The Music of Elizabeth Alexander

Works about Letting Go

Title

Poet/Lyricist

Voicing/Instrumentation

Level

Be Grateful, My Soul
A passionate testament to life’s worth, even when facing adversity and oppression
Poet/Lyricist: Norbert Čapek
  • SSAA a cappella OR 5-part canon
Level: M
Even a Fist Was Once an Open Palm
A tender vision of the possibility and promise of peace
Poet/Lyricist: Yehuda Amichai
  • SATB a cappella
Level: A
Finally On My Way To Yes
A gutsy celebration of life’s rough lessons
Poet/Lyricist: Pesha Gertler
  • SSATB, piano
Level: MA
Grace
A reflection on the mystery and bounty of grace
Poet/Lyricist: Elizabeth Alexander
  • Low voice, piano
  • Medium voice, piano
  • High voice, piano
  • SSA, piano
  • SATB, piano
Level: ME
Handles
An uproarious affirmation of women’s bodies, minds and indomitable spirits
Poet/Lyricist: Elizabeth Alexander
  • SSAA, piano
Level: MA
How To Sing Like a Planet
A genre-defying “instruction manual” as whimsical and varied as the singing planet which inspired it
Poet/Lyricist: Elizabeth Alexander
  • TBB, piano
  • SATB, piano
Level: MA
I’ll Tell You A Story, then…
An ordinary walk leads to an unexpected discovery about what it means to be fully human
Poet/Lyricist: Nancy White
  • Low voice, piano
  • Medium voice, piano
  • High voice, piano
Level: M
Impermanent Things
A rhapsodic meditation on life’s beauty and transience
  • Viola, piano
  • Cello, piano
Level: MA
Jump!
A dramatic soundscape of jumping, falling, and flying
Poet/Lyricist: Ray Bradbury
  • SSA, narrator, piano
  • SSA, narrator, string quartet
Level: M
Like a Leaf
A rhapsodic setting of Wendell Berry's wise, simple words
Poet/Lyricist: Wendell Berry
  • SATB, piano
Level: M
No One Gets A Program
A bluesy, sassy take on a wise old saying
Poet/Lyricist: Dutch proverb / Elizabeth Alexander
  • Vocal duet, piano
Level: M
On the Edge of the Water
An allegory on life’s beauty, transience, and everlasting nature
Poet/Lyricist: Elizabeth Alexander
  • Low voice, piano
Level: M
The Earth Called To My Friend
A memorial song which wholeheartily embraces the vitality of life
Poet/Lyricist: Nancy Wood
  • SSA, piano
Level: M
Tomorrow, God Willing
A buoyant riff on humility, gratitude and second chances
Poet/Lyricist: Garrison Keillor
  • TTBB a cappella
Level: M
Trust the Seeds
A meditation seed-planting, patience and faith
Poet/Lyricist: Elizabeth Alexander
  • SATB a cappella
  • SATB, flute, oboe, piano
  • SATB, orchestra
Level: Various
when faces called flowers float out of the ground
A whimsical and amorous song of spring
Poet/Lyricist: E. E. Cummings
  • SATB a cappella
Level: MA
Why I Pity the Woman Who Never Spills
A gutsy, sensual song in praise of messy women
Poet/Lyricist: Joan Wolf Prefontaine
  • SSAA a cappella
Level: MA
Y Comienzo a Bailar (“And I Begin To Dance”)
An intimate portrait of the bittersweet experience of memory, loss, and love
Poet/Lyricist: Elizabeth Alexander / Augustin Cadena
  • SATB, piano
Level: MA
You were meant for this
A fierce and vibrant farewell to a dying friend
Poet/Lyricist: Teresa Schreiber Werth
  • SSAA a cappella
Level: MA