Ralph B. Woodward
Ralph B. Woodward, born in 1944, is the son of internationally renowned choir conductor, Ralph Woodward. His father was the long-time conductor of the renowned BYU A Cappella Choir. His mother, Margaret Barclay, was a gifted soprano, vocal pedagogue. and director of a children’s choir.
Woodward is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is an accomplished singer, French horn player, composer, and a respected authority on the care and development of the young voice. He founded the Salt Lake Children’s Choir in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1979 and presently serves as artistic director. He is also the originator of many of the compositions and arrangements performed by the choir.
The Salt Lake Children’s Choir has long been regarded as one of the finest ensembles of its kind in the nation. The choir is comprised of boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 15 who reside in the Salt Lake Valley and nearby communities. The children have sung music from the countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Namibia, Zambia, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Japan, Korea, China, and Native and African America. The choir is an international competition winner and has appeared with many internationally celebrated artists and organizations, including Grant Johannessen, Frederica von Stade, Marvin Hamlisch, Pete Seeger, Kurt Bestor, and on numerous occasions with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony. They have also recorded with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony. The choir has been heard on Public Radio International and PBS, and its singers are regularly requested for major sound-tracks and promotions, including projects for CBS, NBC, and Walt Disney Productions.
Some of Woodward’s compositions have also been arranged for more advanced choirs and have been sung by other choirs, including the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He has stated:
Coming from a musical family as I do, writing music came naturally and early. However, it wasn’t until the founding of the Salt Lake Children’s Choir in 1979 that such writing became directed outward to any real extent. By then I had performed widely as both a singer and instrumentalist, lived extensively in both Latin America and Europe and had developed a keen interest in a variety of cultures and musical traditions–an interest which continues to influence much of my own music selection and composition.
He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, in 1970 with a Bachelor Degree in Music. He has played in the American Wind Symphony, and also with the Rheinische Philharmonie and the Utah Symphony. He has also performed with jazz veterans, Chuck Mangione and J.J. Johnson, studied and recorded with horn genius, Herman Baumann, and worked in close collaboration with pianist Grant Johannessen and folk singer Pete Seeger.
In 1999, Woodward was awarded special recognition for his teaching, arrangement, and conducting at the Golden Gate International Children’s Festival and Competition. He also worked with Crawford Gates and Jerald Ottley to edit the choral portions of the Hill Cumorah Pageant music. Some of his music is now available in print, and sample recordings of his music can be found by visiting Cherbourne Music.
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