A COMPOSER'S RESUME: RICK SOWASH
338 Milton Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
An "Outsider Composer": What sets me apart from almost
all other composers is that I am not an academic and until
recently have not lived in a major metropolitan area. I have
made my way outside the mainstream, and yet I have made my
way. One hears of "outsider painters", folk artists who work
skillfully and meaninfully outside the world of galleries
and museums and academe. I am an "outsider composer."
COMPOSER of ca. 165 musical works of "serious" concert
SPEAKER-HUMORIST, performing 100 engagements annually
for a wide variety of audiences and publishing short humorous
writings in Ohio Magazine and elsewhere. Subject of a 60-minute
public television documentary.
AUTHOR of Critters, Flitters & Spitters, Hereos
of Ohio, Ripsnorting Whoppers: Humor from America's Heartland,
two novels, a book of family reminiscences, a non-fiction
book on reading choices and numerous essays, both humorous
and serious. Discoverer and EDITOR of a 'lost' book of essays
and poems by Connecticut author Odell Shepard, 1884-1967.
Also several magazine articles for Ohio Magazine.
SILENT FILM ACCOMPANIST, providing live, improvised
film scores on the piano for silent film classics at cultural
centers, colleges, resort areas and historic theatres. Performed
with Lillian Gish in 1982. Presented festivals of American
silent film classics at the Taipei Culture Center, Republic
of China in 1988 and 1990.
PRODUCER of compact disc recordings, independently
and also with Gasparo Records of Jaffrey NH.
1991- to the present. full-time freelance speaker,
humorist, writer and composer.
1994 - author of RIPSNORTING WHOPPERS! HUMOR FROM
AMERICA'S HEARTLAND, published by Gabriel's Horn Publishing
of Bowling Green, OH.
1987-1990. COUNTY COMMISSIONER, Richland County, Ohio's
15th largest county.
1980-1986. Founding EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of Renaissance
Theatre, Inc., a non-profit corporation operatoring the Renaissance
Theatre, a 1500-seat movie palace revived as a multi-use entertainment
center, in Mansfield, Ohio.
1980-1988. DEVELOPER and CO-PROPRIETOR, with wife,
of The Frederick Fitting House, a bed-and-breakfast country
inn, in Bellville, Ohio.
1978-1980. BROADCASTING PRODUCER at WOSU-FM, a public
radio station with an arts format in Columbus, Ohio.
1976-1978. Part-time LEARNING DISABILITIES TUTOR for
Madison Local Schools and Clear Fork Valley Local Schools,
Richland County, Ohio.
1973-1976. CHURCH MUSIC DIRECTOR at First English
Lutheran Church, Mansfield, Ohio.
Bachelor of Science (1973) in Music Composition and Comparative
Literature, a double major, from a prestigious American School
of Music which I hated so much that I refuse to name.
INTERESTS & ACTIVITIES:
Avid husband, father, hiker, traveler, reader, cook, woodworker,
flower gardener, juggler, folklorist, actor, play-goer, concert-goer
and writer of angry letters to Congress.
Member of The American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers,
The American Music Center, The Appalachian Trail Conference,
and The Sierra Club.
ABOUT THE NAME "SOWASH" ...
The name derives from the French word "sauvage", meaning
"of the woods" or "natural" or "wild" in the sense of wild
strawberries or wild mushrooms. The Sauvage family is one
of the oldest in Picardy, France but my Huguenot ancestors
fled Catholic persecution in that country, departing first
for Holland, and later England. My ancestor Johannes Sauvage
immigrated to Boston in 1737. When his descendants moved to
Pennsylvania in the 1840's, the name was changed to "Sowash",
probably to render pronunciation easier for the Pennsylvania
Dutch. The French word "sauvage" also has a long etymology,
deriving from the latin word "sylva" and ultimately from the
Homeric Greek word "ule" which Homer used to refer simply
to "wood" but which Aristotle used to refer to "the primal
stuff of the universe."
ONE LAST CURIOUS FACT ...
I appear to be the only American composer ever to be elected to public office. Until recently, I believe I was, with the sole exception of Ignace Paderewski, who was President of Poland, the only composer of serious concert music ever to be elected to a public office anywhere. However, now that composer Ivo Josipovic has been elected President of Croatia, there appear to have been three of us in all of human history. :-)