Still flying high after Monday night’s performance of How Do I Love Thee? by the Pennsylvania Girlchoir under the direction of Vincent Metallo. This was part of the June 16th Commonwealth Youth Choirs Gala in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, continuing the 10th Anniversary celebration of the Girlchoir. The concert included the Keystone State Boychoir and many other groups.
But if that weren’t enough, the emcee for the evening was Miss America Nina Davuluri. So that means, you bet it does, that my name was read by Miss America from the stage of Verizon Hall.
More information about my setting of the famous Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem is here. The girls sounded wonderfully focused and exquisite in that space, and I cannot say enough about Vincent’s directing. His preparation of my piece and others chosen for this evening (including two difficult and ravishing Eastern European works) show the amount of work that goes into an “effortless” performance. What a blessing to be a part of it.
SSAA with piano or string quartet, 7′. Commissioned by the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, Vincent Metallo, music director, for its Tenth Anniversary. Premiered 1 June 2014, the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and Ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith;
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
“Sonnet 43,” Sonnets from the Portuguese, 1845