KISTLER, VERA (1929-2006)

Vera Kistler (born "Vera Polenova" March 23, 1929 - died August 3, 2006), music teacher, composer and writer, grew up in Volary, Czechoslovakia. She came to the USA as the teenage bride of Thomas C. Kistler of Darlington, South Carolina in 1947 and became a naturalized citizen in 1949. Her gift of music was nourished within her from her homeland's rich musical culture as well as at Music School. In the USA, Vera graduated in Music Education from both Coker College (B.A. in 1969) and the University of South Carolina (M.A. in 1973). In 1987, she obtained the D.M.A. in Music Composition from USC as well.
Her years of music teaching of all grades enabled her to write choral compositions suited for many singers. For her lyrics, she uses texts of well-known poets or is the author of original texts herself. Among her choral works are "Song of Myself," "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening," "To the Thawing Wind," "Morning Star," "Measure Me, Sky!," "Once a Year At Christmas," "Mary's Lamb," "Marching With the River," "A Rilke Trilogy" and "Good Night, Beloved."
Of the 39 published choral and solo works, "Good Night, Beloved" is an old Czechoslovak folk song, a lullaby, which she carried in her head when she came to America fifty years ago. She had never seen it written down until she made her own four-part arrangement of it which was premiered in 1996. Her chamber and orchestral works have been receiving numerous public and private presentations.
Dr. Kistler is a published writer of three books of fiction, as well as of poems, essays and short stories in various magazines and literary quarterlies in the USA, Canada and Europe for which she has received distinguished awards.