perform throughout, each often sustaining soft long-tones, spinning out long lyric melodies, with but every few moments of rest, a real test of fortitude.” The score and parts are available through Bocal Music.