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Andrea Ramsey

Composer / Kansas City, MO
Member since October 2018
Dr. Andrea Ramsey enjoys an international presence as a composer, conductor, scholar, and music educator. Her teaching experiences range from work with adolescent and children's voices to high school and collegiate voices. She enjoys regular opportunities to conduct all-state and divisional level honor choirs, festival events at Carnegie Hall, and serves as a principal conductor for the Pacific International Young Women's Choral Festival in Eugene, Oregon. Before leaping into full time composing and guest conducting, Andrea held positions in music education and conducting at The Ohio State University and the University of Colorado, respectively. An ASCAPlus award-winning composer, Andrea believes strongly in the creation of new works. Her compositions are available with traditional publishers and also through MusicSpoke, a digital sheet music marketplace. She enjoys residency collaborations with ensembles and festival choirs, some of which have included: the Allegro Choirs of Kansas City, Ithaca College, and the Crescent City Choral Festival in New Orleans. As a scholar, she has presented for state, divisional, and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, the 6th Annual Symposium on Sociology in Music Education, as well as The Phenomenon Singing Symposium in St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada. She has co-authored articles published in the Choral Journal, as well as the Journal of Research in Music Education. A native of Arkansas, she has experienced in her own life the power of music to provide a sense of community, better understanding of our humanity, and rich opportunities for self-discovery.

My Style

Describing one's own compositional voice is difficult. I like what Alberto Grau has to say: "Everything in life changes. Your work as a composer should evolve in the same line as you evolve as a human being." I think my compositional voice is changing even now, and I know it has changed from the many years ago when I was first starting to write. I aspire to avoid being neatly categorized as "that composer who writes _____ kind of music." There are so many different styles of music I want to explore! I know my ear gravitates toward certain colors, melodic patterns, and rhythmic ideas. I'm a sucker for good melody, suspensions, and the playfulness of mixed meter. I like what I like and try to embrace that there are certainly similarities among my works and that those similarities are natural and to be expected. Having said that, I think my experience as a teacher factors into my work-- I think about singable lines, age-appropriate tessitura, and the joy of writing something that is both accessible and musically satisfying. I try to compose works that are honest--works that connect with singers and audiences from a place of beauty, story-telling, emotional depth, and/or personal relevance.

Featured Compositions

Listen to works by Andrea Ramsey

now playing

Do Not Be Afraid

SSAATTBB unaccompanied chorus
Sacred work commissioned for University of the South's (Sewanee) Lessons and Carols service
now playing

They May Tell You

SSAA unaccompanied
Empowering work for women's voices


Tim McMillin
Oct 31, 2018
It was absolutely thrilling to work with Andrea! What a beautiful, vocally-gratifying work she gave to the Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble! From the moment I examined the work, I was just in heaven as I imagined the sounds coming to life. She has a stunning gift for bringing text to life through music. Harmonic interest, beautiful melodies, sensitive text setting, varied textures, vocally-conceived writing, and an amazing interaction with the text's meaning are all customary in Andrea's writing. In addition to being an amazing artist, Andrea made the commissioning process absolutely joyful. From welcoming input regarding the text to sending a sample page to represent the direction she was headed early in the process, the whole collaboration was inclusive and about ensuring success. If you are fortunate enough to be able to invite Andrea for a residency at the work's premiere, you are in for an immense treat. Her skills as a conductor, singer, and choral technician and her musical insights are immense and all wrapped in a beautiful package of humility and kindness. We were blessed by her work, and I cannot wait to share it again with the singers and ultimately our audience.
Meredith Bowen
Oct 28, 2018
I have worked in multiple capacities with Dr. Ramsey for over five years including commissioning three pieces, two of which were for community adult women's choruses and one as part of a national commisioning consortium for treble voices. Dr. Ramsey understands the voice, not just in her technical prowess in voice leading and soaring melodies, but also as it relates to the humans singing. She has a knack for choosing texts that speak to singers of all generations, giving voice to the human connection we all seek and believe can be found in communal singing. I highly recommend her as a composer, singer, scholar, and clinician.
Terry Hicks
Oct 24, 2018
Andrea Ramsey is without a doubt one of the finest composers/conductors I know. Her honesty and integrity in regards to the treatment of text is evident in every one of her compositions as well as her conducting and workshops.
Jeffrey Benson
Oct 23, 2018
Andrea was a joy to work with on our commission! She is one of the most collaborative composers I've had the pleasure of commissioning--we spoke throughout the process about texts, changes/edits, and ways to bring this piece to life in the performance. We loved working with her!
Fred Sang The Kalamazoo Children's Chorus
Oct 23, 2018
We had the great good fortune to work with Andrea last season. She came to Kalamazoo and spent a few days with us culminating in a concert highlighting her work for treble voices. Working with Andrea is a joy. Her respect for the singers, her approachability , her positive leadership all combined to make our time with her memorable for everyone involved. Her compositions are amazing. We commissioned a work from her and the choir loved it. Andrea has a gift for finding texts, poetry and other resources and crafting them into new and vibrant works. I consider her one of the finest American choral composers working today. The commissioning process was very easy and Andrea is very open to input from those commissioning the work.
Anthony Trecek-King
Oct 22, 2018
I have had the pleasure of conducting many of Dr. Ramsey's work at home and with Honor Choirs in the US and abroad. Last year we had the honor of commissioning Dr. Ramsey for the Boston Children's Chorus. Her music sings and has a message and she is great to work with, it doesn't get any better than that.
Carol Reeves
Oct 21, 2018
Andrea Ramsey is a delight to work with in every way. We recently had a work commissioned by Andrea, and I was thoroughly thrilled with the whole process. Andrea was professional, quick to respond to my emails, and willing to help in any way that she could to promote the Georgia Children’s Chorus and to support me as the Artistic Director. She went the extra mile to ensure we were pleased with the finished product. Her willingness to share her talents has been a true gift to the Georgia Children’s Chorus. I look forward to many more future commissions with Andrea Ramsey! Carol Reeves Artistic Director Georgia Children’s Chorus Hugh Hodgson School of Music 250 River Road Athens, GA 30602 706-542-8711
Joy Kiedrowski
Oct 20, 2018
I had the pleasure of remotely working with Dr. Ramsey over the last year on a piece I commissioned for one of my choirs. She asked for specifics about my choir and I was able to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of my group and give her a comprehensive format to commission a very meaningful piece. I was so drawn to how well she met the needs of my group in her composition and have enjoyed exploring this piece in preparation for performance with my students. They too have loved the musical connection she made with such an inspirational text. As a side note, I have loved Dr. Ramseys works for several years. I am drawn to the beautiful musical imagery she gives her compositions. They are truly enjoyable to sing, teach and direct!
Amy Voorhees
Oct 20, 2018
Commissioning a work from Andrea was a positive experience from beginning to end. Her creativity and professionalism made every aspect of the process easy. I always appreciated her willingness to collaborate on the final project, asking for input with each stage of the writing process. I would absolutely consider another commission from Andrea in the future.
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