The Santa Fe Women’s Ensemble is a leader among choral groups in commissioning new works. The repertoire of music for choirs composed only of treble voices is smaller than the repertoire for mixed-voice choirs. In 1982, only one year after its founding, the Ensemble commissioned its first new piece for women’s voices. Since then, there has been a commission nearly every year. Thanks to the diligence and foresight of the Ensemble and its leadership, over 40 original works have been added to the repertoire to date.

Are you interested in sponsoring a commission? Contact Dr. Linda Raney at [email protected].

2023-24 Commission

Dr. Linda Raney shares, “In 2021, the Ensemble sang Marie-Claire Saindon’s Méditations de la Vierge Marie and greatly enjoyed it. After that wonderful experience, I decided that we needed to commission a new piece for the Ensemble by this exciting, young composer. She was not available until 2023–24, so we grabbed the date.”

When singer and composer Linda Beck heard we had engaged Marie-Claire for the commission, she and her husband, Jim, decided to fund this project. “I absolutely loved Marie-Claire’s three-part Méditations de la Vierge Marie and wanted to gift her another commission,” she exclaims. “Simple as that! It seemed like she would be perfect to do another one for our group.” She adds, “I love the theme of The Voyage and all that it represents. Marie-Claire has been in our thoughts and hearts every step of the process.”

Our newest commission, The Voyage, was composed by Marie-Claire Saindon using poetry by Linda Studley. Many thanks to James and Linda Beck for sponsoring this year’s commission.

2022-23 Commission

Linda Raney shares how A Christmas Telling of St. Bride of the Isles, this year’s lovely commission came about:

“I have long been fascinated by St. Bride (Bridget of Kildare), especially after seeing the painting St. Bride by artist John Duncan. Based on the legend, the work depicts two angels bearing St. Bride from the Isles of Scotland to the Nativity in Bethlehem to serve as midwife to the birth of the Savior. Knowing that we had a wonderful Irish composer this year and not finding any poems about St. Bride I set my husband Raymond to work. Sarah and Raymond collaborated magnificently and produced an energetic musical interpretation of this myth.”

Thanks to Joy Ice and Ron Latimer for sponsoring this important commission.

2021-22 Commission

We are so excited to share with you the inspirational new commission for this season by Bob Chilcott, one of our favorite composers throughout our 40-year-plus history! Our Roots, with poetry by Delphine Chambers, is for women’s voices and piano. Commissioning Bob Chilcott has been one of the Ensemble’s longtime dreams. One of the world’s foremost contemporary living composers, his music is always stunning, and we are so grateful to him for writing this remarkable piece for us. Using the themes of this powerful and deeply touching composition, we continue to explore throughout the concert how we are all connected, melded together by our roots, our voices and our visions.

Linda and Raymond Raney commissioned this work in honor of the Women’s Ensemble’s 40 years plus of serving the community of Santa Fe and our continuing efforts to expand and enliven the repertory for women’s voices.

2019-20 Commission

The Raney Songs, composed by Linda Rice Beck,  is graciously sponsored by Linda and Raymond Raney in celebration of their 37 years together. The poetry was written by Raymond Raney, with many of the poems about Linda Raney, his wife and our director.  (Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Linda Rice Beck’s The Raney Songs will be performed Spring 2022.)

2018-19 Commission

Mementos of the Compass of Time, composed by David Beatty,  was graciously sponsored by Pauline and Jim Toevs. Pauline shared their inspiration to sponsor the commission,  “At the same time Linda is celebrating 30 years as director of the Women’s Ensemble, we are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary—a perfect combination of joyous occasions to honor with new music.”

2017-18 Commission

Tell Me/Oseh Shalom Ur’fuah, composed by Karen Siegel, was sponsored by longtime Santa Fe Women’s Ensemble member Susan Phillips in memory of her husband, Ransom Reynolds, and in honor of her step-daughter, Stephanie Reynolds.

2016-17 Commission

Samuel Gordon’sVoice of my Song was set to a 2008 text by Scott P. Lounsbury. The exciting work for treble voices, cello and piano was premiered at the concert of May 14, 2017. The commission was sponsored by Jim and Linda Beck. Linda is a soprano in the Ensemble, a published composer and the creator of a number of past commissions herself. She and her husband are avid supporters of the Ensemble.

2015-16 Commission

Reina de la Noche by Z. Randall Stroope was written in honor of the Ensemble’s 35th Anniversary and premiered May 22, 2016. It was made possible by a generous gift from Caroline Burnett.

List of Commissioned Works

The Voyage
A Christmas Telling of St. Bride of the Isles
Our Roots
The Raney Songs
Mementos of the Compass of Time
Tell Me/Oseh Shalom Ur’fuah
Voice of my Song
Reina de la Noche (Queen of the Night)
Words of Peace (דברי שלום)
Kennst du das Land? (Do You Know the Land?)
That Passeth All Understanding
Love All in All
The Circle
Two Andalusian Songs
Echoes of Assisi
Every Stone Shall Cry and Gloria
Ave Maria
All This Night
Winter Solstice
Let There Be Joy
Seasonal Dances
Learn to Think Lizard
Taladh an Leinibh Iosa   (Lullaby to the Infant Jesus)
A Jobim Sampler Arrangements of Antonio Carlos Jobim songs
Chester Carol
Dreams, Rain, and Autumn
The Storke
To Crown the Year
We Are One
Goblin Market
Stabat Mater
Come Love We God
With This Child
Small Fry, Lazy Afternoon, Alone Together  Jazz arrangements
Three Poems of Sylvia Plath
Homage to Emily Dickinson
The Great Invocation
Marie-Claire Saindon
Sarah Jaysmith
Bob Chilcott
Linda Rice Beck
David Beatty
Karen Siegel
Samuel Gordon
Z. Randall Stroope
Linda Rice Beck
Emma Lou Diemer
Bradley Ellingboe
Joel Martinson
Linda Rice Beck
Stephen Paulus
Kinley Lange
Linda Rice Beck
Linda Rice Beck
Linda Rice Beck
Samuel Gordon
Paul Carey
Daniel Gawthrop
Craig H. Russell
Naomi Stephan
Robert Rothchild
Robert C. Jones
Katherine Dienes
Robert C. Jones
Lana Walter
Gerald Near
John Ferguson
Michael Mauldin
Lawrence Cave
Dean Roush
Lynne Palmer
Jean Belmont
Michael Mauldin
Jack Manno
Shanna Suzanne MacLean
Joseph Moore
Shanna Suzanne MacLean
Shanna Suzanne MacLean
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