I really enjoy the poetry of Louisa May Alcott, and I decided to create a song cycle comprised of six of her relatively short poems. I tried to pull together poems that are particularly fun, witty, and whimsical. As I began choosing these texts, I realized that it would be fun to organize them in a way that could depict a summer day: the first poem opens with “Awake! Awake!” The second talks about jumping among lily pads, the third describes spring flowers, and the fourth portrays a squirrel and his acorn adventures. The fifth seems to be about bees or another animal in a sort of dream-like story – I picture this as the point at which we dose off to sleep. The sixth and final poem is a lovely lullaby which brings the day to an end. Musically, I tried to create melodies and textures that mirror the fun and wit of the poetry. There is a variety of music, from very light spring-like dancing in the opening song, to the quiet and delicate lullaby at the end.
Commissioned by the following musicians and institutions:
Dr. Brenton F. Alston – Florida International University Dr. Daniel Belongia – Illinois State University Dr. Justin Davis – Greatbatch School of Music, Houghton College Mr. Duane Hill – Texas Tech University Dr. John Oelrich – University of Tennessee at Martin Dr. David Ragsdale – University of Alabama Huntsville Dr. Catherine Rand – University of Southern Mississippi Dr. Jason Rinehart & Dr. Claire Vangelisti – University of Louisiana at Monroe Dr. Mark Scatterday – Eastman School of Music Mr. Timothy Shade – University of Miami Dr. Mark Walker – Troy University
Read more about the work here.