Snow-Flakes (1998) was my first foray into writing for children's choir. The piece was commissioned by Amy. F. Bernon for the Litchfield County Children's Choir (Watertown, CT). The first step, for me, in writing a choral piece is finding a good poem to set. I asked my then-to-be husband and resident poetry expert, Christoph Irmscher, for suggestions. He excitedly pulled one of his many poetry books off the shelf and showed me Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Snow-Flakes." By the time I got to the end of the poem, I was already hearing in my head the opening piano gesture, which evokes the falling snow. This particular poem was very easy to set to music, because the repeating rhythms in the poem suggested the rhythms in the music. The phrases of the poem that build up to a resolution only at the end of each stanza translated beautifully into music as well.
This piece is available from Boosey & Hawkes.
The Litchfield County Children's Choir
Amy F. Bernon, Director