29 Jan Dr. Steven Darsey Announced as 2010 Ossabaw Fellow Award Recipient: Composer of The Marshes of Glynn Oratorio
SAVANNAH, GA (January 29, 2010) — Dr. Steven Darsey of Atlanta has been selected by The Ossabaw Island Foundation as the 2010 recipient of the Eleanor “Sandy” West Ossabaw Fellowship.
The Ossabaw Fellowship recognizes professionals in any creative or academic discipline whose endeavors relate to, or are inspired by, Ossabaw Island.
Darsey is a conductor and a composer of over 100 musical works for various combinations of voices and instruments. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the Yale School of Music. Since 1986 Darsey has served as Director of Music for Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church on the campus of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he leads a comprehensive parish music program. He also serves as Artistic Director for Meridian Herald, a nonprofit organization supporting worship and culture.
His most recent composition is The Marshes of Glynn, an oratorio for symphonic orchestra, soloists and large chorus, based on the seminal poem by 19th century Georgia poet Sidney Lanier. Darsey, a Georgia native, has researched and worked on this composition for over twenty years. In his musical setting, Darsey explores the profound cultural and theological insights Lanier drew from Georgia’s marshes and coastal environs.
In 2006 and 2009, Darsey spent time on Ossabaw Island as an artist in residence researching and composing The Marshes of Glynn. A performance reading of an earlier version was given at Glenn Church, March 2, 2008 with the Glenn Chancel Choir, the Meridian Chorale, soloists, piano and organ. In 2009 he completed the orchestration for the oratorio, and is exploring various opportunities for its orchestral premier.
As the 2010 Ossabaw Fellow, Darsey receives an honorarium and a one-week guest residency on Ossabaw Island.
The Eleanor “Sandy” West Ossabaw Fellowship was established in 2008 by the Ossabaw Island Foundation, to honor Ossabaw Island’s longest known resident and supporter. Eleanor “Sandy” West, established and operated the Ossabaw Island Project and the Genesis Project on Ossabaw Island in the 1970’s and 1980’s. She was instrumental in her family’s decision to make a bargain sale of Ossabaw Island to the State of Georgia in 1978 for use as the state’s first Heritage Preserve. West, 97, has lived on the island full time since 1986.