My name is Rick Sowash. I was born in 1950, and have
been composing what most people would call "classical" music
since my early teens.
I'm completely freelance, associated with no institution
of higher learning nor with any corporation. I do not depend
upon composing to support myself and my family (good thing!)
Rather, most of my earnings arise from my work as a humorist
(author, performer, storyteller, banquet speaker, with a line
of books, audio tapes of me telling funny stories, etc.).
Though I am a successful humorist, and although there is
humor in much of my music, nonetheless I am a serious composer,
a member of ASCAP and the American Music Center. A dozen of
my chamber works have been commercially recorded and twenty-five
of my scores have been
published. All together I've written about 160 compositions,
mostly for chamber ensembles, choral ensembles, also a great
many art songs and a handful of orchestral works.
"... the music of Rick Sowash ... is cheerful, unpretentious,
exuberant, and heartfelt, with a disarming freshness and innocence
... what really holds one's attention is the soaring, folk
like lyricism that ... pervades Sowash's compositions."
-- Walter Simmons, Fanfare magazine
In the career sense, my model has long been Charles Ives
-- nonacademic, writing his own stuff, out there earning money
part of the time and back home parenting and composing the
rest of the time.
My music, however, bears scant resemblance to Ives'. To my
ear, my music bears some resemblance to the music of Beethoven,
Sibelius and Vaughan Williams. Others tend to make comparisons
with Barber, Thomson, Thompson, Copland, sometimes even Gershwin,
Sousa and Billings ... I'm a latter-day Americanist, a regionalist
who has explored means by which to express the America I know
as an Ohioan. I write tonal, accessible, melodic, often pastoral
music. My French friends call it "Anti-Boulez." (The French
love to be Anti-Something.) Another musician described my
work as "folky but not hokey"after hearing a good selection
of it at the Adirondacks Festival of American Music ... I
was a featured composer there in mid-July of 1995 and enjoyed
hearing 13 of my art songs and 5 of my choral works wonderfully
performed by the Gregg Smith Singers.
"Sowash is a true American original who combines an
ear for sonority and natural musical structure with an unerring
sense of what will please an audience."
-- Douglas B. Moore, Sonneck Society Bulletin
As a composer my goal is to write music that will help me
connect with other people -- listeners and musicians alike.
Happily, I don't need to make money from my music. But I do
need to make friends. Doesn't everybody?
If any of this intrigues you, please look further into my
web site, and please get in touch.