I am always pleasantly surprised when I finally meet people whose names I have seen for years on printed music. Several misconceptions about such people spring immediately to mind; one, that composers are always old; and two, that they are very ivory-towerish, aloof, and removed from the common every-day kind of life I (I guess I mean we) seem to lead. A third misconception is that composers are men.
None of the above is true of Mary Caldwell. First, she is not old in any sense of the word, and never will be. She is very active in church and musical affairs in Pasadena, California, where she lives. She is also very prolific as a composer, and is very concerned about writing music relevant to today's children, youth, and adults. Those qualities keep anyone young. Second, Mary Caldwell is not aloof or removed in the least. We have had many enjoyable conversations and laughs over lunch, over the phone, and over the remotest things! (One lunchtime we analyzed her handwriting.) She is very human.
Third, Mary Caldwell would be a strange name indeed for a man! I assure you, she is a fine woman and a fine composer as well. All those books that list outstanding women and all their accomplishments have Mary listed in them. She is, of course, about the best in the business of writing music for church kids. Trust me. Have I ever lied to you before?