Thank you for taking the time to send me your suggestions. Below is a
compilation of the responses.
Choral Director/Music Teacher
Beverly Vista School
Beverly Hills CA
1. "Contrasts" music by Robert H. Young to two poems by Christina Rossetti
: "For Sweet Things Dying" and " A Birthday" This is a Gentry Publication:
JG2233 SATB with divisi, a cappella
2. "I Will Be Earth" music by Gwyneth Walker to a poem by May Swenson
published by E.C. Schirmer. Was originally written for women's voices and
piano but has been re-voiced by the composer for SATB and piano
(Don't know if this is the same Rossetti in Washburn's "Rossetti Songs")
Albany Pro Musica Chamber Chorus
Albany, New York
"America the Beautiful," Katharine Lee Bates.
When she went to teach in Colorado for the summer, for example, she
insisted that they find a token job for her special friend. I forget the
details, but you can find background information in lots of places.
Here's the paragraph I wrote as an Arranger's Note -- I don't mention that
aspect of her life, but I found some other fun facts.
About the poet:
Katharine Lee Bates grew up in Falmouth, Massachusetts, where she began
writing poems in a little red notebook at the age of nine. Memorials in
her home town include the Shining Sea Bike Path, a life-size bronze statue,
and a feather from Polonius, her parrot. Bates graduated from Wellesley
College and spent most of her professional life teaching in the English
department there. She wrote prize-winning children's stories and books,
patriotic and sentimental poetry, and scholarly studies of early English
plays. She taught early English drama in the summer session of Colorado
College from July 10 to 28, 1893. On July 22 she participated in a college
excursion to Pikes Peak. The expansive view from the summit inspired her
to write a poem that started "O beautiful for halcyon skies...above the
enameled plain." Bates first published the poem in the weekly journal The
Congregationalist on July 4, 1895. She published a revised version in the
Boston Evening Transcript on November 19, 1904, and a final revision before
1912. The present arrangement sets the first and fourth verses of her text.
Good luck with this interesting project. I think you'll find that with
historical poets it's hard to define who's GLBT.
Director of Choral Activities, Lafayette College
Isn't there an interesting setting of "My True Love hath my heart, and I
have his" by Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney?)? I don't know anything about the
Certainly don't leave out Hanson's "Song of Democracy" with Whitman's text!
I also agree with you: the Foltz "She Walks" is also my favorite!
I have programmed "Coming in the Fall" a setting of Dickinson's poem by
Jonathan Adams, published by Alliance.
Best of Luck,
Bruce C. Lengacher
Acalanes High School
I have two pieces that may interest you for your project concerning SATB
settings of GLBT poets.
To a Locomotive in Winter (for unaccompanied mixed choir; duration 6 min.)
A setting of a poem by Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892) first published in "Two
Rivulets" in 1876, and subsequently published in "Leaves of Grass," 1900.
Locomotive in Winter" received a reading by the Gregg Smith Singers at the
Adirondack Festival of American Music. The Oregon Repertory Singers presented
the premiere performance at the Oregon Bach Festival on Saturday, July 6,
2002. Tom Manoff, classical music reviewer for National Public Radio, wrote in
the Eugene Register Guard:
Greg Bartholomew, a fine composer not afraid of accessibility, set Walt
Whitman's To a Locomotive in Winter in a sturdy, lyrical style. Tuneful and
diatonic, the music seemed appropriately Whitman-esque.
Seattle Pro Musica performed the work on March 8 & 9, 2003, in a concert
entitled "Best of the Northwest."
Stoke Fleming (for unaccompanied mixed choir; duration 3:30)
Stoke Fleming is a small hamlet southwest of Dartmouth on the English
Channel. The sensuous text for this meditation on the rocks and the waves
by the composer (who is gay) during a weekend stay there in 1978. The music
was completed in January 2000. The piece received a reading by the Gregg Smith
Singers at the 2000 Adirondack Festival of American Music.
Gorgeous pieces by Gwyneth Walker for women's chorus. The texts are by
Mary Swenson, publ. by EC Schirmer. I think they're called "songs for
women's voices." They include
I will be earth
Love is a rain of diamonds and more....
You might consider: Samuel Barber (himself gay), Let down the bars, o death
(Whitman); William Bergsma's Wishes, Wonders, Portents, Charms (includes
Whitman); Elliott Carter's Heart not so heavy as mine (Emily Dickinson);
Dello Joio's Vigil Strange (Whitman); Leonard Bernstein's Warmup (from Mass).
All of these works are available except the Dello Joio--and also Gordon's
Three by Langston-- are available at very reasonable rates from our rental
library. See our website for details or contact me.
Hope this helps. Best wishes in your programming,
Scott Gillam (scott_gillam(a)hotmail.com)
NAS Choral Music Rental Library (www.nasingers.org)
What a fascinating idea! Please post a compilation.
You know, Shakespeare could be included on this list - definitely a "B".
And the settings of his works are so numerous as to be overwhelming.
I wrote an a cappella piece based on "She Walks In Beauty" I think you
would enjoy. The recording on my website was recently made by the choir at
Fresno State with Dr. Anna Hamre directing. You can hear the recording,
see the score, and read program notes at
http://www.gladdemusic.com/shewalks.htm I'd love to have you perform
it! Scores can be ordered directly from me. Other titles of mine can be
seen at my online catalogue - http://www.gladdemusic.com/4music.htm
Please consider the following piece. If the description appeals to you, I
will send you a score and CD containing a performance of the music.
*WITH RUE MY HEART IS LADEN (SATB) was published by Moon of Hope
Publishing, but is distributed only by Picardie Court Publications. Wallace
De Pue set music to A. E. Housman's poem:
With rue my heart is laden, for golden friends I had,
for many a rose-lipped maiden and many a light-foot lad.
By brooks too broad for leaping, the light-foot lads are laid.
The rose-lipped maids are sleeping, in fields where roses fade.
This piece is somber in nature and provides an excellent contrast to a
program of fast, driving music. The music is as pensive and delicate as
the soul moving text. The written vocal ranges are: Soprano: C1-g2; Alto:
g-c2; Tenor: G1-g2; Bass: G-D1. EASY TO MEDIUM
Wallace De Pue
* My e-mail address is
* My homepage is http://mustec.bgsu.edu/~wallace *
It was nice to see my Rossetti Songs included in your list. If you have any
questions I'd be happy to help.
Artistic and Executive Director
Vancouver Chamber Choir
186 West 18th Avenue, Vancouver, Canada V5Y 2A5
At 04:03 PM 10/1/03 -0700, Colleen Kennedy wrote:
>I am trying to put together a program of SATB music with texts by
>gay/lesbian poets. Currently I have found:
>- She Walk in Beauty, Foltz (Lord Byron) - I know there are other
>arrangements of this text - this is my favorite!
>- Dickinson Madrigal, Bourland
>- 2 Poems by Emily Dickinson, Diemer
>- 3 by Langston, Gordon
>- Rossetti Songs, Washburn
>- Stein Times Seven, Kernis
>- Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun, Butler (Whitman)
>- 3 Whitman Settings, Clausen
>- Whitman Madrigal, Iannaccone
>I know there's a ton of stuff out there. If anyone could please offer some
>suggestions as well as comments on the above titles, I would very much
>appreciate it. Thank you.