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A Winter Bluejay


Composed in 2013

For soprano, oboe, and clarinet

Duration: 6:00

Text: Sara Teasdale (public domain)


Crisply the bright snow whispered,

Crunching beneath our feet;


Behind us as we walked along the parkway,

Our shadows danced,

Fantastic shapes in vivid blue.


Across the lake the skaters

Flew to and fro,

With sharp turns weaving

A frail invisible net.


In ecstacy the earth

Drank the silver sunlight;

In ecstacy the skaters

Drank the wine of speed;

In ecstacy we laughed

Drinking the wine of love.


Had not the music of our joy

Sounded its highest note?


But no,

For suddenly, with lifted eyes you said,

“Oh look!”

There, on the black bough of a snow flecked maple,

Fearless and gay as our love,

A bluejay cocked his crest!


Oh who can tell the range of joy

Or set the bounds of beauty?


First Performance: 21 December 2015 

St. James by the Sea, La Jolla, CA

Katina Mitchell, soprano;

Rachel Van Amburgh, oboe;

Afendi Yusuf, clarinet



Related Works:

Mountain Air

My Last Duchess

Songs and Dances

What Beckons

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