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September 2018 Composer News

  • Karen Marrolli - Five Things You Didn't Know About Me

    In one of our new composer interview formats, we asked Karen Marrolli to do a lightning round by telling us five things we didn't know about her (and weren't in her bio).
    1. I write the songs (as well as the choral pieces).

    In addition to composing choral music, I like to write and perform in the amorphous genre known as “singer-songwriter.” I like to record these little nuggets and post them at and for the world to hear.

    Karen Marrolli Karen Marrolli


    1. I took the scenic route to Music Ministry.

    Once I embraced conducting as a primary “instrument” of my music making, I assumed that I would pursue a Director of Choral Activities position at some university. But various church positions have gradually pulled me down the road of Music Ministry, defying the normal expectations of someone on my particular educational path.

    [Listen to one of Marrolli's compositions for church below}

    1. I hike to get the shot.

    I’ve always been a fan of the outdoors, but somehow I became a hiker and a photographer while living in Santa Fe, NM. There are so many strangely beautiful sights in Desert Southwest that one doesn’t have to be particularly smart to get a good picture- just point and shoot, anywhere.

    Photo by Karen Marrolli Photo by Karen Marrolli
    1. I’m a blossoming church jazz vocalist.

    The resident jazz trio at my church has discovered that my voice suits their repertoire, so we’ve been collaborating on vocal music like “Just a Closer Walk” for their bimonthly appearances at our services. Needless to say, it’s a completely different skill set than when I sing Mendelssohn or Handel for the Offertory.

    1. I basically just like to make things.

    It doesn’t matter whether it’s a concert program, a song, a music video, a new dinner or dessert recipe, a repurposed piece of furniture, a concert series, or an arrangement or mix of a piece I’m recording. I am constantly creating something!

    Karen Marrolli Karen Marrolli

    Karen Marrolli is the Director of Music Ministries at Central United Methodist Church in Albuquerque, NM. She has previously served as Director of Music Ministries at Trussville First United Methodist Church in Trussville, AL, as Director of Choral Ministries at the United Church of Santa Fe in Santa Fe, NM, and as the Artistic Director of the Zia Singers, the Cantu Spiritus Chamber Choir, and the Santa Fe Men’s Camerata. Marrolli holds the DMA degree in Choral Conducting from Louisiana State University (2010), where she studied Choral Conducting with Dr. Kenneth Fulton. She earned her BM in Music Theory and Composition (1997) and her MM in Choral Conducting and Sacred Music (2000) from Westminster Choir College before relocating to Charleston, SC, where she lived for seven years prior to pursuing doctoral studies. While in Charleston, she founded Lux Aeterna, a chamber choir who presented candlelight concerts in honor of such events as World AIDS Day, the September 11th attacks, and Child Abuse Awareness Month. These concerts always consisted of readings, often written by survivors of traumatic events, interspersed with choral music. The concerts progressed from a sense of darkness to light and were meant to give hope to those who were in a process of healing.

    Marrolli's choral works are published independently as well as through MorningStar Music Publishers and Colla Voce. In June of 2010, her arrangement of "Patapan" was recorded for commercial release by the Taylor Festival Choir and featured such Celtic Music greats as John Doyle and Liz Carroll.


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