Rudy Davenport

Rudy Davenport is a freelance composer, pianist and church musician residing in Austin, Texas. Born in Hayesville, North Carolina, he grew up surrounded by the natural beauty of the Nantahala National Forest of Western North Carolina. His deep appreciation for the mystery and majesty of these surroundings still profoundly affect his life and music.

Davenport’s compositions have been well received for the clarity of form, accessibility of harmonic language and inventiveness of melody.  His catalogue includes Soliloquy No. VI of St. Teresa of Avila, Painful Longing for God, for Soprano and Harpsichord/Piano; Songs of the Bride (from Song of Songs), a work for Soprano, Harpsichord/Piano, Oboe & Cello and Sonata for Oboe and Harpsichord/Piano

His Seven Innocent Dances, for Solo Harpsichord/Piano, a finalist in the Alienor International Competition for Harpsichord Composition and pieces from the Millennium Preludes, also finalists in the Alienor Competition, were separately published as part of collections of Alienor winners by Wayne Leopold Editions.  Davenport’s compositions for Harpsichord have been featured in the releases of CDs by harpsichordists, Dr. Larry Palmer, at Southern Methodist University (Music of Rudy Davenport, Limited Editions Recording) and by internationally known concert and recording artist, Elaine Funaro (Dances with Harpsichord on Centaur) who premiered Davenport’s Sonata for Oboe and Harpsichord/Piano in Australia.

Davenport’s Remembering the Earth, a CD featuring twelve original solo piano pieces, received a nomination from Just Plain Folks, JPF, the largest independent association of music producers, for Best Instrumental of the Year for the track, Snow Carol.   Music from his CD, Christmas Wonder, a collection of Christmas carols arranged for solo piano is available from Morningstar Music Publisher. Other collections available from Morningstar include Advent and Christmas Wonder, Set 3; Morning Has Broken; and Darkness and Light, Seasonal Reflections for Piano.

Davenport’s major chamber music work, BYNA: Life Songs of a Southern Appalachian Woman of Cherokee Descent. was awarded a Meet the Composer grant from the Southern Arts Federation. Davenport and the BYNA ENSEMBLE were awarded an American Composer’s Forum ENCORE grant. 

Delilah Elsen has researched and crafted a half dozen plays.  Chief among these is Ida Lewis, A Visit With The Heroine, a two-act play, based on the life and times of the renowned Victorian lighthouse keeper.  Ida Lewis, A Visit With The Heroine was produced by the Rhode Island Shakespeare Theatre for the city of Newport, Rhode Island’s 350th anniversary and for the Bicentennial of the United States Lighthouse Service.  The play was brought back by popular demand for a six-week run the following season. Scenes from the play formed the basis of A Conversation With Ida Lewis, a work which toured to libraries throughout Rhode Island as part of a Rhode Island state project, What A Difference A Bay Makes, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  In 2003, in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Wright Brother’s Kitty Hawk, NC flight, Elsen wrote The Day the Wright Brother’s Airplane First Flew—A Day to Remember, a monologue based on material from the Published Writings of Wilbur and Orville Wright and from an interview with Captain John T. Daniels, a patrolman stationed at Kill Devil Hills Lifesaving Station.  This work was first performed for the Chamber Music Society of Wilmington’s concert celebration of the First Flight and was later performed on public radio, WHQR, as part of the station’s First Flight celebration, December 17, 2003.  This work was chosen by WHQR to be included in their 20th anniversary CD of best offerings.  Elsen crafted lyrics from her play, Byna, which is the basis of a major chamber music work, Byna:  Life Songs of a Southern Appalachian Woman of Cherokee Descent.  As manager of the BYNA PROJECT, Elsen formed the BYNA ENSEMBLE and shepherded the work through four state premieres and several subsequent performances.  The BYNA score is available to interested musicians and to interested music patrons for donation to university music departments.  Much of Elsen’s continuing research for plays, articles and booklets is based on the history of the Cherokees in the Appalachian region during the colonial period with focused attention on the life and times of Cherokee chief, Connecourt, also known as “Old Hop,” who lived in the Cherokee tribal lands of Western NC and east Tennessee during the colonial period.  Elsen has served on the board of Chamber Music Wilmington and earned a Non-Profit Management certification from Duke University.