Blue Shadows, Silver Sunlight (2019)

SATB choir. 9 mins.

Commissioned by Boston Choral Ensemble.

Any of the three movements may be programmed separately as standalone works for performance.

Perusal Score

Score available for purchase. Please direct inquiries to Nell Shaw Cohen at

Program NOte

Blue Shadows, Silver Sunlight features settings of three poems on the theme of winter: “Winter Branches” by Margaret Widdemer, “A Winter Blue Jay” by Sara Teasdale, and “A Winter Ride” by Amy Lowell, all written in the early 20th century by American women. Each of these poets used vivid descriptions of winter phenomena to convey moments of profound connection to the natural world. I’ve grouped these poems together because I feel they form an aesthetically cohesive set, providing the basis for a musical narrative arc that moves from quiet contemplation (“Winter Branches”) to joyful exuberance (“A Winter Ride”).

My heartfelt thanks to Boston Choral Ensemble for providing me with the opportunity to write Blue Shadows, Silver Sunlight through their 12th Annual Commission Competition. I dedicate this piece to my parents, Burt and Deborah Cohen, in gratitude for the childhood Chanticleer holiday concerts that kindled my love of vocal ensemble music.

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Performance History
  • Boston Choral Ensemble, Andrew Shenton, Artistic Director; premiered at Old South Church, Boston, MA, 12/14/19.