Gwyneth Walker

A Song of the Future

for SSAA Chorus, Oboe, and Piano (2016)

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Download a PDF file of selected pages from the choral score of this composition. For perusal only -- not printable.

Composed for the Plano Senior High School A Cappella Women's Chorus of Plano,Texas and their 2017 Texas Music Educators Association Convention Performance, Derrick D. Brookins and Lisa Newby, Conductors

A Song of the Future is a musical setting of a text by American poet Sidney Lanier (1842-1881). The opening lines establish the central image of setting forth into a new life.

Sail Fast, sail fast, Ark of my hopes, Ark of my dreams;

The voyage into the future is aligned with Noah's journey on the Ark. Thus, the music opens with flowing lines (as waves) in the piano accompaniment leading to an Oboe theme which soars up an octave (reaching out across the sea). This theme is then adopted by the chorus.A contrasting middle section is quiet in dynamics, and small in scope, expressing the tiny dove which Noah released on a search for the new land. Both the chorus and the accompaniment speak of the trembling dove with trembling repeated notes.

The closing lines of the poem create especially beautiful imagery for the dove.

Thou art only a tiny and quiet dove, but thine eye is faith, and thy wing is love.

A journey into the future must be made with faith, and with love.

Notes by the composer