(+ indicates PSU and tour performances)

The War Prayer  For Speaker, Soloists, SATB Chorus, and Keyboard or Brass Quintet and Percussion Ensemble.  (First performance with dancers and speaker.)
Text by Mark Twain (1835-1910). 
Commission and Premiere: Kaleidoscope, Contemporary Dance Company, Patricia Heigel (1935-2009), choreographer; The Pennsylvania Vocal Ensemble, Bruce Trinkley, conductor; with Susan Impress-Mianulli, soprano; Tim Wallace, speaker; brass chorale and percussion ensemble. The Playhouse Theatre at Penn State. 1972.
Revival: Penn State Glee Club and Women’s Chorale with Penn State alumnus Jonathan Frakes as the Messenger.  1990.
Download the piano-vocal score.  Listen to the 1990 revival. 
After a great collaboration on Carousel in the summer of 1971, Patricia Heigel wanted to work together again.  And one Sunday morning, browsing the book rack at Nittany News on College Avenue, I discovered and read right there in the store Mark Twain’s devastating indictment of war – The War Prayer and immediately knew this was the piece for our collaboration – calling for dancers, singers, and instruments. Pat depicted a small town excitedly preparing to send their sons off to glory in the war. And when the messenger/angel/prophet/devil arrives in the church where the people are praying for victory and defeat of their enemies, Pat choreographed a searing depiction of the horrors of war.  The music likewise moves from the marching tunes of going to war to the serial ravages of the battle.  This is one of my most important pieces.  Mark Twain’s text is still the most powerful indictment of war that exists. The piece ends with the chorus quietly intoning the final lines of the text: The townspeople sing:

For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimmage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.
(The Messenger, after a pause.) “Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits.”  It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.

Dinosaurs’ Dance for 12 dancers, solo soprano and piano. Also version for SSA chorus and piano or orchestra. Based on the book Dinosaurs’ Dance, with lyrics by Frank Fisler and line drawings by J. Bruce Jones illustrating the story.
Commission and Premiere: The Contemporary Dance Company, Patricia Heigel-Tanner (1935-2009), choreographer, with Suzanne Roy, soprano. 1982+
Version for full orchestra premiered by Nittany Valley Symphony, Michael Jinbo (1956-2022), Conductor; and The Nittany Valley Children’s Choir, Lou Ann Shafer, Director.  Bellefonte Area High School, February 2020. 
View SA and piano score. View SA and orchestra score.  Parts available from the Composer. Listen to Nittany Valley Symphony.

Multi-Media Ballet for tape and dancers.
Choreographed by Patricia Heigel-Tanner for the Contemporary Dance  Company  PSU  1972+
Contact the Composer for further information. 

knots: a 20th Century Madrigal Psycle  for three-part chorus or three solo voices and optional instruments with optional dancers.
(6 min.)  Poems by R.D. Laing (1927-1989).  
Commission and premiere: Contemporary Dance Company, Patricia Heigel (1935-2009), choreographer.
Shirley Donovan, soprano; Cathy Ufema, mezzo-soprano; Douglas Smith, baritone. 
When knots was published, it quickly became a cultural and literary sensation.  The paperback blurb: “A series of dialogue-scenarios, which can be read as poems or plays, describing the "knots" and impasses in various kinds of human relationships.”  The titles tell all.
Download score.  Click on titles to listen to midi. 

There must be something the matter with him
There must be something the matter with him 
because he would not be acting as he does 
unless there was
therefore he is acting as he is because there must be something the matter with him 

He does not think there is anything the 
matter with him because 
one of the things that is the matter with him 
is that he does not think that there is anything 
the matter with him 
we have to help him realize that, 
the fact that he does not think there is anything 
the matter with him 
is one of the things 
that is the matter with him.

Pre-classic Dances Six Baroque Dances for Alard String Quartet.  (10 min.)
Premiered by the Alard String Quartet.
Choreographed by Patricia Heigel-Tanner for the Contemporary Dance Company. 1976
Score reworked as Broken Symmetries for string quartet. 
View score. 

Field Study  Woodwind quintet and dancers.  Premiered by the Claremont Woodwind Quintet  (12 min.)
Commission and Premiere: Larue Allen, choreographer;  Contemporary Dance Company, Eisenhower Auditorium 1976
Field Study presents an impressionistic image of  the natural life in a meadow in the middle of summer. The music evokes the languor of midday, with the activities of insects, burrowing animals, birds and butterflies.  This scene is confronted with mindless human development. The final chorale emerges from the cacophony as an homage to the ultimate triumph of the living earth.
View score.  Listen to very authentic midi-realization.

Women Together  Ballet for 6 female dancers, mezzo-soprano, and piano. (5 min.)
After the film Cries and Whispers (1972) by Ingmar Bergman.
Commission and Premiere: Lynne Anne Blom (1943-1993) choreographer; Contemporary Dance Company; Catherine Ufema, mezzo-soprano; Philip Dettra, piano. 1979.
Contact the Composer to view the score.