Amid Such Snows
SATB w. divisi and optional soprano solo - duration c. 6'30"
Amid Such Snows was commissioned by the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir for their tour to the North Wales International Music Festival in 2016. The work sets a selection from John Frederick Freeman's poem The Red House, and is dedicated with love to Jon and Christine Saari. In October 2016, The University of Central Missouri Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Alan Zabriskie recorded the work as a part of my residency with them in Warrensburg, MO.
On the wide fields the water gleams like snow,
And snow like water pale beneath pale sky,
When old and burdened white clouds are stooped low.
Sudden as thought, or startled near bird's cry,
The whiteness of first light on hills of snow
New dropped from skiey hills of tumbling white
Streams from the ridge to where the long woods lie;
And tall ridge-trees lift their soft crowns of white
Above slim bodies black or flecked with snow.
Warm as old fire the Red House burns yet bright
Beneath the unmelting snows of pine and larch,
While February moves as slow, as slow
As Spring might never come, never come March.
Amid such snows, by generations haunted,
By echoes, memories and dreams enchanted,
That old house called The Heart burns, burns, and still
Outbraves the mortal threat of the hanging hill.
- Adapted from The Red House, by John Frederick Freeman