Alice Parker, internationally renowned composer, conductor and teacher, studied composition and conducting at Smith College and the Juilliard School where she began a long association with Robert Shaw. Their many settings of American folk songs, hymns and spirituals born from this creative partnership form an enduring repertoire for choruses around the world.
The published compositions of Alice Parker exemplify musicality that transcends genre, ranging from sacred to folk to opera. Throughout her career she was commissioned by such well-known groups as Chanticleer, the Vancouver Chamber Singers and the Atlanta Symphony, as well as hundreds of community, school, and church choruses. She toured annually across the United States and Canada to lead performances and workshops on improvisation, rehearsal techniques and score study. To take part in one of her SINGS was to have a rare experience of group improvisation, remarkable for its high level of musical sound.
In 1985, Ms. Parker founded her own choral organization, Melodious Accord, Inc. The Musicians of Melodious Accord, a sixteen-voice professional chorus, released over a dozen albums over two decades, and with outreach from their Melodious Accord Fellowship Program, mid-career professional musicians were brought together for inspiration and refreshment in their teaching, composing and conducting under her mentorship. The organization also sponsored workshops, symposia, and post-doctoral seminars.
Alice Parker served on the Board of Directors of Chorus America and was named their first Director Laureate. In 2013 she received the Robert Shaw Award from the American Choral Directors Association and in 2015 the Harvard Glee Club Foundation Medal. Honored as the Distinguished Composer of the Year 2000 by the American Guild of Organists, she was also a Fellow of the Hymn Society of the United States and Canada and the recipient of six honorary doctorates and the Smith College Medal as well as grants from ASCAP, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and the American Music Center.