Paul Iserman Elwood (born 1958) is a composer and banjo player. He received his B.M.E. at Wichita State University, his M.M. in composition from Southern Methodist University, and his Ph.D. in composition from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He served on the faculty at Brevard College in North Carolina where he taught composition, music theory and sight singing. In the fall of 1998 he was the Southern Regional Visiting Composer at the American Academy in Rome. He is currently a professor at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado.
The music of Paul Elwood often incorporates his background as a folk musician and experimentalist on the five-string banjo with that of his voice as a composer who loves the processes and syntax of contemporary writing. Residencies he has received include the American Academy in Rome as Southern Regional Visiting Composer, the Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, MacDowell Colony, Djerassi Artists Residence Program, Ucross Foundation, Camargo Foundation (France), Fundación Valparaíso (Spain), and the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos.
In 2000 he was awarded the Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies Inter-American Music Award for Vigils for solo piano, and was featured as a composer and performer in Moscow, Mexico City, Marseille, Wollongong, Edinburgh, Darmstadt, and across the United States. As a composer his music has been performed by the symphonies of North Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, and Wichita, and by the Callithumpian Consort of the New England Conservatory, Zeitgeist, pianist Stephen Drury, Tambuco (the Mexican Percussion Quartet), and pipa players Min Xiaofen and Gao Hong, among others.
As a performer he won the Kansas State Banjo Championship, worked with guitarist Eugene Chadbourne, cellist Hank Roberts, French saxophonist Raphael Imbert, Andrew Bishop's Hank Williams Project, Electric Cowboy Cacophony, and bluegrass legend John Hartford, performed live on MTV Europe, and played percussion in a number of orchestras. His music is published by C.F. Peters and Smith Publications. Elwood's teachers were J.C. Combs, percussion, and composers Donald Erb, David Felder, Walter Mays, Arthur S. Wolff, and Charles Wuorinen.
List of works:
"Let's Go Pet The Lion: an example of minor 6ths",
Over Looking Glass Falls (2006), orchestra, premiered February, 2007 by the North Carolina Symphony. The concert was broadcast by WCPE-FM on July 2, 2007.,
Psalm Eight (2005), mixed chorus (SATB), King James text.,
Winter Fires (2005), women's chorus (SAA), Text by David St. John.,
Hymn (2005), women's chorus (SAA), Text by Jack Kerouac.,
In the Middle (2005), mixed chorus (SATB), Text by Paul Elwood.,
Capricious Apparitions for 2 violas and bowed banjo (2009)