Sie nicht mehr gehen würde, sondern fliegen

SSA and Piano

As with any poem by Rilke, this one is a bit of a mystery. He describes observing a woman drinking tea with a group of (presumably) her friends and we are told very little about her. Rather than focus on what’s different about this woman (something which is only revealed to the reader via the title of the poem) I chose to center my attention on the beautiful sense of freedom in the final line of text.

"Sie nicht mehr gehen würde, sondern fliegen" was commissioned by the Association for Music in International Schools and received its premiere in Vienna in April of 2012

Beth Beauchamp

Having worked as a professional musician, a music-educator, and the Executive Director of a number of non-profit arts organizations, Beth has over 10 years of experience in catering to the unique needs of artists. Beth believes that the talent, education, and skill-sets of her clients have inherent worth. As a passionate artist advocate, she aims to help her artists improve the quality of their own lives by encouraging them to honor the value of their own work, and by creating materials which allow them to champion their art with confidence. Equally interested in building community, Beth aims to create a roster of artists who are excited to support and collaborate together. 

The Arrow & The Song

SSA and Piano

When I agreed to take on a commission for Waukee Middle School Sixth Grade Choir (Shelly Schaeufele, conductor), I was apprehensive at first. How could I adapt my own compositional voice to write something accessible enough for middle school students to sing? I thought about it for a long time and eventually decided that I would have to prove myself as a composer and call upon all my knowledge about writing “good” and “interesting” music in order to create something that I would be satisfied with. So, I found a big, flashy poem and decided to write something to match it. Unfortunately for me, a bad case of writer’s block set in and I was left stranded with an approaching deadline.

It was a few weeks later that I heard Longfellow’s The Arrow and The Song (in a choral rehearsal, oddly enough).  Right away, I was struck by one thing—its simplicity.  I immediately got my hands on a copy of the text and wrote the entire piece in three days.   Overall, the text portrays something about music and the strength of friendship—a simple, beautiful message for a simple song whose composer learned an important lesson about not thinking too hard, trusting yourself and just keeping it simple.

The Arrow and The Song received its premiere on November 18, 2002 and is dedicated with love and gratitude to Erik Hoefer.

Beth Beauchamp

Having worked as a professional musician, a music-educator, and the Executive Director of a number of non-profit arts organizations, Beth has over 10 years of experience in catering to the unique needs of artists. Beth believes that the talent, education, and skill-sets of her clients have inherent worth. As a passionate artist advocate, she aims to help her artists improve the quality of their own lives by encouraging them to honor the value of their own work, and by creating materials which allow them to champion their art with confidence. Equally interested in building community, Beth aims to create a roster of artists who are excited to support and collaborate together. 

Three Nightsongs

SSAA and Piano

Nature can often be a poet’s best friend as well as their worst enemy. Although it provides a wealth of inspiration in many different guises, there isn’t much about it that hasn’t essentially already been said. Ms. Conkling (who wrote the poetry between the ages of 5 and 7!) achieves this by being articulate without describing too much. Her metaphors are beautiful yet simple and, for my part, that is exactly how I tried to keep the music.

Beth Beauchamp

Having worked as a professional musician, a music-educator, and the Executive Director of a number of non-profit arts organizations, Beth has over 10 years of experience in catering to the unique needs of artists. Beth believes that the talent, education, and skill-sets of her clients have inherent worth. As a passionate artist advocate, she aims to help her artists improve the quality of their own lives by encouraging them to honor the value of their own work, and by creating materials which allow them to champion their art with confidence. Equally interested in building community, Beth aims to create a roster of artists who are excited to support and collaborate together. 

Snow by Morning

SSA and Piano

In the fall of 2001, I received an email from Darcy Hendriks, a 2000 Luther graduate and fellow Dorian Summer Music Camp counselor about a commission for her newly-formed women’s choir at Collins-Maxwell High School. However, there was a catch. The piece was to be premiered at their winter concert in December and, since it was now the middle of September, could I please have the piece finished before the end of the month! Holy cow, talk about working under pressure! But, of course, I accepted and immediately set out on a search for a text. After hunting for about a week, I found the appropriate poem in an old New Yorker book of poetry my grandmother had given to me over the summer (a big ‘thank you’ goes out to her for that one—thanks grandma!).

Now, it seems to me that, for children, there is no end to the amount of fun that is to be had on that day—that one day—after the first snowfall.  This is the feeling I felt the poem expressed and therefore was what I worked to capture as I sat down to compose.  I finished the piece in record time and whisked it off to Darcy and her girls.  Around two weeks before the first performance, she emailed me and asked me if I would like to guest conduct the premiere.  Of course I said ‘yes’ and the Collins-Maxwell High School Select Women’s Ensemble, Ms. Hendriks and I had a blast working together that afternoon and at the premiere later that night.  My little brother Zach even drove up from Drake University in Des Moines to watch the show.  The piece was well-received and later published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing.  Snow by Morning was subsequently given a glorious performance in the CFL last April by Chris Moan, Scott Pauli, and the Luther College Cantorei—something which I will always be grateful for because Chris, a first-time conductor, took a big chance on a piece he had never heard before.

Snow by Morning received its premiere on December 11, 2001 and is dedicated in deepest friendship to the radiant Ms. Darcy Hendriks and the always mild-mannered Christopher Moan.

Beth Beauchamp

Having worked as a professional musician, a music-educator, and the Executive Director of a number of non-profit arts organizations, Beth has over 10 years of experience in catering to the unique needs of artists. Beth believes that the talent, education, and skill-sets of her clients have inherent worth. As a passionate artist advocate, she aims to help her artists improve the quality of their own lives by encouraging them to honor the value of their own work, and by creating materials which allow them to champion their art with confidence. Equally interested in building community, Beth aims to create a roster of artists who are excited to support and collaborate together. 

Saro

SSAA and Violin or Cello

“Pretty Saro” was first an English folk song which is thought to have originated in the 1700s. It disappeared from performance but was eventually “rediscovered” in the Appalachian Mountains where it had immigrated and been preserved through the oral traditions of the local singers. Its lyrics had been changed but the subject had stayed the same: a person who is mostly content with where they are, but would still rather be with the far, far away Saro.

What I always think of when I hear this tune is the experience of a person immigrating to the United States and what it must have been like for them to leave someone they loved behind potentially thousand of miles away. We all have a Saro somewhere in our lives and, from immigrants processing through Ellis Island in 1905 to a Hispanic boy in 2014 wearing a t-shirt that says “Don't Deport My Mom,” it's clear that sometimes things still don't go the way we want them to. In this moment, our lives are defined by one heartbreaking event: saying goodbye.

Beth Beauchamp

Having worked as a professional musician, a music-educator, and the Executive Director of a number of non-profit arts organizations, Beth has over 10 years of experience in catering to the unique needs of artists. Beth believes that the talent, education, and skill-sets of her clients have inherent worth. As a passionate artist advocate, she aims to help her artists improve the quality of their own lives by encouraging them to honor the value of their own work, and by creating materials which allow them to champion their art with confidence. Equally interested in building community, Beth aims to create a roster of artists who are excited to support and collaborate together. 

In Magna Symphonia

Beth Beauchamp

Having worked as a professional musician, a music-educator, and the Executive Director of a number of non-profit arts organizations, Beth has over 10 years of experience in catering to the unique needs of artists. Beth believes that the talent, education, and skill-sets of her clients have inherent worth. As a passionate artist advocate, she aims to help her artists improve the quality of their own lives by encouraging them to honor the value of their own work, and by creating materials which allow them to champion their art with confidence. Equally interested in building community, Beth aims to create a roster of artists who are excited to support and collaborate together.