Sheila Firestone (b. 20 December 1941, Bronx, New York) began to study musical composition in 1988, first with Joseph Dillon Ford in Miami, and since 2000 with Dr. Tom McKinley in Boca Raton, Florida. Today she is composer-in-residence at Temple Sinai of Palm Beach County, where her sacred works are performed periodically. In 2006 her trio, Introduction and Dance, was premiered in Washington, D. C., and the previous year she received two first prizes from the Florida State Association of the National League of the American Pen Women for her Petite Suite and Rhapsody for String Orchestra. In 2003 the same organization awarded Sheila first place for Introduction and Dance and second place for her Sonatina No. 1. In 1994 The South Florida Youth Symphony premiered her setting of Psalm 117 and "Because I Love." Her piano music has enjoyed frequent performances in south Florida, and the University of Miami Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota has presented several spring concerts of her works.
Sheila publishes many of her own scores under the Songs for a New Day imprint, and has recorded CDs in a wide variety of genres for children, art music enthusiasts, and spiritual seekers. Actively engaged with a variety of musical styles, she is strongly committed to the future of tonality:
People love to walk away from a concert or evening of music humming a tune, being haunted by a melody that was beautiful and memorable to them. Tonal music allows for those moments of truth when a work speaks to the soul. Some works speak directly and simply to a particular emotion, while others seem to slowly work their way into the spirit, and require being heard many times. The desire for the listener to receive such works and repeat the experience, I believe, stems from the various traditions and styles of tonal music. I am a great fan of chromatic music, and the various modal forms and scales.