Composer Therese Edell, 1950-2011

Cincinnati composer and founding member of MUSE Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir Therese Edell passed away last month after an extended battle with MS. She was 61. Considered a pioneer of “Women’s Music,” Edell was born in Pennsylvania and moved to Cincinnati in 1969 to attend CCM. Edell and longtime collaborator Betsy Lippitt toured the country and were favorites at Women’s Music festivals. Her releases include 1970’s Prophecy’s Child and 1978’s milestone From Women’s Faces, as well as the 1990 For Therese, a compilation of her songs performed by various fans/supporters as a 40th birthday present.—-

As her MS progressed, Edell shifted to composing chamber music and choral works on a computer. Two of her compositions — “This Longest Night” and “Goddess and Guru” — from her 1998 album From Women’s Faces Plus were performed by MUSE. The album included songs from her 1978 release as well as new and unreleased tracks.

Edell —a proud and “out” lesbian, even in the days when tolerance of homosexuality in old conservative Cincinnati was fairly low — first played the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival in 1977 and was involved with the festival every year after that; when she could no longer perform, she became “the voice of the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival,” MCing the fest ever year from her chair backstage.

In 2008, Edell was presented with the “Enduring Spirit Award” by MUSE.

Click here to read more about Edell’s life and work.

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