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Sherry Woods: Bio

Sherry Woods, member of the South Carolina Philharmonic, the Firenze Quartet, and the
Woods Piano Quartet, is well known as a performer, composer, and educator. Woods
earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in viola performance at USC in 1991 and
continued her studies for a doctorate in composition completed in December of 1997. She
maintains a private violin/viola studio and was named Studio Teacher of the Year in 2007
by the South Carolina chapter of the American Strings Teacher Association. She has
taught at both Francis Marion University and the University of South Carolina and she
and husband Benjamin Woods were chosen several terms as solo artists for the South
Carolina Arts Commission’s Community Tour Program.

Sherry Woods’ works have been performed in South Carolina, North Carolina and West
Virginia for the New Music recitals of the Mid-Atlantic meetings of the College Music
Society and on recital from New York City to Taiwan. Her song cycle Leaves of the Fall was
performed at Winthrop University and at Poyner Auditorium by Sue Mills and
Benjamin Woods. Adrienne Woods premiered Persephone Dances for cello and
orchestra at the Koger Center in Columbia, South Carolina in July of 1997 during the
South Carolina Conductor’s Institute. In February of 1996 Sunflower for violin and
orchestra was performed by Christopher Woods and the Florence Symphony. Dr. Woods
was a finalist and prizewinner in the Denver Women’s Chorus competition with her
choral work Sapphic Songs and was one of three winners of the USC Saxophone Quartet
Competition, receiving a reading of her Lament for Lost Infants by the Vienna Saxophone
Quartet. The Florentine Overture, commissioned by the Florence Symphony for the
opening of their 50th season, was premiered in October of 1998.

Wisdom Fanfare, commissioned by the Board of Directors of the South Carolina
Philharmonic, was premiered by that orchestra in October of 1999 as one of the series of
Millennium Fanfares featuring South Carolina composers and performed by the Florence
Symphony during its season as well and was recorded by the Kiev Philharmonic in 2005.
Her Kaleidoscope, a dance suite for violin and piano, was choreographed and performed
by the South Carolina Dance Company both in Florence and at Piccolo Spoleto during
the spring and summer of 2000. Kaleidoscope was selected for performance at the
Seventh Festival of Women Composers at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in March
of 2004. The Masterworks Choir of Florence commissioned and performed in April of
2001 The Holy Band - Mystical Songs on the Poetry of Hafiz, a work for choir and
orchestra. Of Rivers and Trees, a song cycle for tenor, piano, violin, viola, cello, and flute
was commissioned by the Low Country Heritage Society and premiered at the College of
Charleston in November of 2001; it was described as “beautiful and riveting” by the
Charleston Post and won the 2005 Miriam Gideon award in the New Music Search by the
International Alliance of Women in Music.

Woods was commissioned by the Ciompi Quartet of Duke University to write the string
quartet Chambers for performance at the North Carolina Museum of Art for the Sights
and Sounds concert series in 2006. It was the winner of the 2008 Theodore Front award
in the New Music Search by the International Alliance of Women in Music. Woods’
Ruins for viola and piano was selected for the Composers’ Concert at the College Music
Society International Conference in Bangkok, Thailand in July 2007; it was performed by
Sherry and Benjamin Woods and was also chosen for performance at the Eighth Festival
of Women Composers held at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Walking, for Baritone
and String Trio, was selected for the Ninth Festival of Women Composers in March of

Woods was chair for the 2010 International Alliance of Women in Music’s Search for
New Music after twice being named first prizewinner in previous years.

More recent pieces include Petite Suite for Piano Quartet (2011), Jade Moon for Chinese
Speaker and String Orchestra (2012), Fantasy Variations on “All My Hope” for violin,
viola, and piano (2013), and The Devil and His Daughter, a chamber opera (2014), and
Remembrances for string orchestra (2015). Woods is currently working on the chamber
opera Mara.