Gwyneth Walker: Emily! (From New England)




Ragan, Katherine

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The purpose of this document is to explore the life and musical works of Gwyneth Walker, a lesser-known living composer. Gwyneth Walker's reputation with the music community is mostly as a choral composer. In this document, I explore and dissect her solo vocal work Emily! (from New England), whose texts are drawn from the poems of Emily Dickinson. Expanding my knowledge of Gwyneth Walker and Emily Dickinson assists me in making an informed decision when performing this set of songs. Through this extensive research, I hope to spread awareness of her compositions, specifically her solo vocal works, throughout the music community.

In this document I also discuss the process that Gwyneth Walker goes through when composing as well as what prompts her to compose. In an email correspondence with Gwyneth Walker, I learned that all seven songs were originally larger works. In the third chapter of this document, I list how Walker has adapted the choral works to create Emily! (from New England)..

Finally, I view the songs through a performance practice lens. I list the interesting and straight forward instructions to the singer, as well as the ambiguous and metaphorical instructions, and provide information on how I achieve these demands.

Songs being studied: My Letter to the World, The Moon and the Sea, The Frog in the Bog, Hope (with Feathers), Passion, Joy, All I Have to Bring.


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