Mary Ann Joyce’s musical style is rooted in the melodic beauty of Gregorian chant and the intricacies of polyphony of the 16th and 18th centuries. She began to compose while a student at Fontbonne University, St. Louis where she majored in piano and philosophy, and pursued graduate degrees in theory and composition at Washington University in St. Louis.
During her years as an undergraduate student, Mary Ann composed piano pieces for children, some of which were published by the Scribner Library, Mass of the Transfiguration, published by World Library of Sacred Music, and Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, published by Pioneer Drama Company. During this time, she became acquainted with the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, and since that time, she has set nearly thirty Hopkins’ poems including vocal and choral works accompanied by various media. Three of her settings for soprano (or tenor) and piano are available on Capstone Records.
Her music has been heard in concert venues through the United States and in Europe, Russia and Asia by solo artists as Elena Ivanina, Oxnaya Oleskaya Nancy Ellen Ogle, Melanie Mitrano, Gregory Wiest, Mareda Gaither-Graves, Claudia Knafo, Sara Paar, Harold Jones and Arnaldo Friere. She has received Performance Awards by The College Music Society, ASCAP, IAWM, Vanguard Voices, Manhattan Choral Ensemble, the 3rd “International Music for a Garden Competition,” Krakow Poland at Jaggalonian University, Alphabet Soup Productions, Women’s Works, NACUSA, “Voices Up” at Fordham University, St. Malachy’s Actors’ Chapel, NYC, The Cenacle of the Arts at Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, NYC, New York Women Composers, Antara Ensemble, as well as other fine ensembles and soloists. She has received commissions from Manhattan Choral Ensemble, Basso Moderno Duo, St. Louis Symphony’s “New Music Circle,” Nancy Ellen Ogle and Nina Assimakopoulos.
Aceldama (for string ensemble and flute solo) and Cantata for the Children of Terezin (full orchestra, SATB, soprano solo and children’s voices) were performed by the Kiev Symphony, Kiev King Singers and Oxnaya Oleskaya; this enhanced CD was released in 2012 by Parma Recordings/ Ravello Label. St. Petersburg State Orchestra and Chorus will be recording Immortal Diamond in 2013; Parma Recordings is recording the work, and it will be available on an enhanced CD.
In addition to composing works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, chorus and voice, Mary Ann taught at Fontbonne University, while a student at Washington University. She began teaching Music Theory and Composition full-time as a professor at Manhattanville College in 1979, and retired in 2012.