Abbie Betinis is a musical composer who has loved exploring the world of music since the age of 3. She is now a very successful woman at the age of 37.
She has won many awards for her composing, such as being a two-time McKnight Artist Fellow as well as receiving the American Composers Forums Supito and Encore grants. Abbie has also received Craig and Janet Swan Composer Prize, Esoteric’s Polyphonos Young Composers Prize, and awards from Donne in musica (Italy), Minnesota Music Educators Association, and New York Sorel Organisation, and others. She has been selected by NPR music and New York Public Radio for “100 composers under 40”. MPR as also recorded and produced Abbie’s annual Christmas carol since 2001, and many well-known choirs have used her music for various radio appearances. Abbie’s music is published by Graphite Publishing and her own company, Abbie Betinis Co. so she is able to distribute music right from her home in St. Paul. She has a strong heart in small business and cooperative, co-founding the Independent Music Publishers Cooperative 2012 and she was president for four years.
Her over sixty compositions have given her ratings like, “Intentive, richly melodic” from the New York Times and others. Abbie’s music was played in five continents last year, equaling over 400 performances. She is originally from Stevens Point, Wisconsin. There she graduated from the Suzuki piano program and continued her education and now has her B.A. in music from St. Olaf, and a M.A.
from the University of Minnesota. She then went on scholarship to Paris, France, post-grad to study music. She now is a professor of composition at Concordia University. She is also a three-time cancer survivor. She has mostly softer vocal songs and many of them are mildly popular, one that stuck out to me was “In the Bleak Midwinter”. I had heard this song and knew it very well compared to many of her pieces.
The first song I would like to highlight is “In the Bleak Midwinter”, like I said before this is one of the songs from Abbie Betinis that I recognized. This is a beautiful piece that really reminds me of Christmas time in Minnesota. This is probably my favorite song from her, personally I love the high notes that the sopranos hit and how they sound with the rest of the choir. It was written for SATB with piano or harp. It is a slow, solemn but overall happy, relaxing song and I would probably just close my eyes and take in the music if I were listening to it.
It is in English though she expressed that she would like to experiment with different languages. I believe that Abbie made this edition of this song for the enjoyment of others and could not find a direct reason. The link to this music is below. The second piece of music from Abbie that I would like to highlight is “In Your Hands (Where do Human rights begin?)”.
I chose this piece because I think it is very interesting, unique, and out of the ordinary for vocal choir songs. In this song Abbie took Eleanor Roosevelt’s speech and edited it to make this powerful song. This song has a narrator who talks to the audience about human rights. It was written for a women’s choir, SSAA, and is accompanied by vibraphone and piano. I think it would be very cool to see a women’s choir perform this piece because I think that women’s choirs are very powerful and would be very cool performing this song.
The overall tone of the piece is inspiring and influential. This song is written in English. Abbie wrote this piece for MUSE and was first performed at a college where Abbie first introduced the song.
The sheet music for this song and recording of the score are below. The final song I would like to talk about is “I carry your heart with me” This song is a slow, gorgeous, flowing piece that was written for a wedding. It talks about love in its most vulnerable state, and is beautiful when sung by a choir. This song was written by Abbie for a mixed choir, SATB and some acapella, and can be accompanied by piano.
The mood of the song is slow and pretty and really gives off a lovely feel. This piece is also in English. The link to the song is below. In closing, Abbie Betinis writes stunning music that is usually slow and beautiful. Her music is traditional but also modern and inspiring. As far as I can tell all to most of her compositions are in English and involve piano but she has other instruments in her songs as well.
Abbie is a very successful women and it is an honor to be able to learn and talk about her work. Abbie’s website is below.