Lora Aborn began music studies at the Effa Ellis Perfield School of Music in New York City, studying piano, music theory and composition.
Upon her mother’s death she was sent to live with her maternal aunt in California where she stayed through 4 years of high school. There she studied piano and voice, played with the school orchestra and chorus and a 4-piece jazz band earning her first “money”.
As her mother had planned, she attended Oberlin Conservatory where a talent for composing was recognized and she was taught composition privately and generously by Dr. George W. Andrews, dean of the school.
Continuing her studies at the American Conservatory in Chicago she was awarded the gold medal for composition when she graduated. She continued studying under her composition teacher, John Palmer, as a protégé for many years.
Miss Aborn has written in all categories: ballet, voice (solo and choral), instrumental, piano, organ, opera, orchestra and varied chamber works.
Lora Aborn’s music has been played in various forms throughout the United States, in Europe and in China, and she was named in the list of top American women composers.
Among her commissioned works are five full length ballets and many solo dances for Walter Camryn, Bentley Stone, Ruth Page and the Chicago Grand Opera Ballet Company, two commissioned works for the Chicago Chamber Choir and “The Mystic Trumpeter” for trumpet solo, baritone and organ, commissioned by Dexter Bailey, concert organist.
“The Mystic Trumpeter” with text by Walt Whitman was transcribed for orchestra, trumpet and voice and first played by The Lake Forest Symphony in 1980 with Victor Aitay conductor, and by Oak Park-River Forest Symphony in 1982, Perry Crafton conductor. In 1987 the ballet score “In My Landscape” was performed by The Oak Park Symphony with Robert Smith, narrator.
Lora Aborn was for many years organist and director of music at the Unitarian Universalist Church, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple, where she was composer-in-residence.
As a lifetime composer whose career spanned over seven decades, one of her special joys was writing vocal solos and choral works, to texts of her own choosing for the Unitarian church services.
Three of Lora’s compositions are featured on the CD “My Native Land” (1997), A Collection of American Songs, performed by world-renowned mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore. The works are: “T’is Winter Now”, “Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day”, and “Make Me An Instrument Of Thy Peace”. Click here if you would like to purchase this CD.