MARGARET SHELTON MEIER's compositions, which have been performed throughout the USA and in Bulgaria and England, are in many genres: orchestral works, choral pieces, art songs, chamber music, opera, and piano and organ solos. She has received numerous awards, including an ASCAP Standard Award (1999-2000), and nine awards from the Music Teachers' Association of California. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree From the Eastman School of Music and her Ph.D. From the University of California at Los Angeles. Her orchestral compositions The Dawning and Claremont Symphony have been recorded by the Ruse (Bulgaria) Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Tsanko Delibozov, and appear on Vienna Modern Masters CDs, VMM 3037 and VMM 3042. She has taught at a number of universities in California's two university systems and is currently a Faculiy member in music at Mt. San Antonio College.

MASS FOR THE THIRD MILLENNIUM gives new expression to the ancient Christian texts of worship, contrition, hope, praise and peace. In the opening Kyrie, images of solemn singing in ancient cathedrals are evoked by chant-like melodies and open fifths. The middle section increases in rhythmic and dynamic intense, then the music returns to its opening calm. The joyous major and minor chords of the Gloria represent an oasis of peace among the many dissonances, musical and non-musical, of our present world. The extended text of the Agnus Dei evokes a variety of moods; its opening and closing lines ascend, expressing hope and praise. The words to this prayer are similar to those of the Kyrie, but they are in Latin rather than Greek. As in the Kyrie and Sanctus, the number three is important: there are three statements of Agnus Dei, varied only in the closing words, which are a prayer for peace. The music is gentle and poignant, a cry from the heart. Both the Gloria and the Agnus Dei vary a repeated chord progression, in the style of a chaconne. In Sanctus the Fifths of the Kyrie, overlapping for a more dissonant sound, create excitement, as the threefold "holy, holy, holy" swells to a climax in the opening statement. This is followed by a playfully contrapuntal Pleni sunt coeli and a dramatic Hosanna. Echoes of the Kyrie are heard in the Benedictus.

Margaret Shelton Meier