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Voicing: SATB divisi, alto and tenor soli

duration: c.a. 5 minutes

This piece has not yet been premiered.

Click here to view the perusal score.


*This is a digital score (PDF)


Poet David Kresh wrote "December" for my sister and I after our father's sudden passing on Thanksgiving morning of 2003. At the time, I was four years old and she was one. I did not know that this poem existed until recently when my mother told me about it. The poem explores the complexity of emotions that my sister and I felt during the month following our father's death. 

The alto soloist's a capella entrance and haunting melody reflect a child's simple yet raw emotions, and the harmonic build throughout the piece echoes the buildup of emotions leading to the climax at measure 43. The subsequent section mimics the opening melody, yet in a major setting, evoking a sense of potential healing in the years to come. The piece, however, ends in an emotionally confused state, unsure of where a person goes after they die and how one might cope and proceed with a normal childhood.


by David Kresh

adapted by Grace Brigham

Bitter wind and a light

scattering of snow.

Under the trees where

snow gathers, small tracks,

trace of paw or birdclaw.

You don' t want these.

The pine cone furred with flakes,

bough in the throes of the blow.

The year's crystal breath

darkening in the straitened air.

The belly of the wind.

You don't want these.

Light in the window,

candles dwindling on the sill,

the faint calling of the

distant scattered stars.

Slow stirrings, turnings,

you don't want any of these things.

You just want them back.

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