Ralph Kendrick
Composer Biography

Ralph Kendrick has had his works performed throughout the United States and in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and the Czech Republic by groups such as the South Dakota Symphony Wind Quintet, the Indiana University Contemporary Chorale, the Quodlibet Quintet, the University of Iowa Center for New Music, Chorale Midwest, the College Street String Quartet, the Iowa City Symphonic Orchestra, the Loras College Bella Voce Choir, the Jenny Lind Singers, the Coe College Choir, and the University of Minnesota Brass Choir. 

Kendrick has quickly emerged as one of the leading Iowa Composers.  He has received commissions from several Iowa organizations – including the: 

  • Iowa Composers Forum
  • Iowa Music Teachers Association
  • Iowa Choral Directors Association
  • Iowa Arts Council
  • Northwestern College
  • Marilynn Etzel Commission Fund
  • Iowa City Community Orchestra

He has completed over 40 compositions in a variety of genres, including works for orchestra, choir, chamber groups, and solo musicians.  

The composer holds a masters degree in music composition from the University of Iowa, where he studied with composers David Gompper, Martin Jenni, and Lawrence Fritts.  His undergraduate degree was obtained from Truman State University where he studied with composer Warren Gooch. 

Since 2004, Kendrick has served as Chairman of the Board for the Iowa Composers Forum. In this capacity he has helped organize over 50 concerts of new music by living Iowa Composers including hosting several new music festivals in Cedar Rapids. 

Kendrick is a member of the American Composers Forum, the Society of Composers, and the Iowa Composers Forum. He currently lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with his wife Lynne and their two children, Ashley and Zachary.

Iowa Composer Ralph Kendrick hard at work!

Initially, Kendrick cut his musical chops as a 'lean and mean' electric bassist for jazz groups, funk bands, and heavy metal bands.  This experience is a major part of who he is as a composer and informs his writing today.

"I used to sort of take for granted the ability to lay down a nasty funk bass line, then I realized not a lot of other composers knew how to do that.  It was then that I figured out it had better be an integral part of my arsenal as a composer."

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