Marjorie M. Rusche is an internationally performed award winning contemporary classical composer who combines romantic, modernist, and vernacular influences in her music. Dr. Rusche composes for opera, music theater, orchestra, chorus, a variety of vocal and instrumental chamber ensembles, soloists, dance, and theatre.
Her most recently commissioned composition, Dreams and Visions (Searching the Shadows) for oboe, viola, and piano, premieres Jan./Feb./March/May 2020 throughout the South Bend, IN and Chicago area. Songs of Love and Death for soprano and piano will premiere Feb. and March 2020 in Muncie, IN and March 5-7 at a Music by Women National Conference in Mississippi; song cycle excerpts were premiered March 7, 2014 on a New York City Underworld Productions Opera CrossCURRENT concert. She was a guest composer March 2, 2013, with Musica Reginae Productions, New York City and was honored as a guest composer at the 13th London New Music for Winds Festival, November 19, 2010, in London, England. Her compositions have been performed live and on radio in Amsterdam, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, San Francisco, Vienna, Kenya, Spain, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, and Wisconsin, her birth state.
Awards and commissions include: 2019-2020 Indiana Arts Commission funding for instrumental chamber work; 2018 & 2017 Indiana Arts Commission grant for Creativity Workshops; 2016-2017 University of Notre Dame Children’s Choir Commission; 2016 Calliopes’ Call International Composition Competition Honorable Mention; 2015-2016 Indiana Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship – Music Composition; 2015 University of Notre Dame Chorale; 2015-2016 Masterworks Chorale, Muncie, IN; 2014 South Bend Chamber Singers; 2013-2014 and 2012-2013 Music Composition Professional Development Faculty Grants, Indiana University South Bend; 2012 Music Composition Commission from USA Projects, Artists2Artists Fund, USA Open Matching Fund, Cheswatyr Music Commissioning Fund (American Composers Forum) and 30 individual donors; 2012 Associate Faculty Merit Status, Indiana University South Bend; 2011 Stickley Foundation Grant for Music Composition; 2011 Curriculum Development Grant, Indiana University; 2010 Associate Faculty Travel Grant, Indiana University South Bend; 2010-2011 IU South Bend Center for a Sustainable Future Sustainability Fellow; Columbia College Chicago Follett Fellowship; Saint Mary’s College Women’s Choir commission; Portland, OR Regional Arts Commission grant; Indiana Music Teachers Association Convention Commission; South Bend Symphony Orchestra; the American Music Center’s Margaret Fairbank Jory Copying Assistance Program, New York City; DuPage Chorale/American Composers Forum-Chicago Chapter; Stickley Foundation Opera Commission Award, South Bend, IN; Indiana State Arts Board Individual Composer Fellowship; Meet The Composer-Midwest; the Jerome Foundation, St. Paul, MN; the American Chamber Opera Company, New York City; Gotham Ensemble, New York City; Meet The Composer-New York Composer Performance Fund Award; Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, IN; McKnight Foundation Fellowship in Music Composition, St. Paul, MN; Minnesota State Arts Board Individual Artist Fellowship in Music Composition; Minnesota Composers Forum Demo Tape Grant; the Schubert Club, St. Paul, MN; Minnesota Composers Forum/Jerome Foundation Composers Commissioning Program Award; Skylight Comic Opera Theater, Milwaukee, WI; DANCECIRCUS, Milwaukee, WI and yearly ASCAP Standard Awards.
Dr. Rusche is affiliated with ASCAP, New Music USA, Opera America, College Music Society, and is a charter member of the American Composers Forum (aka Minnesota Composers Forum).
She has taught music composition, orchestration, opera history, music theory, form & analysis, music history, and piano at Indiana University South Bend, the University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, and Colombia College Chicago. She taught music in Kenya while in the U.S. Peace Corps. She earned her D.M. in Music Composition from the Jacobs School of Music Indiana University-Bloomington, and her M.A. in Music Composition & Theory from the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis.