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View a video reading of the poem "Mother to Son."
Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (choral version) by Vox Femina Los Angeles, Iris S. Levine, conductor
Download a PDF file of this composition (solo version). This file of excerpted sample pages is for perusal only and is not printable.
Download a PDF file of this composition (choral version). This file of excerpted sample pages is for perusal only and is not printable.
(Photograph from a performance at the New Canaan, Connecticut library -- soprano Diana Solomon-Glover with pianist Larry Wolf, with the composer as page-turner!)
Soprano and piano version premiered by Marjorie Drysdale, soprano and Marta Borgstrom, pianist at the "Celebration of the Music Makers" Festival, Chandler Hall, Randolph, Vermont, October 13, 2007
Mother to Son is based on the well-known, powerful Langston Hughes poem of the same name. The mother (voice) is indeed a strong woman, one who has persevered and is still climbing, still surviving. "Well, son I'll tell you, life for me ainít been no crystal stair."
Notes by the composer