CK Zehfus

CK Zehfus (Charyl Kneevers) composes music in various styles, often vocal/choral works for which she writes the lyrics. She also sets other people’s poems, and prose documents to music, and has had songs and vocal and instrumental pieces performed and published. CK earned Bachelor’s & Masters degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Illinois-Champaign in Music Theory-Composition. The former librarian lives in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Selected Works


5 movements for choir and mixed instruments, based on historical events from Gustav Buchen’s Sheboygan County History, performed 2010 by Sheboygan’s Lakeshore Chorale. Third movement, “The Phoenix Story,” premiered 1997 Phoenix Sesquicentennial Commemoration in Cedar Grove-Belgium WI.

Endorsement: “Sheboygan County boasts composers who continue to be active in our community. One of the foremost of these is Charyl Zehfus, who studied composition at the University of Illinois. Charyl’s considerable talent also extends to writing the lyrics for the compositions you will hear tonight.”

-Dr. Wayne Wildman, Conductor, Sheboygan Lakeshore Chorale, May 1, 2010


12 poets read followed by musical renditions by Zehfus. SAT soloists with mixed instrumental ensemble. LIVE Series, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 2002. (CD available)

Review: “The musical settings are as varied as the poems. They include such forms as a medieval chant, an art song, an Irish jig, a polka, blues tunes, a rock number, and even variations on our national anthem. High spirits and comedy rule much of the opus...”

-“Sing a Song of Poetry” By Richard Roe, Wisconsin Academy Review, Winter 2004

Audience feedback after PoetSongs concert at John Michael Kohler Arts Center

“I thoroughly enjoyed the performance. Each composition represented the poem both melodically and harmonically…I’m looking forward to hearing these pieces again.”

“I had invited three of our children and their spouses. Many of them are serious musicians and all remarked about the many genres in which you so competently composed.”

“We go to a lot of concerts, and this was the best concert we ever attended – a very special performance!”

FANFARE: SPIRIT ON THE LAKE for brass and percussion

Commissioned by City of Sheboygan for its 2003 sesquicentennial. The Sheboygan Symphony, Proteus 7, and the Kiel Band premiered and performed the fanfare.
Published at Music for Brass


“I’m very proud of you achieving a second Master’s Degree. Library Science and Info. may turn out to be much more practical than the composition degree…Bravo on the fact that you still are pursuing your composing, because I for one always believed in your talent and innate musicality.”

Dr. John Downey, Music Composition-Theory Professor, University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin
Dec. 12, 1987