by Roger MacNeill (Chadron State College), Nebraska Music Educator
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Read notes for I Thank You God (1998) for SSA chorus and piano
Notes about the composer tell us that she is well educated and lives on a Vermont dairy farm and composes her music surrounded by 400 Holstein cows. What a productive environment that must be, as this is one powerful piece of music. The high range required for the sopranos includes a number of G's, A's and B flats, and four final bars on high C, and thus this piece is for the more mature group or a large and accomplished high school ensemble. The twenty-one pages of writing may also seem daunting. But, believe me, this excellent piece is well worth the effort. The composer cleverly presents the e. e. cummings text (so well set earlier by Lloyd Pfautsch) and is inventive in fragmenting the text among the parts. The accompaniment is lush and achieves a unique sense of flow through the use of successive beats divided into groups of five. The choral parts are alternately playful, static, flowing and dramatic. What a truly wonderful piece this is. Five stars!