The Beauty You Have Begotten


For SATB chorus and sax quartet (2019)



Performed by the Greater New Haven Community Chorus accompanied by the Duende Saxophone Quartet and conducted by Noah Glynn


20 min.


SATB chorus and sax quartet


Amy Lowell : The Giver Of Stars
Carl Sandberg : Home
F.S. Flint : The Grass Is Beneath My Head
Georgia Douglas Johnson : When I Rise Up
Edna St. Vincent Millay : God's World
Mark Twain : Warm Summer Sun


The Giver of Stars
The grass is beneath my head
When I Rise Up
God's World
Warm Summer Sun

Program Notes

The Beauty You Have Begotten was commissioned by the Greater New Haven Community Chorus under conductor Noah Glynn. In the early stages of the collaboration, Noah expressed an interest in the piece being a reflection on the“pillars of the human experience.” While I do not pretend the selected texts and their musical settings represent a definitive set of experiences, emotions, and/or ideals that are universal to all people in all times and places, the included poems each explore different aspects of life that hopefully will be relatable to listeners. Certain themes—love, the natural world, struggle, and resilience—appear in multiple texts, creating connections between them that are often underscored musically. The first poem, “The Giver of Stars” by Amy Lowell, presents an image of romantic love that inspires the narrator to want to spread “the beauty you have begotten” into the world. The second movement sets “Home” by Carl Sandburg and focuses on familial love. and compassion. The third movement presents a moment of crisis as seen inF.S. Flint’s poem “The grass is beneath my head.” The text ends with a desire to move beyond grief, and the next poem fulfills that promise of resilience. Georgia Douglas Johnson’s “When I Rise Up” marks a turning point: the protagonist transcends their worldly trouble to find new strength and calm. Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “God’s World” expresses a deep love of nature, in contrast to the more ominous view of the world found in the third movement. The final movement sets Mark Twain’s “Warm Summer Sun” as a gentle lullaby—perhaps the song of the mother from “Home” or perhaps the song that lulls one into their final sleep at the end of life


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