Gwyneth Walker

My Girls

for SSA Chorus (1998)

Return to Gwyneth Walker Music Catalog
Read Woman of Words, Woman of Music by Kathy O'Connell, Hartford Advocate (an article about Lucille Clifton and Gwyneth Walker).
Read The Music of the Spheres and Then Some by Steve Metcalf, Hartford Courant.
Read a letter to Lucille Clifton by Janice Scalza, regarding the interpretation and experience of her poetry

Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of the first movement of this work performed by the Celestial Sirens of Early Music Vermont.
Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of the second movement of this work.
Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of the third movement of this work.

Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of the first movement of this work performed by the Westridge High School Glee Club, Paul Stephenson, conductor.
Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of the second movement of this work.
Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of the third movement of this work.

Download an an MP3 file of the first movement of this work performed by the Celestial Sirens of Early Music Vermont.
Download an an MP3 file of the second movement of this work.
Download an an MP3 file of the third movement of this work.

Download an an MP3 file of the first movement of this work by the Westridge High School Glee Club, Paul Stephenson, conductor.
Download an an MP3 file of the second movement of this work.
Download an an MP3 file of the third movement of this work.

Download an an MP3 file of the third movement of this work by Bel Canto of Orlando, Florida.

Download an MPEG video file of a performance at the Sunken Gardens Poetry Festival in 1998, with poet Lucille Clifton. (N.B.: This file is 280 mb. in size. Download only if on a high-speed internet connection.)

Download an a MP3 file of a question and answer session with poet Lucille Clifton and composer Gwyneth Walker during a residency at SUNY Fredonia, New York in April 2007.

(a CD recording is available from Celestial Sirens)
(a CD recording is available from Westridge High School Glee Club)

View/download a PDF file of selected sample pages from the first movement of this work.
View/download a PDF file of selected sample pages from the second movement of this work.
View/download a PDF file of selected sample pages from the third movement of this work.

Download a PDF file of the poetry used in this work as text for printing in concert programs.

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


These are songs about lively, spirited, confident, fun-loving girls -- greeting each other in the hallway at school ("Hey, girl!"), reaching for the door, running down the street, heading for "high ground." There is energy and humor in both the poetic and musical language.

The choral arrangements for women's chorus were created especially for a Music and Poetry Evening at the Sunken Gardens Poetry Festival in Farmington, Connecticut -- September 2, 1998. The performers were CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists) with Lucille Clifton reading her own poems.

The poem "Sisters" was written by Lucille Clifton as a birthday present for her sister, Elaine Philip, who was a singer. The closing lines of the poem refer to this:

only where you sing
i poet

Lucille Clifton (poet) was born in 1936 in Depew, New York and educated at Howard University and the State University of New York at Fredonia. Formerly the Poet Laureate of the State of Maryland, she has taught at Goucher College and the American University in Washington, DC.

Notes by the composer



Errata in first edition of the score -- "Sisters" -- In m. 40, in the second half of the m., S 2 should sing the pitches A G A, rather than A F A. [The harmony is A Minor 7.]