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new works & voicings

SATB chorus & piano

text: Diane Thiel   |   8'

Diane Thiel’s text for Learning to Breathe describes a significant difference between swimming underwater and scuba diving. In the latter, holding one’s breath is not only discouraged, but can actually be harmful to one’s lungs because of pressure changes.​ This piece offers a metaphor for how to live when everything we know is changing.

SATB chorus with treble soloist

text: M.L. Smoker   |   7'

M. L. Smoker's poem embodies a landscape that initially appears unforgiving, but ultimately offers a chance to find a way home—“to become bird, tree, water again."  The town of Heart Butte is located on the southern border of Montana's Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

SATB chorus, mezzo-soprano soloist & audience

text: Barbara Crooker   |   75'

A Calendar of Light is a twenty-four movement, concert-length work. With a libretto by poet Barbara Crooker, this new piece explores how our relationship to change is mirrored in our relationship to the changing seasons. These range from small changes, like our personal triumphs and artistic failures, to the urgent and wide-ranging consequences of climate change. This piece calls for reflection and action in recurring refrains and six call-and-response movements that invite the audience to join in singing.

Available in four voicings for SATB or SSA chorus:

chorus & orchestra

chorus & chamber orchestra

chorus, string quartet & piano

chorus & piano reduction

text: Lynn Ungar   |   15'

Lynn Ungar’s poem “Magnificat” presents a human perspective on the divine, contemplating how magnifying God means making God smaller, in the form of a child. Ungar's poem grounds the traditional Christmas story in minute details like the urgent hunger of an infant. Her text, like all good poems, uses the small, precise, and confined nature of poetry to magnify our humanity.

SA, TB, or SATB chorus with piano or harp & piano

text: Julie Kane   |   7'

"Who will teach me to play / those strings that ring like bells / but cut like knives?" 

The Sallow Harp recounts a lost history: the old Irish harp tradition of playing brass- or silver-stringed instruments. Kane's poem explores the relevance of old traditions to today, even as she mourns music lost to time.

SSA or SATB chorus with string quartet and flute

text: Diane Thiel   |   18'

The two poems of Charting the World, both written by contemporary poet Diane Thiel, share a common theme: the wonder of watching a child acquire a new language. In “The First Sea,” language opens new worlds to children, unfolding fears and dreams alike. In “Counting Two,” it’s an adult perspective that shifts as a child learns to count to two.

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