My goal is to compose music that invites the audience in while challenging the notion that accessibility and musical integrity are incompatible concepts. I have composed choral music to be performed with actors, poets, Taiko drummers, modern dancers, aerialists and accordion players. I have set texts by fourth graders and Pulitzer Prize winners, medieval mystics and contemporary poets. I am drawn to texts that invoke divine grace, speak to the universal yearning for good and that nurture a compassionate heart. - Joan Szymko
"Szymko continues to provide opportunities... to stretch beyond the ordinary and the expected to the refreshing and powerful."—CHORAL JOURNAL
Joan Szymko is widely regarded as an outstanding composer of choral music in America today. Abundant lyricism, rhythmic integrity and exquisite attention to text are hallmarks of Szymko's diverse and distinctive choral writing. With a catalog of over 100 published choral works, her music is frequently heard at regional, national and international choral festivals and competitions. The American Choral Director's Association recognized Szymko's lasting impact on the choral arts in America by awarding her the pretigious Raymond W. Brock Memorial Commission in 2010. In addition to the works published on this site, Joan Szymko's choral works are found in the catalogs of Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Roger Dean Publishing, Walton Music earthsongs, Treble Clef Press and Yelton Rhodes Music. She is a founding member of the Independent Music Publishers Cooperative.