Selected Works

Sheet music is available for most pieces.  Contact me for more information. 

Opera

For Whom the Dog Tolls

A 10-minute opera for soprano, piano, whistle, and duck call

For Whom the Dog Tolls depicts the lovable yet devious ways of the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, a rare and unique breed of hunting dog developed in Yarmouth, NS. Hunters generations ago discovered that ducks have a bizarre, fatal attraction to foxes. To capitalize on this, Tollers were bred to be not only excellent hunting retrievers, but small and red-headed like foxes. In the process of “tolling” (the word “toll” has origins meaning “to pull” or “to lure”), a hunter will hide in a blind by a river or lake, tossing a stick out for the dog to retrieve. Its playful movements spark curiosity in ducks to come check it out, luring them into gun range. The dog then acts as a normal retriever. Tollers, the smallest of the retriever breeds, are known for being excellent working and family dogs, needing to be mentally engaged, being highly intelligent and versatile, and having extremely high energy levels. In fact, when very excited, they can produce loud, high pitched yelping noises known as the “Toller scream.” This piece celebrates working dogs and explores the joie de vivre that dogs seem to access with awe-inspiring purity through the eyes of the toller Piper. But very careful observers might notice less adorable notions: Whose intrepidness is celebrated, and whose curiosity is deemed foolish? Who gets to move through the world with freedom, and who does not?

 

Choir:  Mixed

Ad vitam

SATB a cappella choir (some divisi), commissioned by Christ First United Methodist Church, Wasilla, AK, latin text from the Requiem mass
"Lord, make them pass from death to life."

Blindspot

8-part a cappella choir and opt. "hidden" piano, commissioned by Cantate Chamber Singers, Washington, DC, as part of a set of seven new pieces inspired by the Pange Lingua Chant, original text based on research surrounding implicit bias
Recognizing and responding to unconscious prejudices

Even So, Lord, Quickly Come

SATB a cappella choir, text excerpted from verse four of the hymn "Come Ye Thankful People, Come" by Henry Alford
Coming home "free from sorrow, free from sin"

Father, Forgive Them

SATB choir, solo SATB quartet, and organ; text from Luke 23:24; appropriate as a standalone piece or as the First Word in a Seven Last Words collection
"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Good and Faithful Servant, Well done

SATB choir and opt. piano and handbells, commissioned by Quincy Point Congregational Church, Quincy, MA, adapted biblical text
Celebrating or aspiring to good work

The Lobster Quadrille

SATB choir (some divisi), tenor or baritone soloist, and piano, text from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
A fish tries to convince a snail to join in the dance of the lobsters

The Oxen

SATB choir (some divisi), piano, and bells, text by Thomas Hardy
Reflecting on belief around Christmastime; potentially appropriate for both secular and sacred contexts
(also arranged for solo voice/unison choir, piano, and bells)

The Voiceless

SAB choir and piano, commissioned by Connecticut Yankee Chorale, text by Oliver Wendell Holmes
"Alas for those that never sing, / But die with all their music in them!"
(also arranged for soprano, mezzo, and tenor trio and piano and for solo voice and piano)

Woman, why are you weeping?

SATB a cappella choir and soprano soloist, commissioned by Quincy Point Congregational Church, Quincy, MA, text from John 20
Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene

where you go 

SATB a cappella choir and soloist, composed for the wedding of Lacy and Michael Browne, text from Ruth 1
Commitment and love
(Also arranged for solo voice and for solo voice and piano)

 

Choir:  Women's or Treble

The Dove Pursues the Griffin

SSSSAAAA choir, improvised piano, and internal piano strings; text from Helena's lines in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream
"You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant; / But yet you draw not iron, for my heart / Is true as steel"

The evening darkens over

SSAA a cappella choir, text by Robert Bridges
See poem text here

Flower Girls

SSAA choir and piano, text from the Priest translation of Goethe's Faust; can be partnered with "Soldiers" for TTBB chorus
"For the ways of women's nature / Are so near akin to art."

