Composing innovative, high-quality sacred and secular choral music is the core of my professional and personal life...

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Denice Rippentrop - The American Prize Semi-Finalist

Featured Performance

"Behold, My God Is My Salvation"

Composed and Arranged by Denice Rippentrop

Recorded by "The First Readings Project" J. David Moore, Conductor, Minneapolis, MN.

Video Produced by Clay Ashworth


Featured Audio

"Royal Scars"

 The First Readings Projects - J. David Moore, Music Director

A Virtual Performance

"If At The Moment"

Vanessa Libby - Soprano Soloist  |  Alison Beck - Piano

"Earth Turns Inside Out"

Mr. Bob Wills, choral director of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, St. Paul, MN and the choir were selected to perform on June 21, 1998, at the Basilica of St. Peter’s. Vatican City, Italy.

Earth Turns Inside Out

The Story


Mr. Bob Wills, choral director of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, St. Paul, MN and the choir were selected to perform on June 21, 1998, at the Basilica of St. Peter’s. Vatican City, Italy. I had the privilege to work with Mr. Wills and his choir when I was selected in 1995-96 Composer-In-Residency Program for the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church as well as Wooddale Church and Hennepin United Methodist Church, Minneapolis, MN. This residency was through the American Composers Forum made possible by the Bremer Foundation.


Late in the spring of 1997, Mr. Wills asked me to write a composition for his choir. The composition would be premiered on their concert in Rome. Mr. Wills gave me no guidelines to follow which as a writer of text and music, I was most grateful because I would have freedom in creating this piece.


THE WORK…….I always start with my text. If the text is right, the music will follow. Daily in my prayers, I pray about my text and music that God is glorified, souls come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and others are strengthen in their love and work for Christ. I try as hard as I can to have these three components in my text.


I begin to write and nothing comes……..then……the thought of sin, the wickedness, destructive horrifying sin in our lives that keeps us away from Jesus Christ penetrates my mind and soul. How can I display the horror of sin in my text? What words can I use to say what our sins laid upon Christ on the cross? How can my words make Christ’s pain felt in our souls? What words portray the shedding of Christ’s blood? How was I to bring joy, the joy Christ feels when a soul comes to His Saving Cross?



Earth Turns Inside Out,

Piercing the Lamb’s hands, side and feet.

It is in these wounds

The Blood of Christ Sings.

© 1997 Denice Rippentrop


THE MUSIC……..How could I “create” sin? I choose the tritone. In the early church, the triton symbolized the devil and sin. In the Catholic Church, a composer using the tritone would be killed. The tritone is heard “tearing” the earth apart. It is not until the word “Lamb” is sung that there is any type of relief from this disturbing and penetrating sound of sin. “Lamb” is on a C major chord. The music takes off in its vengeance again as “piercing” is repeated many times. Then the beauty of Christ and His work begins to be heard. “It is in these wounds” the choir sings passionate this phrase weaving in and out of the vocal parts. “The blood of Christ sings” takes on the character of suffering in the use of dissonant sounds and then the melodic and soothing sounds are heard as the joy of Christ is heard musically. The piece ends in twelve parts symbolizing the Twelve Apostles.


THE DIVINE……When I started to write the text and the phrase “Earth Turns Inside Out” comes into creation, Rome was experiencing an earthquake. When Mr. Wills went to Rome to meet with the Vatican officials to discuss the performance, the Vatican asked Mr. Wills to consider another place for the performance besides the Basicila of St. Peter’s. In Mr. Wills’ mind, he thought the Basicila was the only place for their performance. When the Vatican officials took him to the other place and

Mr. Wills walked into this absolutely beautiful sanctuary, he decides this was the place for performance. It was not until after he makes this decision, he finds out the name of the place which was The Church of the Twelve Apostles. Mr. Wills informed the Vatican officials about Earth Turns Inside Out ending in twelve parts symbolizing the Twelve Apostles. The Priest blest the piece. The Apostles Philip and James tombs are in this church.


Two other facts about the Church of the Twelve Apostles are – The funeral of Michelangelo was held in this church and The Church of the Twelve Apostles is the third oldest church in the world.


THE PERFORMANCE…….On June 21, 1998, the performance of Earth Turns Inside Out took place. The performance by Mr. Will and the Chorus was a spiritual and moving experience. My husband and I were able to go to Rome and we were able to take in these wonderful moments.


MY PATH………….I am a composer who is creating my own path. I sincerely hope you find Earth Turns Inside Out an innovative choral composition. It is a piece that is on its way standing the test of time. Earth Turns Inside Out was included in the Music and Worship Reading Session at the 1999 National ACDA Choral Convention in Chicago.

Music Store

New Release

15 Song CD


(What Do I Know About Calvary Love?)

The Story

Behind the Music


I have always taken great inspiration from the missionary work of Amy Carmichael in India. Not long ago, I received a message that could only have come from God...


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CD - $15.99

Song Book - $18.00

For multiple copy orders, please contact Denice for pricing.

18 Song CD - $10

15 Song CD - $10

15 Song CD - $10

5 Song CD - $2

Strokes of the Pen

“Denice Rippentrop’s music –  unfailing works from the spirit outward – beginning with the soul and singing through the words.”

- Libby Larsen

Grammy Award Winning Composer 

“For our Music of Passion concert to begin Holy Week, your The Atonement was paired with a requiem. Learning and preparing your piece was a marvelous experience for the choir; hearing it was an equally powerful time for the audience.”

- William H. Mathis

Minister of Music and Fine Arts, Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church, Minneapolis, MN.

“You have some really lovely gestures in The Sacred Seed. And the text is so compellingly beautiful….”

- Howard Helvey

Composer, Arranger, Pianist

- Dr. Jody Rockmaker

Arizona State University Associate Professor of Music, Composition and Theory

Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

“Denice is a composer who writes passionate, heartfelt, compositions, usually with a religious theme. Her texts come from scripture, but she also sets her own poetry and thoughts. Denice know how to use the chorus to great effect. Her voicings are rich, and the use of harmony compelling.”

- Jeff Harris, Conductor

The Sonoran Desert Chorale

“The Desert Trilogy is a wonderful exploration of text and sounds in expressing ultimately – hope. The Sonoran Desert Choral was very pleased with the Trilogy – as was our audience – enjoy the colors of Light and Hope.”

“A recording of three new choral pieces by Denice -- each with individual character, but all filled with Denice's special spiritual touch.  "Whispering Palms" captures a medieval-like plainsong idea, but with a contemporary folk-like feel.  The key of D minor captures that mood!  "The Cross" for larger forces builds on arpeggiations mimicked in the handbells.  It crescendos with handbells, timpani, and piano to a powerful climax on "To know we are everything to God!"  The rhythmic "Yahweh's Love" lets claves chatter over the energetic text -- a real delight!”

- Dr. Peter Hendrickson

Choral Conductor, Augsburg College

Minneapolis, MN

Copyright © 1997- | Beautiful Star Publishing, Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Denice Rippentrop - The American Prize Semi-Finalist

Denice Rippentrop - The American Prize Semi-Finalist

Denice Rippentrop - The American Prize Semi-Finalist

Denice Rippentrop - The American Prize Semi-Finalist

Denice Rippentrop - The American Prize Semi-Finalist