Youth Inspiring Youth

Wit & Fright (2009 music, 2001 poem)
Composed by Ryan Harper, poem by River of Words winner Eric Pierson, age 10

With a focus on youth, opportunities and a creative process, WomenSing (in affiliation with River of Words) is providing the opportunity for young composers to create new choral music, mentored by well regarded composers Libby Larsen and Sandra Milliken. Through a blind application/submission process judged by WomenSing’s Artistic Leadership Team, two competition winners are commissioned to write treble choral works based on the inspired children’s poetry from the River of Words project. All participants take part in a series of events, including public workshops and discussions, culminating in the commissioned works being premiered in concert by WomenSing. Since the program’s inception in 2008, WomenSing has commissioned six pieces:

  • Moon Song (2011) Music by Nick Norton, age 24; poems by River of Words' winners Ginny Drake, age 14, John Davies-Schley, age 7, Noah Jordan, age 9, Luis Castillo, age 10, and Alexa Beaver, age 10.
  • A Precious Pearl (2011) Music by Lauren McLaren, age 21; poem by River of Words winner Mirabai Britton, age 16
  • Sisyphean (2010) Music by Elizabeth Lim, age 23; poem by River of Words winner Skyler Pham, age 15
  • Unseen Secrets (2010) Music by Joshua Fishbein, age 25; poem by River of Words winner Quinn Whitlow, age 7
  • Sombre del Mar (2009) Music by Jack Henry; poem by River of Words winner Alejandro Yanez, age 16