May: Green-wood Cemetery

for soprano and viola

This piece was inspired by Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, 478 acres of natural beauty, history, and sculpture. The site of the 1776 Battle of Long Island, the cemetery now features four glacial ponds and thousands of trees (including some of Brooklyn’s oldest), sheltering an astounding variety of resident and migrating birds. Continue reading 

January: Brin’s Mesa

for soprano and violin

This piece was inspired by a site in Arizona’s Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness, where in 2006 a campfire triggered the devastation of 4,000 acres. Continue reading 

When I Learned of Kalief Browder

for SSATBB Chorus

In May 2010, sixteen-year-old Kalief Browder was accused of robbery, arrested, and imprisoned on Rikers Island in New York to await trial. He was there for three years, much of the time in solitary confinement. Pressured to plead guilty, he insisted he was innocent and wanted to go to court. Continue reading 

Apart/ment

for four treble voices, alto flute, bass clarinet, cello, piano

About 60,000 people, including some 24,000 children, sleep in New York’s municipal homeless shelters each night, and thousands more sleep unsheltered on the streets. This diverse population includes people from nearly all walks of life, although the primary cause of homelessness for the majority is the severe shortage of affordable housing.

Continue reading 

Climate Honesty

for four treble voices

I wrote Climate Honesty around the time U.S. Senator James Inhofe brought a snowball to work in an attempt to deny the existence of climate change. My song is not addressed to the senator—I have no words for him—but rather to those who want to believe what people like him have to say, not only on this subject but on any where it is comfortable yet irresponsible to be ignorant.

Excerpt sung by Margaret Streeter, Crystal Tung, Julia Tang and Diana Hill. Conducted by Evelyn Troester DeGraf:

Continue reading 

The Mask of Night [chamber version]

for soprano, tenor, baritone and chamber ensemble

  1. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 5, Sc. 1
  2. The Merchant of Venice, Act 5, Sc. 1
  3. Othello, Act 5, Sc. 2
  4. Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Sc. 2
  5. Hamlet, Act 1, Sc. 5
  6. The Tempest, Act 4, Sc. 1

Continue reading