Joan Szymko

Joan Szymko (born 1957) is an American choral conductor, music educator and composer. She was born in Chicago and studied choral conducting and music education at the University of Illinois at Urbana, graduating in 1978. She settled in Seattle, Washington, and worked as a music teacher, composer and choral conductor.[1]

In 1993 Szymko took a position directing the Aurora Chorus in Portland, Oregon. She founded the women's choir Viriditas Vocal Ensemble in 1994. Szymko composed the music for the Broadway musical Do Jump![2] and Jan Maher's play Most Dangerous Women.[3]


Szymko composes mainly for theater and choral ensembles. Selected works include:

  • All Works of Love for the Brock Commission 2010[4]
  • Nothing But Mud (text: The Church, Zillebeke, October 1918 by William Orpen)
  • The Call
  • Carpe Diem
  • Ein grosser Gesang (text: poems by Rainer Maria Rilke)
  • Entro en la vida (text: by Teresa of Avilaz)
  • The Freshness (text: Rumi)
  • Hear Me! We Are One
  • Herbst (text: Ranier M Rilke)
  • How Did the Rose (text: Hafiz)
  • I Lift My Eyes
  • I Dream a World (text: poem by Langston Hughes)
  • Illumina la tenebre (text: St Francis of Assisi)
  • It Takes a Village (text: West African adage)

Her music has been recorded and issued on CD, including:

  • Openings (Audio CD, 1998) Virga Records
  • 2010 IMEA Honors Chorus & All-State Chorus (Audio CD - Mar 31, 2010) Mark Records
  • Texas Music Educators Association 2008: All-State Women's and Men's Choir (Audio CD - Apr 1, 2008) Mark Records
  • Consecrate: the Place and Day to Music (Audio CD - Oct 2, 2007) Mark Records
  • Faces of a Woman (Audio CD - Jan 8, 2008) MD&G Records
  • Cradle of Fire: A Tribute to the Women of World War II (Audio CD - Dec 14, 2004) Indianapolis Women's Label[5]


  1. ^ "Joan Szymko". Retrieved 3 February 2011.
  2. ^ Staff Of The NY Times (2001). The New York Times Dance Reviews 2000. New York Times.
  3. ^ Maher, Jan (2006). Most dangerous women: bringing history to life through readers' theater.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-08. Retrieved 2016-03-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), Retrieved March 2016
  5. ^ listing

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