Composer Bio



After years of studying voice and piano, teaching others, and tirelessly supporting the arts, Angela Rice decided to turn her considerable talents to composing.

That decision has thrilled audiences and performers alike.

Angela Rice ComposerHer oratorio Thy Will be Done was hailed by Rich Copley, music critic for The Lexington Herald-Leader, as “sterling” and “an ideal hit in the church choir world.”

Metropolitan Opera tenor Gregory Turay, who premiered in the role of Jesus, raved about Rice’s “very singable, beautiful music.”

And audiences have been packing performances since the work for choir and soloists was first performed by The Bluegrass Opera.

The work also received national attention when it was selected to be part of the Music Reading Session at the 2013 Montreat Presbyterian Music Conference in Montreat, N.C.
Since the debut during the 2012 Lenten season, Rice has expanded the work from a cantata of 16 musical numbers to the current oratorio of 30 pieces about Jesus’ life, ministry, crucifixion, resurrection and impact.

“I’ve tried to use the music to depict the emotions of the characters in the specific biblical contexts,” said Rice. “I hope that as you listen you can hear the love, surrender, obedience, despair, humility and awe – emotions that the characters experienced.”

While Rice has composed in many genres, she is perhaps best known for her vocal music, which runs the gamut from soaring opera to children’s songs.

Getting to this point in her musical career has been a long journey.

A gifted singer and pianist from an early age, Rice studied piano under Robert Harris of the Julliard School, and voice at the New England Conservatory under Sahar Hassan after graduating from the University of Louisville.

While raising three children in Lexington with her husband Tom, a radiologist at Baptist Health, Rice continued her studies at workshops at the Tanglewood Music Center and under Phyllis Jenness, the founder of the Lexington Singers who also directed the voice program at the University of Kentucky until the early 1990s.

She also formed a close collaboration with composer and UK professor Joseph Baber, who helped her orchestrate Thy Will be Done.

Rice has performed several times in the Schola Cantorum at the Cathedral of Christ the King, UK’s It’s a Grand Night for Singing, and in a variety of other musical events.

Composing and performing haven’t been her only passions. She also has a long and distinguished history in Lexington’s arts community.

She was co-founder and executive director of the Ashland School of Music, where she also taught piano, and she has been an active member of the Executive Committee of the Lexington Opera Society.

Her work in the community also includes service on the Lexington Philharmonic board, including two years as Vice President of Education.  She was on the founding board of the UK Friends of Music and has been a past president of the UK Library Associates.  She currently serves on both the UK Libraries National Advisory Board and the Chrysalis House Board.

Rice is also president of Melodia Music, a publishing and production company that specializes in large-scale works for voices and instruments, as well as compilations of shorter works in the vocal and choral genres.

For more information about Rice and her music visit