Here Is A Land

SATB chorus, oboe, violin, and piano

5′ 30″

Thomas Hornsby Ferril

Commissioned by the Cherry Creek Chorale.

Premiered October 19, 2012, by the Cherry Creek Chorale.

Called “the Poet of the Rockies” by Carl Sandburg, Thomas Hornsby Ferril remains one of Colorado’s literary treasures, where he was honored as the state’s Poet Laureate from 1979 until his passing in 1988. The emergence of poetry in Denver is inexorably linked to Ferril and his poem “Here is a land…” engraved in the Capitol’s rotunda. Ferril beautifully captures the desolation of Colorado as a “land where life is written in water”.

This choral setting of the poem builds upon the same stark reverence for water, using spirited melodies tinged with sorrowful inflections. Oboe, violin, and piano provide sweet accompaniment to the choir, building to an intense interlude that immediately transitions to one last fugal exclamation by the choir.