“Homage to Persichetti” (1990) was composed in response to a call for scores from the Syracuse chapter of the American Guild of Organists for its 1991 regional convention. The title refers to the American composer Vincent Persichetti (1915–87) who among his many compositions in all forms wrote two volumes of “Hymns and Responses for the Church Year,” extremely creative volumes that provide service music set to many texts by noted poets such as W. H. Auden and E. E. Cummings. As a child, Correll remembers her mother using those responses with her church choir and admired the beauty and interplay of Persichetti’s distinctive chord colors. Much like how Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin” pays homage to a past master without directly imitating style, Correll’s “Homage to Persichetti” does not attempt to emulate Persichetti’s most characteristic bi-tonal sounds, but does employ a free interplay of the intervals of 4ths and 5ths as he would sometimes do in his music.
Janet Correll was born September 2, 1942 in East St. Louis, Illinois. She holds music degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Correll is a former professor of music (Cayuga Community College in Auburn, New York) and served as teacher and organist in Illinois, Indiana, Texas, and New York State. She continues to compose and play organ and harp in her home of Chicago, Illinois. Correll’s organ music is published by Wayne Leupold Editions and her harp music by Lyon & Healy.