Settings of American poetry
Good evening, everyone.
I asked for suggestions of settings of American poets, and I received
numerous emails for inputyou folks are tops, and I thank you all, and the
compilation is below.
On a sadder note, I wanted to mention the passing of a colleague, not
well-known to the Choralist world, but weighing heavily on my own mind at
the moment. Bill Gibson, percussionist and much-loved music teacher from
Tuftonboro (Kingswood Reg HS, Wolfeboro), NH, succumbed to cancer last week.
Thoughts and prayers, please, for his family: a music teacher wife and two
sons, 11th & 8th grades. The band stops playing, the applause dies down
and the score of his opus quietly closes, but the notes, melodies and
phrases live on in the hearts of his musicians for lifetimes.
You mentioned Whitman specifically, which brought to mind a piece called
"The Mystic Trumpeter" by Williametta Spencer. Another piece that comes to
mind is Elliot Carter's "Heart Not So Heavy As Mine."
Stephen Paulus uses great poetry...there's a list of pieces with "great
poets" on his website, I believe.
Langston Hughes settings: "I Dream a World" by Andre Thomas- pretty easy.
"In Time of Silver Rain" by Z. Randall Stroope (part of a trilogy with "The
André Thomas has a setting of Langston Hughes' "I Dream a World"
Check out the John Berger trilogy: "Three Poems by Emily Dickinson"---
Persichetti's Celebrations use Whitman.
For such queries, do not miss a visit of Musica, the database ofd choral
Samuel Barber - Let Down the Bars (Emily Dickinson), Sure on this Shining
Night (Louise Bogan), and others
Cecil Effinger - Four Pastorales (T.H. Ferril)
TONS of Kirke Mechem's stuff should fit the bill, and he's a great
Margaret Bonds - Ballad of the Brown
Vincent Persichetti's four settings of e.e. cummings
You might check out Daniel Pinkham's settings of Norma Farber
Emma Lou Diemer on a poem of Edgar Allan Poe, Eldorado.
I Hear America Singing by Lloyd Pfaustch and I Dream A World text
Langston Hughes, music Rosephanye Powell.
Applebaum (robapple(a)comcast.net), ask him for his setting of "I, Too, Sing
Brian Holmes setting of Let Evening Come, based on the poem of Jane Kenyon
Exhilaration is the Breeze" the Dickenson poem set by Neil Ginsberg
Strommens setting of Whitman's "Setting Sail"
Mulholland setting of "Life Has Loveliness to Sell" with text by Sara
David Conte's "Invocation and Dance"
Robert Sanders "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed." It's the
Whitman poem on the death on Lincoln.
In addition, Wallace DePue, Greg Bartholomew and Dan Gawthrop both sent
along some of their own settings; thanks! And Paul Ayres suggests his
Teasdale setting. Stuart McIntosh suggests his setting of John Burroughs's
As always, the List is an incredible resource.
Thank you all,
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