Commissions and Premieres


Enhancing and expanding the field of music for treble voices by taking a leadership role in the creation of new music is central to the vision and mission of the San Francisco Girls Chorus. To this end, the Chorus has partnered with dozens of composers, commissioned and premiered many new works that have gone on to become part of an expanding repertoire of dynamic music for young women and girls around the world. Composers including Gabriela Lena Frank, Elinor Armer, Philip Glass, Lisa Bielawa, Augusta Read Thomas, Libby Larsen, Jake Heggie, Chen Yi, Anrew Imbrie, and others have created and arranged works specifically for the Chorus.

Below is a partial list of music the San Francisco Girls Chorus has commissioned and premiered.

 

Commissioned Original Works

Santos
Music and Text: Gabriela Lena Frank and Nilo Cruz
Composition Date: 2012 (part 1 Holy Sisters) 2013 (part 2 Santos)
Premiere Date: May 3, 2013
for SSSA, soprano, mezzo-soprano and orchestra
Length: 1 hour
Published by G. Schirmer

Angel Island Passages (3 movements)
Music and Text: Chen Yi
Video: Felicia Lowe
Composition Date: 2010
Premiere Date: June 4, 2010 with Cypress String Quartet
for SSSA and string quartet
Length: 15 minutes
Published by G. Schirmer

Just Imagine…
Arranged by Dwight Okamura
Music and Text: Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim, Irving Berlin
Composition Date: 2009
Premiere Date: June 5, 2009
for SSSA, cello and piano
Length: 9 minutes

Christmas Morn
Composer: Eleanor Daley
Text: Eleanor Farjeon
Composition Date: 2008
Premiere Date: December 23, 2008
for SSAA and organ
Length: 5 minutes
Published by Alliance Music

Two E. E. Cummings Songs
Composer: Augusta Read Thomas
Text: E. E. Cummings
Composition Date: 2008
Premiere Date: October 24, 2008
for SSAA (divisi) a cappella
Length: 8:02 minutes
Published by G. Schirmer. Live recording on Heaven and Earth CD

Shim-Nyu Nul (For Ten Years)
Composer: Jeeyoung Kim
Text: Traditional Korean
Composition Date: 2007
Premiere Date: June 3, 2007
Length: 4:10

A Hope Carol
Composer: David Conte
Text: Christina Rossetti
Composition Date: January 2006
Premiere Date: March 3, 2006
for SSSA and piano
Length: 4 minutes
Recorded 2006 on Voices of Hope and Peace CD
Published by E.C. Schirmer

Vivos Voco
Composer: Joan Szymko
Text: Julian of Norwich and Latin inscriptions on medieval tower bells
Composition Date: February 2005
Premiere Date: May 20, 2005
for SSAA, piano and handbells
Length: 4 minutes
Funded by: Peter and Kathy Drake
Recorded 2006 on Voices of Hope and Peace CD

Echo
Composer: Frank La Rocca
Composition Date: Summer 2004
Premiere Date: February 11, 2005
Length: 6 minutes for SSAA a cappella
Co-commissioned by: Stanford University Lively Arts Series and the San Francisco Girls Chorus with the support of Peter and Kathy Drake
Recorded 2006 on Voices of Hope and Peace CD

Anne Frank: A Living Voice (7 movements)
Composer: Linda Tutas Haugen
Text: The Diary of Anne Frank
Composition Date: October 2002 for 1st movement; February- March 2004 for other six movements
Premiere Date: May 6, 2004
For SSA and string quartet
Length: 25 minutes
Funded by: Michael Gordon, Lauren Hoover-Gordon and Richard Rubin, Henry Kaufman for Vermeer Chocolate
Recorded 2006 on Voices of Hope and Peace CD

Runes (2 songs)
Composer: Alice Parker
Text: Elizabethan poets: Anonymous and George Peele
Composition Date: January 2004
Premiere Date: May 6, 2004
Length: 5 minutes

The Womanly Song of God
Composer: Libby Larsen
Text: Catherine DeVinck
Composition Date: August 2003
Premiere Date: October 2003
Length: 6 minutes
Published by: Oxford
For SSAA(divisi) a cappella
Recorded 2006 on Voices of Hope and Peace CD

Natura
Composer: James Meredith
Text: Emily Dickinson
Composition Date: March 2003
Premiere Date: May 30, 2003 with Sonos Handbell Ensemble
Length: 8 minutes
SSAA/SSA (choirs) and handbells

Caracolitos Chicos
Composer: Alberto Grau
Text: Lorca
Composition Date: January 2002
Premiere Date: May 17, 2002
Length: 5 minutes
Funded by: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
SSAA a cappella

O Magnum Mysterium
Composer: Kurt Erickson
Text: Traditional Advent Text in Latin
Composition Date: 2001
Premiere Date: October 26, 2001
Funded by: Hewlett Foundation
SSAA(divisi) a cappella

Patterns
Composer: Jake Heggie
Text: Amy Lowell
Composition Date: 1998
Premiere Date: May 24, 1999
Guest Artist: Frederica von Stade
Funded by: California Arts Council & Hewlett Foundation
Composer Jake Heggie Talks About Patterns

Chinese Poems (5 movements)
Composer: Chen Yi
Text: Li Po, Wang Zhi-huan, and traditional Chinese folk songs
Composition Date: 1998
Premiere Date: May 24, 1999
Funded by: California Arts Council
Chinese Poems was recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall in May 1999. Two of five movements appear on Crossroads.
Published by G. Schirmer

