The Music of Tracey Rush

Tracey Rush [ b. 1955 ] is founder and Executive Director of the Northeast Iowa School of Music in Dubuque, Iowa. She holds an MME and has taught music at Northeast Iowa Community College and in the Dubuque Community School District. In 1998, she formed the Dubuque Community String Orchestra for adults which she still conducts.

As Composer-in-Residence of the Dubuque Symphony's 1996-97 season, the DSO commissioned "Spirit of Freedom," a rousing concert fanfare which was chosen to be performed at the MENC 56th National In-service, April, 1998, in Phoenix, Arizona. The Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Nicholas Palmer, performed "Spirit of Freedom" at the Kentucky governor's inaugural in December, 1999. "Angels in the Snow" for choir, children's choir and orchestra, was commissioned and premiered by Kirk Trevor and the Knoxville (Tennessee) Symphony Orchestra in 1998. It received performances by the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1999, and the Naples Philharmonic in 2001, under the direction of Erich Kunzel.

The musical-comedy review, "Mothering Heights," which Rush co-wrote with Des Moines playwright Rebecca Christian, is now published by Dramatic Publishing in 2001, and the pair collaborated on a second musical, "A Piece of Cake," which premiered in Wisconsin and Iowa in the fall of 2003. Her song-cycle for treble choir, "The Butterfly Garden," with texts by elementary students, won the 1999 Francis J. Pyle Commission Award, sponsored by the Iowa Composers Forum.

Tracey has been a finalist in the Continental Harmony Project and Faith Partners Commissions of the American Composers Forum. She is former principal violist with the Dubuque Symphony and served 4 years on the board of the Dubuque Arts Council Artists in Residence. She was elected to four terms as Chair of the Iowa Composers Forum. Her other professional affiliations include the American String Teachers Association, Music Educators National Conference, Kato Havas Association for the New Approach, American Viola Society, the Iowa Viola Society, the Conductors Guild, and ASCAP.

She received her BS in Music Education from Bob Jones University where she studied with Dwight Gustafson, is completing her MME from the University of Northern Iowa, and is working on a certificate in Arts Administration from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. She is also the owner of Fountain Park Music Publishing. A native of Milwaukee, Tracey lives in Dubuque where she and her husband raised two sons.

Original Compositions

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by Tracey Rush
Description: Commissioned and premiered by the Dubuque Symphony in 1997, this work has had many performances since then. Now Tracey has gone back and made some revisions, especially in the finale, and added an optional 4th trumpet for more excitement than ever. This one will definitely get your audience cheering and waving their flags and we are proud to now be your source for this newly revised classic!
Instrumentation:2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3(4)/3/1 - Timp, 3 perc and strings.
Rental Fee:$200/+$100/+$50 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).


by Tracey Rush
Description: A delightful holiday musical Christmas Card commission/premiered in 1998 by the Knoxville Symphony (Kirk Trevor). 1999 saw performances by the Pittsburgh Symphony (7 performances), Dubuque [IA] Symphony, Kona Community Orchestra and others.
Comments: "Destined to become a new holiday standard." — Lucas Richman, Conductor, The Pittsburgh Symphony.
Instrumentation:2-2-2-2/4-3-3-1/timp +3perc/harp/strings SATB choir, 2-part treble choir, solo SATB quartet.
Duration:Approximately 4:12
Rental Fee:$280/+$140/+$70 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).
Includes 50 chorus books, and 20 treble books with extra books available at 25¢ each.

The Story Behind "Angels in the Snow" in the words of Tracey Rush
"It was December 3, 1990, and the biggest blizzard of the season hit the Midwest. While Dad was shoveling, Mom was working a jigsaw puzzle in the living room. She watched out the picture window as the neighborhood paperboy did his daily ritual: he would always stop in the middle of my parents' lawn and read the last paper before delivering it next door. This particular day, as he walked past the window, he could not resist the beautiful snow and threw himself on his back and made a snow angel. A short while later, Mom looked out and saw my dad on his back in a snow bank, in the angel position. Only he wasnąt moving and 911 could not revive him. We still call him our Snow Angel. Angels in the Snow is a joyous song celebrating the season and is my way of raising a toast to the memory of my father."


arranged by Tracey Rush
Description: A touching carol for childrens chorus and reduced orchestra where the 'animals' present at the Nativity recount their contribution to the baby's birth. Premiered by the Dubuque Symphony, Nicholas Palmer conducting.
Instrumentation:1/1/2/2 - 3/0/0/0 - 2 perc + strings plus children's chorus.
Rental Fee:$200/+$100/+$50 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).
Includes 20 chorus books.

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