Keva Vaughan-McMorrow, NCTM, BM W.S.U., MMA U.W., and former 2010 Washington State Commissioned Composer, was selected by WSMTA as the 2018 as Commissioned Composer. She is the first woman to have earned this award twice since the program begin. Keva has her Permanent Professional Certificate in Piano Performance with an emphasis on teaching theory and composition. In this last year she has performed in orchestral, chamber and solo venues: with the CSO in Prokofiev’s Third Symphony and Respighi’s Roman Festivals, as soloist in Saint Saens Carnival of the Animals, she arranged the Faure Sicilienne for harp and piano, as well as preparing for her debut of this year’s commissioned WSMTA work, Antarctic Odyssey for piano solo.
Keva apprenticed with her MTNA teacher back in high school and was active in the Tri-City and Seattle chapters even while earning her performance degrees. She has served as vice president and editor of the Seattle Chapters Staccato Notes, was a charter member, past president, and founder of the Edmonds Chapter newsletter, Noteworthy. She helped start the Time Era Festival and is now chairing the Annual Student Awards Gala.
Composition has been a life-long love for Keva, who begin composing for puppet shows in her Mom’s art classes, then for her students while she was in college. She first published “Four Piano Pieces,” which included a prelude and fugue, a nocturne, a splashy salon piece for piano solo, and a piano four-hand work. This was followed by a cycle of art songs, entitled “Songs of Love,” more individual art songs, works for clarinet, guitar, and a work for piano and chorus. These compositions are recorded on her millenium CD, “Mandala Awakening -Musical Compositions of Keva Vaughan-McMorrow.” More recently she published the children’s piano method book (early to intermediate) “Suite Dreams -Eight Lullabies in Ancient Grecian Modes.” This has been a favorite of her WSMTA colleagues. In November 2009, Keva released a CD of her Christmas and Hanukkah arrangements, “Classic Holiday Favorites.” In June 2010, WSMTA presented her as the WA State Commissioned Composer in a performance of her new octet, “Evening River Echoes” to be recorded and performed with CSO musicians.
Five years ago she was fortunate to take an expedition to Antarctica where she experienced zodiac tours of wildlife and glacier climbing. To experience the white continent firsthand, was a life changing exposure to the forces of nature which she wanted to express in music, She wrote one movement but felt the force of the journey hadn’t been adequately communicated. With the receipt of WSMTA’s Commission this year, she was finally able to complete the suite of four piano pieces. The first movement is Stasis –Harmonius Balance which communicates the beauty, passion and melancholy of being spiritually as well as harmonically “stuck.” The second is Volitilizations –South American Journey where melancholy is vaporized and the flurry of anticipatory emotions begin. Passages –Antarctic Winds represents the two day crossing through the challenging Drake Pasasage with shrieking 100 mph winds. The final movement Awakening –Zodiac Scenes describes overwhelming and transcendent beauty of the pristine landscape, the frolicking wildlife and cracking of glaciers. Keva looks forward to sharing this musical experience with our members at the Vancouver Conference.
Ms. Vaughan-McMorrow’s composition was heard on June 21, 2018 at the Young Composers Project and Commissioned Composer Recital as part of the WSMTA-OMTA Joint Conference at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver WA.