Angela Rice has a long and distinguished history in Lexington’s art community. She is a
founding member of the University of Kentucky’s Friends of Music Organization and the co-
founder of the Ashland School of Music. She served as the Executive Director of the Ashland
School as well as Vice President of Education for the Lexington Philharmonic and the University
of Kentucky’s Executive Committee of Operalex. Angela worked as Chairman of the University
of Kentucky Opera Workshop alongside Gail Robinson. She was appointed by Kentucky
Governor Matt Bevins in 2018 to the Kentucky Arts Council to share a common culture and a
sense of aesthetics to promote positive intercultural relations in the state. A graduate of the
University of Louisville, she went on to study piano with Robert Harris from the Manhattan
School of Music in New York City and voice with the Phyllis Jenness former director of the
University of Kentucky Opera Theatre Department and Sahar Hassan of the New England
Conservatory of Music. Angela’s composition mentor in Lexington was Joseph Baber,
composer- in - residence at the University of Kentucky from the 1970s through 2020.
In 2011, She began writing an Easter work, Thy Will Be Done and her work was premiered in
2012 by the Bluegrass Opera in Lexington, Kentucky. The work began as 24 piece cantata and
expanded to oratorio length and style by 2014. The work was performed from 2012-2019, each
year growing in depth and length. Pieces from Thy Will Be Done were selected to be a part of the
Music Reading Session at the 2013 Montreat Presbyterian Music Conference in Montreat, North
Carolina. In 2018, Thy Will Be Done was performed at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center
with the National Chorale under the direction of Artistic Director Dr. Everett McCorvey. Thy
Will Be Done was also recorded at the Manhattan Center in June 2018 and released by Distrokid
in 2021. In 2019, Thy Will Be Done was performed in Danville, Kentucky at Centre College
under Maestro Marcello Cormio. The work was broadcast throughout Kentucky in 2021 and
2022 on Kentucky Education Television.
Angela’s love of nature brought her to compose Red Bird, A Musical Fable in one act. The
work tells the story of how a kind man saves the life of a very important bird, the most important
bird in all the world. Angela emphasizes through Red Bird the magic of kindness and how it can
change the world for the better for people, animals, and the planet. She began writing this work
in 2012. Birds are the featured characters with their songs and dances.
The beloved poems of Emily Dickinson brought Angela to her latest writings. Angela set over
50 of Emily Dickinson’s poems to music. The first cycle, (the first 13 songs), Eternity was
performed in 2016 at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky by Metropolitan Opera Tenor
Gregory Turay and pianist Tedrin Lindsay. Angela’s complete settings of Emily Dickinson’s
poems are all presented in her 2019 published score Homestead.
Angela was also busy writing children’s songs, arias, piano compositions, music for strings,
dances, choral works to complete over 100 pieces of music while writing her larger works.
Presently, Angela is intrigued with adding ballet to her compositions and is working to
bring the life and loves of Emily Dickinson to the stage fully choreographed.
In 2016, Metropolitan Opera Tenor Gregory Turay premiered Angela’s Eternity song Cycle of
poems by Emily Dickinson at Norton Center for the Arts at Centre College,
Angela is president of Melodia Music, a publishing and production company that specializes in
large-scale works for voices and instruments, as well as compilation of shorter works in the vocal
and choral genres.