Three Scenes From Chicken Sunday (2000)

Music for children’s chorus and saxophone quartet or piano based on the children’s book by Patricia Polacco.

for children’s chorus (SA) and saxophone quartet or piano / 8 min.

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Program Note

For three years I served as composer-in-residence at PS 321 in Brooklyn’s Park Slope, thanks to support from The Commission Project. Each year I composed for the wonderful chorus, led by Alison Gbaje. Each year that school would read a selected book in all grades, kindergarten to fifth—a book that could be appreciated on different levels by different age groups. That year it was Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco, and I loved it as much as anyone. It’s a compelling story of Jewish and African-American friends, of those who are victimized whether for their race or for their age, and of how deep wounds can be healed by kindness.

I took three passages from the book, knowing they would speak strongly to the whole school, and set them as the most demanding music I would create for those kids. They did splendidly, accompanied by the wonderful American Saxophone Quartet (the baritone player was a father at the school). That performance remains my warmest memory of all those years at PS 321.

—Theodore Wiprud

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Upcoming Performances

  1. Reflexions at The College of New Jersey

    February 23 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
  2. Premiere of Songs for Allegra

    April 10 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


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