My Timeless Friend

SSAA a cappella choir with optional solos, text by Penelope Hernandez Ariza
A love letter to a dinosaur

rut

SSAA choir, soprano or mezzo-soprano soloist, piano, ocean drum, and optional bass guitar; text by Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay
Love's stricken "why"; Where you used to be there is a hole in the world; Heart, we will forget him

 

Choir:  Choose your own adventure

The following pieces are appropriate for various types of ensembles
*appropriate for children's choirs

The Engine*

3-part a cappella choir with optional percussion; text by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Imagining a spooky, anthropomorphized train

The Lion and the Tiger*

2- or 4- part voices and piano; text from Hilaire Belloc's The Bad Child's Book of Beasts (a 2-part partner song with optional harmonies; can be done as duet, quartet, 2-part chorus, 4-part chorus, with any voice part combinations)
Why a lion makes a terrible pet, but a tiger would be a great choice

The Oxen*

Unison choir, piano, and bells, text by Thomas Hardy
Reflecting on belief around Christmastime; potentially appropriate for both secular and sacred contexts
(also arranged for SATB choir, piano, and bells; can be performed by solo voice and piano)

WALK THE WALK

3-part a cappella choir; traditional African proverb
"If you can walk, you can dance; if you can talk, you can sing."

 

Choir:  Men's

Soldiers

TTBB choir and piano, text from the Priest translation of Goethe's Faust; can be partnered with "Flower Girls" for SSAA chorus
"Bold is the venture, / Grand is the pay!"

 

Art Song / Vocal Solo

down into

Mezzo-soprano, speaker, and piano; text by E.E. Cummings
"down into your memory and / a memory and memory / i) kiss me (will go)" 

Gloria

Medium or high voice and piano; traditional text (Spanish language)
Traditional Gloria Patri/Doxology text

OLd Man Kangaroo

Medium or high voice and piano; text adapted by Lacy Gonzalez Browne from Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories
How the kangaroo got its legs and tail

Open Your Mouth

High voice and piano; text adapted from Proverbs 31:8-9 and I Chronicles 28:20
Open your mouth for the voiceless, for the desolate... defend the rights of the poor...
(low voice versions available)

The Oxen

Medium or low voice, piano, and bells, text by Thomas Hardy
Reflecting on belief around Christmastime; potentially appropriate for both secular and sacred contexts
(also arranged for SATB choir, piano, and bells; appropriate for unison choir)

Padrenuestro

High voice and piano; traditional text (Spanish language)
The Lord's Prayer

Soothe! soothe! Soothe!

Tenor and piano, text excerpted from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass
"Close on each wave soothes the wave behind... Yet my love soothes not me, not me"

The Voiceless

High voice and piano; or soprano, mezzo, and tenor trio and piano, commissioned by Connecticut Yankee Chorale, text by Oliver Wendell Holmes
"Alas for those that never sing, / But die with all their music in them!"
(also arranged for SAB choir and piano)

where you go 

Solo voice; or medium or high voice and piano, composed for the wedding of Lacy and Michael Browne, text from Ruth 1
Commitment and love
(Also SATB a cappella choir and soloist)

Words and images of Edvard Munch

Song cycle for mezzo-soprano, speaker, and piano
I. The Kiss, mezzo-soprano and piano
II. Young Girl on the Shore, speaker and piano
III. The Voice, mezzo-soprano and piano
IV. Ashes, mezzo-soprano and speaker
V. Madonna, mezzo-soprano, speaker, and piano
The writings of Munch that accompanied his paintings set to music; meant to be performed alongside images of his works

 

Theater

Incidental music for The Glass Menagerie (Williams)

Violin and piano

Incidental Music for The Good woman of Setzuan (brecht)

Nine singers, piano, saxophone, and improvised trap set

I thought the earth remembered me:  Being Moss

Recorded music and live voice; for collaborative theater piece led by Carmen C. Wong; banished? Productions, Capital Fringe Festival, Washington, DC

Narrative the Build We

Collaborative theater piece including recorded music created with Bruce McKaig and Abby Zan; Source Festival, Washington, DC

 

Random

The Boys I Mean are Not Refined

Improvised percussion (bucket, pool cue, boots, ashtray, and tequila bottle) and speaker, text by E. E. Cummings
"the boys i mean are not refined / they cannot chat of that and this / they do not give a fart for art"

eelgrass

Fixed media (modified soprano voice); text by Edna St. Vincent Millay
"No matter what I say, / All that I really love / Is the rain that flattens on the bay, / And the eel-grass in the cove"

 

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