Judith Cloud composer & singer
Composer Judith Cloud’s gift for vocal writing was born out of her own rich experiences as an accomplished mezzo-soprano soloist. Born in 1954 in Reidsville, NC, Cloud sang with her musical family in church services, where her first mentor, Dr. Ruth Graham, introduced her to music ranging from Bach to Britten. Later, Cloud entered the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she studied voice, conducting and composition. Her composition studies were with Robert Ward and Roy Johnson. Vocal instruction was with Janice Harsanyi, a champion of 20th-century American composers and an amateur composer, herself.
Cloud’s music, built on romantic principals, is at once lyrical, rhythmically challenging and harmonically intriguing. Her catalog includes numerous vocal, choral and instrumental works. Most notable is her cantata "Feet of Jesus” set to poems by Langston Hughes. In 2009 she was awarded first place for the Sorel Medallion in Choral Composition with her piece for chorus and guitar, “Anacreontics.” Cloud has created a niche for herself in the pantheon of American composers of art song.
Dr. Cloud is Professor of Voice at Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, Arizona, where she has taught since 1989.
About Letting Escape a Song: "The quality of these songs rises far above the level of the dilettante. Singers looking for new repertoire might especially want to investigate these well-crafted songs by a composer who deserves to be better known."
-- David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare Magazine
" Judith Cloud's Feet of Jesus is, from warm saxophone introduction to dramatic close, an elegant addition to American spiritual music. Cloud sets the Langston Hughes poem perfectly. Her spirited "Shout" and "Fire" complement a loving "Gather up in the arms of your pity the sick, the depraved, the desperate, the tired...." reaching the innermost recesses of the spirit and pulling from it something redeeming of humankind." -- Amazon customer reviewer
"Dr. Cloud is a fantastic, knowledgeable, and fair professor. NAU has wonderful talent, but many students expect their A's and praises to be handed to them. What you get from Dr. Cloud depends on what you put in (the way it should be). I would recommend her as a voice teacher to anyone interested in studying at NAU.." -- Anonymous voice student, Flagstaff, AZ
"Judith Cloud is that rare sort of triple threat who is a first rank song composer, a gifted and busy mezzo soprano soloist, and a highly regarded voice teacher at Northern Arizona University."
Dr. Gregory Berg, Journal of Singing