Martha Hill Duncan

Martha Hill Duncan received a diploma in Vocal Music in the first graduating class of the Houston High School for Performing and Visual Arts and a Bachelors of Music in Composition from the University of Texas at Austin. Her composition teachers have included Donald Grantham, Robert Palmer and Sam Dolin; her piano teachers have included Gregory Allen, Danielle Martin, Errol Haun and Trudi Borden. Her ongoing interest in vocal music and recognition of her adopted country, Canada, has culminated in a cycle of songs for voice and piano entitled Singing From the Northland: A Celebration of Canadian Poetry in Song. Three of these songs, “Severance,” “Grey Rocks and Greyer Seas” and “Rainfall” were chosen as finalists and performed in the 2005 Diana Barnhart American Song Competition in Wayne, PA. As director of the Kingston, Ontario women’s choir She Sings!, she has also produced several works for treble choir, many based on native Canadian texts, including “Song of the Stars,” “Lady Icicle” and “Lullaby of the Iroquois.” These three songs were performed on May 11, 2007 by the The New York Treble Singers in their concert entitled, American Voices. Her “Star Prayers” for SSA and Piano was a co-winner in the 2005 Ruth Watson Henderson Choral Composition Competition. Other choirs that have commissioned her work include Aurora, Melos Chamber Choir, Pro Arte Singers, and the Young Choristers Limestone.

For more information please visit www.marthahillduncan.com.


Compositions by Martha Hill Duncan

1: (Easy) No divisi in voice parts, accompaniment doubles or supports vocal parts, diatonic, symmetrical phrases, textures mostly homophonic, simple rhythms, stepwise voice leading (conjunct), moderate ranges, no extended techniques, and limited sustained singing.

2: (Medium Easy) Limited divisi, voices somewhat independent from accompaniment, some chromatics, phrases may be longer or more fragmented, mostly homophonic, moderate rhythmic complexity, some difficult intervals (disjunct motion), moderate ranges, extended techniques are simple, limited sustained singing.

3. (Medium) Limited divisi, unaccompanied, or with independent accompaniment (voice parts not doubled), many chromatics, phrases of varying lengths, more contrapuntal textures, moderately complex rhythms, some difficult intervals (disjunct motion), moderately difficult/challenging ranges, extended techniques are potentially challenging, and some sustained singing.

4. (Medium Difficult) Abundant divisi, unaccompanied, or accompanying instruments are fully independent from voice parts, many chromatics and/or key changes, long and/or broken phrases, potentially little homophony, complex rhythms, many difficult intervals (disjunct motion), difficult/challenging ranges, potentially difficult extended techniques, and a demand for sustained singing.

5. (Difficult) Adundant divis, unaccompanied, or accompanying instruments are fully independent from voice parts, many chromatics and/or key changes, long and/or broken phrases, potentially little homophony, complex rhythms, extreme ranges, use of challenging or unusual extended vocal techniques, abundant sustained singing.