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Bielawa, Herbert (1930-2015)

Unitarian Universalist Herbert Bielawa studied composition at the University of Illinois and earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition at USC. At the Aspen School he worked with Darius Mihaud, Lukas Foss, and Elliott Carter. He was composer-in-residence for the Spring Branch School System in Houston under the Contemporary Music Project in the 1960s, where he wrote music for the ensembles of seven local high schools.…

Herbert Bielawa

Benjamin, Thomas (1940-)

Biographical Introduction

Thomas Benjamin was born in Bennington, Vermont, in 1940. He received his degrees from Bard College, Brandeis, Harvard and Eastman, studying composition with Carlos Surinach, Ernst Krenek, Arthur Berger and Bernard Rogers. Dr. Benjamin has composed works for all media, including concertos for violin, piano and viola, orchestral pieces, oratorios, cantatas, five operas, many song cycles and a great deal of chamber and choral music.…

Thomas Benjamin

Beach, Amy (1867-1944)

Amy Marcy Cheney Beach (September 5, 1867 – December 27, 1944) was an American composer and pianist. She was the first successful American female composer of large-scale art music. Most of her compositions and performances were under the name Mrs. H.H.A.…

Amy Beach

Barnwell, Ysaye Maria (1946-)

Unitarian Universalist composer Ysaye Maria Barnwell is a native of New York, now living in Washington, DC where since 1979, she has performed with the internationally acclaimed a cappella quintet, SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK. She is a vocalist with a range of over three octaves and appears on more than twenty-five recordings with Sweet Honey as well as other artists.…

Ysaye Barnwell

Alexander, Elizabeth (1962-)

“What I love most about composing is the contact it gives me with so many thoughtful and perceptive people — conductors, singers, instrumentalists, listeners, fellow composers, and the poets whose words I set to music. I learn something new every day.”

Biographical Introduction

Composer Elizabeth Alexander has written over 25 professionally commissioned works for orchestras, choirs, chamber ensembles and solo musicians.…

Woolley, Celia Parker (1848-1918)

A leading citizen and reformer in Chicago, Woolley was born on June 14, 1848 in Toledo, Ohio to active abolitionists, Marcellus Harris and Harriet M. Parker. She grew up in Coldwater, Michigan and attended Coldwater Female Seminary. She married Dr. J.H.…

Celia Parker Woolley

Wendte, Charles William (1844-1931)

An important figure in the international organization of liberal religion, Wendte was born on June 11, 1844 in Boston, the son of German refugees. After his father died when Charles was young, his mother supported the family by teaching German and running a boarding house.…

Charles William Wendte

Weiss, John (1818-1879)

Born in Boston on June 28, 1818, John Weiss attended the Chauncy Hill School, and later the Framingham Academy. He graduated from Harvard College in 1837, and taught school for a few years in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts before attending Harvard Divinity School.…

John Weiss

Taft, William Howard (1857-1930)

The 27th president of the United States, and the 10th chief justice of the Supreme Court, was also an active Unitarian lay person. Taft was born on September 15, 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio. His family was affiliated with the First Unitarian Church in Cincinnati, founded in 1830, where there is a memorial to Taft.…

William Howard Taft

Savage, Minot Judson (1841-1918)

One of the great preachers and published voices of Unitarianism, Savage was born on June 10, 1841, in Norridgewok, Maine, the youngest of four children. His brother William H. was also a Unitarian minister. Due to ill health he never received much formal education, but he taught briefly after high school.…

Minot Judson Savage