D'Arcy Reynolds is a well known composer on the West Coast where her compositions have been premiered at numerous concert halls and music festivals. In recognition for her outstanding work D'Arcy has won several grants from such prestigious organizations as the American Composers Forum, the American Music Center and Meet the Composer.

She has written works for Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Chorus, Chamber Ensemble, Voice and Piano. She has completed three song cycles for soprano and chamber ensemble (The Past Keeps Changing, Beyond Dreaming, and Listening to Winter), all of which have been written in collaboration with living poets. Recent premieres include Cloven Dreams, performed by Tessa Brinckman & the East/West Continuo in Portland, Oregon, Elegy by the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, 21 for piano, and The Past Keeps Changing, performed at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA.

In addition to her work as a composer and pianist, D’Arcy Reynolds is the founding Director of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the American Composers Forum. The Chapter became an important arts organization for artists throughout Northern California, and as Director of the San Francisco Chapter, Ms. Reynolds developed an innovative Composer in the Schools Program, held salons with new works by Northern California Composers and administered interdisciplinary granting programs with composers, poets and choreographers.

She received a 2004 Meet the Composer Global Connections grant and is traveling to South Africa where the Sontonga String Quartet will perform her string quartet Cloven Dreams at the University of Cape Town.

Visit D’Arcy Reynolds's Web Site
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
29 March, 2005

Easter Monday is an official holiday here in Cape Town, and what better way to celebrate than witha new friendship, an Italian film and dinner at Rozenhof... Brad Liebl has been on the UCT faculty for 12 years, and he has been a long-time friend of Florence Aquilino, a talented pianist who servedon the UCT faculty for 16 years. She now resides in Santa Rosa, CA, teaches at the San Domenico Conservatory,and is a fellow board member of San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music.

Rozenhof is located at 18 Kloof Street in Cape Town, and serves a wonderful menu that is bothconsistent and imaginative. I ordered the Line Fish (Catch of the Day) which had a wonderful sauceof garlic, pepper, and olive oil, accompanied by carrots and another vegetable that we don't havein the States. We enjoyed two Sauvingon Blancs (I need to get the details), and the meal was followed byChocolate Tournade in a lucious white chocolate sauce with mocha swirls. Five stars....

I began to get a sense of some of the challenges in the music department at the University of Cape Town (UCT). South Africa has had a turbulent history, and the educational system is no exception. One of the largestchallenges in this country, is to develop and maintain a good education system for the African children to enablethem to lead this country into the future.

This sort of thing can not happen overnight - it will take years, anda tremendous level of dedication. Basic necessities such as healthcare, housing, and nutrition are not availableto most Africans in this country. The looming AIDS crisis adds to the obstacles that children face - parents and childrenface their mortality head-on with this epidemic. Funds for school supplies and books, and a stable home environment forchildren go hand-in-hand with improving educational opportunities.

There is a tremendous pool of African singers who have joined the vocal department at UCT. Singing is a part of everyday life in the African culture, and this natural predeliction paired with 'top-notch vocal chords' has been producing somewonderful opera singers at UCT. One of the challenges is to inculcate the students with the step-by-step practice techniquesand study habits that were not ingrained in their early education. This adds a unique dimension to the role that the facultyat UCT must play in the lives of these young musicians.

One African American woman has been coming to UCT for several years and recruiting these singers for further training inthe United States. She has had some wonderful success in bringing these singers to the next level in their careers. Last year, she returned to South Africa with a full production of Porgy and Bess - all of the vocal parts were performed by singerswho had graduated from UCT, and gone to the States for further studies.