On September 22, Commonwealth Books of Virginia will release Evelyn Swenssen's charming memoir, "Notes - My Life with Music"

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In "Notes: My Life with Music" (Commonwealth Book Publishers of Virginia Trade Paperback Original, $25.00), Evelyn Swensson presents her anecdote-filled story of how a pretty little girl from Edinburg, Virginia became a world renowned composer.

Notes: My Life with Music

The book is a joy to read and helps to understand ever more Evelyn's marvelous talent. She brings new life, with music, to the stories that we writers tell. I was enchanted by her interpretation of my book, "All Through the Night." Mary Higgins Clark

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Commonwealth Books of Virginia is pleased to announce the publication of Evelyn Swensson's memoir about her remarkable careers as a wife and mother, a singer, a composer of a dozen celebrated children's opera, and a mentor to dozens of talented young musicians.

Evelyn begins her story by remembering her mother and father whose families had lived for generations in the Shenandoah Valley. She explains that when her father enlisted in the calvary prior to World War II, she began a far-flung girlhood, which brought her into contact with great musical works, inspirational personalities (like MGM star Kathryn Grayson and Broadway star Mary Martin), and icons of American music (like folk music anthologist, John Jacob Niles and voice coach Martin Katz).

She was determined to fill her life with music, but her priorities were to support her adoring “DuPonter” husband and to raise their four beautiful children. Wherever Sig’s career took them, Evelyn made musical waves. She began her career in music as a “musical midwife” producing and conducting children’s operas by celebrated writers and composers - like her future friends Gian Carlo Menotti, Charles Strouse, and Libby Larsen.

Arriving in Wilmington, Delaware in the fall of 1969, Evelyn describes her serendipitous encounter with Wilmington’s “Musical Man for All Seasons” and now “Chick” Laird opened the way to what became three decades of conducting and composing operas for OperaDelaware. Her career as a musical midwife ended, and her career as a composer began, in 1993 when she wrote lyrics and a musical score for Oliver Butterworth's popular story about a dinosaur named Beazley. Since then, "The Enormous Egg" has been preformed more than a thousand times in theaters around the world.

Evelyn has included 250 photographs of people and places, and more than a dozen of her colorful productions. Readers share the excitement of the performers and stagehands, hundreds of them - young and old, who produced the shows. They sense the delight of the thousands of patrons who came to see them. Evelyn remembers the name of each person pictured and fills her accounts with entertaining comments about them. The most endearing aspect of Evelyn's story may be its final section in which more than a dozen of her young stars describe how she passed her love of music to them.

About the Author:
Mary Evelyn Dickinson was born in Woodstock, Virginia in 1929. After graduating from Hollins College, she married the love of her life, Sigurd Swensson, and began a marriage that lasted 64 years. When their four children went to college, at the age of 40, Evelyn enrolled in the Masters of Music program at West Chester University. Since then she has earned a worldwide reputation as a composer of children’s operas and for conducting world premiers of her own works and the works of other notable composers.

Commonwealth Books of Virginia’s motto, “Where History, Philosophy, and Art Meet”, underscores the three-dimensional quality of the histories it publishes. It uses state-of-the-art technology to transform its printed titles into families of products including ebooks, audio books, audio/video programs, and mobile devise applications. It advertises its authors and products in a program that coordinates traditional public relations with social media outreach. Its print and e-book editions are distributed by Small Press United of Chicago and its online affiliates. Its audio, audio-video, and video products are available through Amazon, Audible, and iTunes, and their global partners.

For information about the book and reseller discounts, contact James Thompson at jct(at)commonwealthbooks(dot)org or at 703-307-7715.

NOTES: My Life with Music
By Evelyn Swensson
Paperback: ISBN#: 978-0-9854863-5-8
Book: 200 pages / Paperback: $25.00
Release date: September 22, 2014
Distributed by Small Press United of Chicago (312-337-0747)
View book details online at: http://www.commonwealthbooks.org

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