Music Samples



Nancie composed "Turkish Impressions' following a trip she took to Turkey in 2013.  There, she was inspired by the Whirling Dervish dances, the grand geologic formations towering throughout Cappadocia and the accidental antiphonal effect of several Muezzins' "Calls to Prayer" from one mosque to the next throughout the day.

The piece is written in a modified ABA form and is scored for traditional winds and strings, plus hammered dulcimer. To capture the quality of Middle Eastern music, Nancie utilized quarter tones with bending pitches and a Phrygian melody, a mode found frequently in traditional Turkish music. She also incorporated specific Turkish rhythmic patterns, plus the alternation between 4/4 and 5/4 meters.

"Turkish Impressions" was recently performed by the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, featuring Steve Eulberg on hammered dulcimer.





Since composing has taken center stage in my life, I have been fortunate to win several awards through the Music Teachers Association of California Composers Today Competition.   The recent awards have been given to all three parts of my triptych: “California Collage,” written for chorus and piano duo plus percussion. It was completed in 2014. Each section is approximately eight minutes long, and can be performed individually or as a whole cycle. The thematic content of each section is based on traditional California folk music. In each work, an important part of California history is addressed, providing a look at the turbulent struggles and astounding growth of our state.  “Origins” captures the conflict between the Native Americans with the arrival of Spanish missionaries.  “Journey for Gold” tells the story of the Gold Rush from the woman’s perspective, and “Laying Rails” describes the building of the Transcontinental Railroad.

“Laying Rails” involves a Chinese song: "Jasmine Flowers of the Sixth Moon,"and an Irish song: "Drill Ye, Tarriers."   The piece portrays the building of the Transcontinental Railroad (1863-1869,) an engineering feat that dramatically changed geographic accessibility within the United States.

The Chinese and Irish workers represented many of the brave men who constructed the Transcontinental Railroad.  "Drill Ye Tarriers" is a gritty, percussive song, depicting the dangerous and tedious job of laying rails. "Jasmine Flowers" is a more reflective song, alluding to the men who left China to perform this laborious and often heroic work and their sad, lonely wives at home. There was no guarantee that these men would return to China and most did not. “Jasmine Flowers” is sung in both Cantonese and English. The piece begins with each song featured individually.  They later combine to demonstrate the unified efforts of diverse cultures to achieve a monumental goal. 

The audio recording took place in Marin County, California in 2015 under the direction of Martha Wall, featuring her chorus, along with pianists Marie Carbone and Paul Smith. After I selected traditional photographs of the era, Daphne Saul created a vimeo by combining those photographs with the recording.



Theme and Variations

George P. Tingley, piano

“Theme and Variations” features a simple theme that is developed into three variations with contrasting moods, tempi and dynamics. This is an accessible piece for intermediate and early advanced pianists. This piece won 2nd prize in the MTAC Composers Today competition.

Variation 1:  “Spiritoso:”  Raucous and bold

Variation 2:  “Meno Mosso:”  Meditative

Variation 3:  “Con Moto:”  Energetic, driving

Valse in C minor

George P. Tingley, piano

After playing and teaching many Chopin Waltzes, I was inspired to write my own "Valse in C minor."   

Gigue in A minor

George P. Tingley, arrangement

George Tingley created this beautiful orchestration of my “Gigue.”

I was inspired by the lively Baroque dance form when I composed this piece. It can be performed by solo piano as well.