(+ 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:
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.
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.
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.