Sue Neimoyer – Biography
Sue Neimoyer’s compositions reflect her very diverse musical background and professional experience. She hails from Yreka, California, where she began studying piano at age 5. Her first compositions, written at age 10 for her neighborhood’s garage rock band, were songs in the style of the Beatles and other pop groups of the 1960s. At age 13, she performed her first solo classical piano recital as well as a piano concerto with her school orchestra. Her first compositional work to receive acknowledgment was an arrangement written for her high school’s jazz ensemble, which was awarded a “superior” rating at the Reno Jazz Festival.
Dr. Neimoyer earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in composition and theory from Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. She holds a Ph.D. in music history, with an emphasis in American music, from the University of Washington in Seattle. She served an LDS mission in the California Arcadia Mission. While in Seattle, she was the music director and organist at Trinity United Methodist Church, where she arranged music for and conducted the church’s chancel choir and played bass guitar its contemporary Christian music ensemble. Her compositions and arrangements have been widely performed in the United States, as well as in Europe and China. Her “Mountain Anthem,” sung by the International Children’s Choir of Salt Lake with a Utah-based “honor orchestra,” was featured in PBS’s broadcast of the 2002 World’s Largest Concert, representing and celebrating the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
As a performer, Dr. Neimoyer has played solo jazz piano bar engagements, has been a keyboardist and singer in both rock bands and in small jazz groups. She also sang dramatic soprano roles with the Seattle Experimental Opera in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
She is currently on the faculty at the University of Utah School of Music, where she teaches courses in 20th-century music, American music, jazz history, and opera literature. Her articles on Joni Mitchell’s avant-garde jazz music and George Gershwin’s early music and career appear in noted scholarly journals.