As a child, Cara Haxo (b. 1991) loved listening to her father read stories out loud to her. Today, she loves finding ways to incorporate these stories, poetry, and artwork into her music. Haxo was awarded the 2013 National Federation of Music Clubs Young Composers Award, the 2013 International Alliance for Women in Music Ellen Taaffe Zwilich Prize, and second prize in the 2012 Ohio Federation of Music Clubs Student/Collegiate Composers Contest. Her works have been performed by the PRISM Quartet, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, the Wooster Symphony Orchestra, the University of Oregon Campus Orchestra, Foothills Brass, River Falls Brass, and the Pacific Rim Gamelan, amongst other ensembles. A native of Massachusetts, Haxo earned her Bachelors of Music in Composition at The College of Wooster, where she studied with Jack Gallagher and Peter Mowrey, and her Masters of Music in Composition at Butler University, where she studied with Michael Schelle and Frank Felice. Before Wooster, Haxo spent six summers studying at The Walden School Young Musicians Program in Dublin, New Hampshire, and returned to Walden this past summer as faculty, teaching classes in composition, theory, and graphic notation. An avid Francophile, Haxo studied film, literature, and archeology at The Institute for American Universities in Aix-en-Provence, France, during the summer of 2011. Haxo is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in composition at the University of Oregon, where she studies with Robert Kyr and David Crumb and works as a Graduate Teaching Fellow in Music Theory.


Perspectives: III. The Scientist, for voice and piano (2015)

PDF score

When my church choir director first came to me with the idea of writing a song for him, I was instantly excited to see that he had selected several Emily Dickinson texts from which I could choose to use. I grew up in western Massachusetts, not far from Dickinson’s own house, and I have always loved her poetry. The texts my director selected all dealt with faith, but I was struck by the vast array of attitudes the poems had toward the subject. I ended up choosing three poems, each one representing a different perspective on faith: that of the stalwart, the child, and the scientist. In doing so, I hoped to leave my song cycle open to interpretation by both the performer and the audience. Each character at times feels a strong connection to faith—be it faith in a god or faith in a microscope—while at other moments begins to feel inklings of doubt. It is for each listener and performer to decide with whose perspective she most agrees, or whether she chooses to view faith from an entirely different perspective altogether.

Et puis encore, for string quartet (2014)

PDF score

Et puis encore (2014) was written for the Ligeia Quartet, who premiered the work in April 2014 at Butler University in Indianapolis. The title is taken from a poem by French poet Charles Baudelaire entitled Le Voyage (1861), which describes the excitement and eventual disillusionment of young travelers. Early in their journey, they meet a group of more experienced travelers and ask them what they have seen, inquiring, “Et puis, et puis encore?” Although I selected the title after writing the piece, I thought Baudelaire’s poem of yearning and sorrow fit perfectly with the musical environment I created.