Tongue Twisters

Instrumentation: SSA chorus and piano
Duration: 7:20

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Program Note:
Tongue Twisters (2003), is a set of phrases from three tongue twisters: “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”; “Sarah sells seashells by the seashore”; and “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.” These were favorites of mine as a child and sprang to mind as I was sitting in my studio during a residency at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts in 2003. I decided to compose settings of each phrase for treble chorus and piano. I am grateful to the Virginia Commission for the Arts for the composer fellowship that sponsored this residency. The settings have musical twists designed to capture the intricacy of the verbal ones. The first has the sharp bite of a tasty pepper, the second has the more pensive character of a walk along the beach collecting sea shells, and the third has the lively character of a woodchuck in action. –JS

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