Letter to Anna
Composer: Lisa Bielawa
Text: Letters and dream work of Freud
Composition Date: 1998
Premiere Date: October 30, 1998
Funded by: Meet the Composer Participation Grant

Songs of Then & Now (8 movements)
Composer: Andrew Imbrie
Composition Date: 1998
Premiere Date: 1998, Cal Performance series with San Francisco Contemporary Music Players
Funded by: Creative Work Fund grant
Recorded 2001 on Andrew Imbrie Songs of Then and Now

Australian Bush Bird Songs
Composer: Stephen Leek
Composition Date: 1998
Premiere Date: June 12, 2000

SING!
Composer: Larry Farrow
Composition Date: 1996
Premiere Date: October 25, 1996
Funded by: California Arts Council Challenge Grant

Spinning Flax
Composer: Lisa Bielawa
Text: attributed to Melania the Younger, Mary Parsons, Charlotte Cadiere, St. Catherine of Siena, Anon. Patient
Composition Date: 1994
Premiere Date:June 4, 1994
Funded by: Meet the Composer Participation Grant
Length: 11 minutes
Published by: Boosey & Hawkes

 Too Young to Remember
Composer: Enric Zappa
Composition Date: 1994
Premiere Date: 1995

Anithaca…The Island of the Daughters of Penelope
Composer: Elinor Armer
Text: Ursula K. Le Guin
Commission Date: 1990
Premiere Date: October 26, 1990
Length: 16 minutes
Funded by: The Gerbode Foundation

Mera Musica Magica
Composer: Christopher Fulkerson
Text: scat syllables
Composition Date: 1990
Premiere Date: October 26, 1990
Length: 6 minutes

American Madrigals (5 movements)
Composer: Kirke Mechem
Text: American folk songs
Arrangement Completion Date: 1989
Arrangment Premiere Date: November 4, 1989
Original Composition Date: 1976
Length: 15 minutes

Songs of a Young Girl
Composer: John Geist
Text: Caryl Porter
Composition Date: 1988
Premiere Date: June 11, 1989
Length: 15 minutes

Hodie
Composer: Lisa Bielawa
Text: Trad. Latin
Composition Date: 1984
Premiere Date: 1984

Dreams
Composer: Herbert Bielawa
Text: San Francisco Girls Chorus members
Composition Date: 1984
Premiere Date: 1984
Funded by: Meet the Composer Participation Grant
 

Editions of Early Music

Venid presto flores
Composer: Anonymous, ed. Craig H. Russell
Text: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (sacred, Christmas)
Composition Date: Mexican Baroque, mid-18th century
Premiere Date: modern-day premiere, May 17, 2002
Length: 6 minutes
Funded by: Stratford-Wunderlich Family Foundation

Jesus, mi dulce amor
Composer: Anonymous, ed. Craig H. Russell
Text: sacred, non-liturgical, Lenten
Composition Date: Mexican Baroque, 1767
Premiere Date: modern-day premiere, May 17, 2002
Length: 5 minutes
Funded by: Stratford-Wunderlich Family Foundation

Montes y valles
Composer: Anonymous, ed. Craig H. Russell
Text: sacred, non-liturgical
Composition Date: Mexican Baroque, mid-18th c.
Premiere Date: modern-day premiere, May 17, 2002
Length: 8 minutes
Funded by: Stratford-Wunderlich Family Foundation
 

Written for & Premiered by SF Girls Chorus

Rip Rap
Composer: Luciana Sousa
Composition Date: 2007
Premiere Date: October 20, 2007 at the Herbst Theatre, San Francisco

Four Songs for Girls Chorus and Electronic Tape
Composer: Judith Shatin
Composition Date: 1993
Premiere Date: October 28, 1994

The Night Before Christmas
Composer: Ron McFarland
Text: Clement Clark Moore
Composition Date: 1991
Arrangement Premiere Date: December 14, 1991
 

Arrangements Written for SF Girls Chorus

Ten Thousand Miles
Composer: Traditional American folksong
Arranger: Thomas Porter
Arrangement Composition date: June 2006
Arrangement Premiere date: October 20, 2006
for SSA div., fiddle and piano
Published by Alliance Music

Cripple Creek
Composer: Traditional American folksong
Arranger: Thomas Porter
Arrangement Composition date: July 2006
Arrangement. Premiere date: October 20, 2006
Published by Alliance Music

It’s De-Lovely
Composer: Cole Porter
Arranger: Nolan Gasser
Arrangement Composition Date: 2005
Arrangement Premiere Date: March 18, 2005
for SSAA, piano, drums, and bass
Length: 4:52 minutes
Funded by: Peter and Kathy Drake

Sachaki
Composer: Hebrew folksong
Arranger: Steve Barnett
Arrangement Composition Date: 1999
Arrangement Premiere Date: June 12, 2000

In Noah’s Ark, Suite No. 2
Composer: Ron McFarland
Text: Rumer Godden
Arrangement Composition Date: 1990
Arrangement Premiere Date: October 26, 2000
Original Composition Date: 1983 (by R. McFarland)
Premieres of Non-Commissioned American Works:

Welsh Songs
Composer: Traditional Welsh songs
Arranger: Gordon Getty/treble version by Susan McMane
Composition Date: 2003
Premiere Date: October 2003

Three Songs
Composer: Russell Burnham
Text: Emily Dickinson
Composition Date: 1993
Premiere Date: June 4, 1994

Song Book
Composer: Joel Suben
Text: various poems in English
Composition Date: 1989
SFGC Performance Date: October 26, 1990, West Coast premiere

Victorian Scenes
Composer: Gordon Getty
Composition Date: 1988
Premiere Date: May 11, 1992