Short Bio:

Kyle Pederson (b. 1971) is a Minneapolis-based composer, lyricist, pianist, and educator. Kyle was awarded the American Prize in Choral Composition in 2019, and has also won awards from Cerddorion Choral Ensemble of NYC, National Lutheran Youth Choir, and Little Singers of Armenia.  His work has been commissioned, premiered, and recorded by All State/Honors choirs, and youth, church, college, and professional choirs around the world.  Kyle enjoys working at the intersection of the sacred and secular, and his lyrics and music invite the choir and audience to be agents of hope, grace, and compassion in the world.  Kyle has an undergraduate degree from Augustana University, a Masters Degree in Education from University of St. Thomas, and an MFA in Music Composition from Vermont College of Fine Art. His work is published by Walton, Santa Barbara, Galaxy, and Carl Fischer music publishers. Additional information and links to Kyle’s music can be found at 

Choral Awards and Commissions

American Prize Choral Composition, 2019, Winner

Composer in Residence for The Wartburg Choir, directed by Dr. Lee Nelson, 2019-2020

Roosevelt High School, directed by Robyn Starks Holcomb, Sioux Falls, SD, commission, 2019

To be premiered at the North Central/Central ACDA regional conference in March 2020

Composer in Residence for Mahtomedi Schools, MN, 2019-2020

Ithaca Choral Composition Competition, 2019, Finalist

For Bend, SATB a cappella and Heartbeat, SATB with piano and djembe

MN-ACDA All State SSAA Choir, commission, 2019

TBD piece, to be premiered in August, 2020

Minnesota Valley Men’s Chorale, directed by Steven Boehlke, commission, 2019

TBD piece, to be premiered in April 2020

Minnesota Valley Women’s Chorale, directed by Judy Sagen, commission, 2019

TBD piece, to be premiered in April 2020

First Plymouth Congregational Church, directed by Tom Trenney, commission, 2019

For Micah Blues, SATB with piano and saxophone, to be premiered in 2020

AMIS International High School Honors Choir, SATB, commission, 2018

TBD piece, to be premiered in March, 2020

Choral Arts Initiative, directed by Brandon Elliot, commission, 2018

For Remember the Children, SATB, piano and drum accompaniment

TAISM International High School Choral Festival, commission, 2018

    For Hands are Knockin', These Hands Know a Better Way, and Silver Linings, SATB, piano accompaniment

Lakeville High School Men's Chorus, directed by Jamye Casperson, commission, 2018

   For Bringers of Noise, TB with piano and taiko drums

Beau Chant, directed by Dione Peterson, commission, 2017

   For Repeat the Joy, SATB with piano, premiered at the MN ACDA convention

Little Singers of Armenia Choral Competition, Winner, 2016

    For Psallite, SSAA, a cappella

Cerddorion Emerging Composers Choral Competition (NYC), 2nd Place, 2016

    For Stars, SATB, a cappella

Elysian Singers Psalm-setting Competition (London), Semi-finalist, 2016

    For Psalm 56, SATB, a cappella

International Lutheran Youth Choir Choral Competition, Winner, 2015

    For Christ, Be Born in Us, SATB, piano accompaniment

TAISM International High School Choral Festival, commission, 2015

    For Kooloona Wahed, SATB, piano accompaniment

AMIS International Middle School Honor Choir, commission, 2016

    For Kooloona Wahed, SAB version, piano accompaniment


What others are saying about Kyle

American Prize (for award-winning portfolio of pieces):

“Evocative use of harmony, melody, rhythm and texture. Incredibly nuanced variety and balance...with great sense of pacing and idiomatic vocal lines. Inspirational, moving, and spiritual..”

Philip Spencer, founding conductor of International Lutheran Youth Choir:

“integrity of original text; independent yet supportive nature of the piano accompaniment; effective contrast of the second subject against the melody in the male voices; and contemporary flavor of the choral writing, without sounding formulaic or derivative.”

Peter Clark, Bearded review

“12.25 is a beautifully simple record, yet the talents of Kyle Pederson turn it into an exquisite, spellbinding one. These new musical arrangements capture the heartbreaking sadness and desolation that some of these tracks encompass, and the skill to which the recordings are delivered show Kyle to be a master of his art.”

Alejandro Clavijo, Founder & Editor, Reviews New Age

“Since “December” by George Winston I have not heard those impossibly lovely chords sounding from a piano.  Kyle has secured a revival of those moments but with his own character.  He uses his abilities in the jazz field to “rework” the melodies of the most famous carols, and in doing so makes listening to them a continuous surprise and a true wonder. 

Mainly Piano…Kathy Parsons

"The melodies are intact, but the stylings and instrumentation make them sound original and contemporary without changing the spiritual quality of the songs. I was enchanted by this album the first time I listened to it, and my appreciation of it continues to grow. The gorgeous, flowing arrangements create an exquisite listening experience whether or not you are looking for hymns to listen to. The music is graceful, soothing, and warmly inviting – a breathtaking treat for the ears, soul, and spirit!"

High school singers from TAISM International choral festival:  

* You have universes in your mind. Shaikha

* Thank you so much for giving us a spark to bring more light into this world. Sara H.

* Thank you for your beautiful contribution to our lives with Kooloona Wahed.  I loved the rich meaning and the chance to sing the low notes. I hope you continue to inspire the world with your work. Ethan B. 

Kyle’s wife: 

Something sounded funny there.”

Kyle’s kiddos:

Daddy, scoot over...I wanna play now.” 


Press Release:

The American Prize

Choral Arts Initiative - Composition Fellows Announcement