No Whining, No Flowers
In 2003, the Cornell University Chorus launched a commissioning project known informally as "No Whining, No Flowers". The goal of the project is to expand the contemporary repertoire for women's choirs by commissiong pieces from women composers using text from women writers. Furthermore, these texts are intended to explore topics that differ from the traditional women's repertoire themes of "Oh woe, my man has left me," and "La la, look at the all the pretty flowers" - hence the title of the project. Please see below for more information about our recently commissioned pieces.
This year's commissioned piece is Kay Rhie's modern arrangement of Kassia's Hymn, a piece traditionally sung during Catholic services in the last week of Lent.
This piece is a set of four Appalachian folk songs arranged in a more contemporary style by composer Sally Lamb.
This year, the Chorus commissioned a special piece in honor of Chorus alumna Heather Walters, '81, who passed away on August 27, 2009. Entitled To Music, the piece was composed by Cornell alumnus David Conte with text by Henry Van Dyke.
2009-2010: A Book of Spells by Libby Larsen
This piece is a set of five movements--spells--in the spirit of Halloween, the day the work was premiered. The text is by Z.E. Budapest. Larsen is a Grammy award winning composer and co-founder of the Minnesota Composers Forum, now the American Composer's Forum.
2008-2009: Chant for Great Compassion by Abbie Betinis
The text for Chant for Great Compassion, both English and Chinese transliteration, comes from Qiu Jin, Wang Erbei, and the traditional 'Great Compassion Mantra.' Betinis is a "most audacious... edgy and thrilling," young female composer known for setting texts of various cultures and time periods.
2007-2008: Juggler of Day by Augusta Read Thomas
The text for Juggler of Day comes from two Emily Dickinson poems. Augusta Read Thomas is a well known composer and teacher of music. She was the Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1997 to 2006, and was one of the two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2007.
2006-2007: Song of Perfect Propriety by Carol Barnett
The text for a Song of Perfect Propriety comes from a poem by Dorothy Parker. Carol Barnett's music has been called audacious and engaging. Her varied catalog includes works for solo voice, piano, chorus, diverse chamber ensembles, orchestra, and wind ensemble.
2005-2006: A Voice by Edie Hill
The text for a A Voice comes from a poem by May Sarton. Edie Hill is a nationally acclaimed composer whose vocal and instrumental works are frequently performed both internationally and throughout the U.S.
2004-2005: The Sadness of the Sea by Sally Lamb
The Sadness of the Seas a three movement piece with text derived from the works of Lydia Huntley Sigourney, Emily Dickinson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and the traditional children's tune Row, Row, Row Your Boat.
2003-2004: Why I Pity the Woman Who Never Spills
by Elizabeth Alexander
Why I Pity the Woman Who Never Spills is "a gutsy, sensual
blues setting of Joan Wolf Prefontaine's poem in praise of