SATB ChoirHard7:30

City Trees (Choir)

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“…Despite being masked by the violent sounds of traffic and subway trains and howling winds, our song never stops being sung…”

Listen to City Trees

Performed by The Pittsburgh Camerata

Conducted by Mark A. Anderson

View Sample Score

City Trees

Program Note

By Michael Markowski

Every time I walk down a street in New York City, I notice the trees shackled by the sidewalk. Some have little iron fences caged around them, many have trash nestled up next to their exposed roots, and others have grown so big and become so strong that they have broken right through the pavement. Somehow, they have learned to brave this concrete jungle and have found a way to flourish in such a challenging environment. Now, whenever I feel the weight of living here, whenever I feel defeated by the impossibilities of this city, I look to these trees for comfort. As I pass beneath them, they all seem to wave their leafy pom-poms in the wind, a thousand leaves applauding, cheering me on as if I had just returned from the moon.

City Trees is about staying true to who we are no matter our environment. Despite how much the city might disagree with us, we remain firmly planted and unapologetically ourselves. Despite being masked by the violent sounds of traffic and subway trains and howling winds, our song never stops being sung. If people would only stop for a moment to listen, they might hear it.

City Trees premiered on June 7, 2023 at Shadyside Presbyterian Church (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) performed by the Pittsburgh Camerata conducted by Mark A. Anderson.

City Trees
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

The trees along this city street
Save for the traffic and the trains
Would make a sound as thin and sweet
As trees in country lanes.

(The trees… the trees…)

And people standing in their shade,
And people standing out of the rain
Would hear such music
Upon a country tree.

(The trees…)

I watch you when the wind has come,
Against the shrieking city air,
Oh, helpless little leaves…
I hear such music!

[Poem adapted by the composer.]

Commissioned By

Commissioned by the Pittsburgh Camerata; Mark A Anderson, artistic director.

Premiere

City Trees premiered on June 7, 2023 at Shadyside Presbyterian Church (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) performed by the Pittsburgh Camerata conducted by Mark A. Anderson.

View program here.

Publisher

Markowski Creative (ASCAP)

Instrumentation

SATB Choir (divisi) and Piano

Errata

No known errata.

Year Completed

2023

WeightN/A
DimensionsN/A
Difficulty

,

Genre

Vocal

Duration