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.