The mission of the Yeoman's Fund is to involve area residents across the ages in the creative process. This year the Yeomen have once again commissioned new music from the composition department at Plymouth State University, under the direction of director Jonathan Santore. Santore and three students, Eben Brown, Hannah Chambers, and Kyle Quirion, were given an existing tune by Ralph Vaughan Williams, with text by William Morris, "Snow in the Street".
The final version uses all twelve original verses of Morris's text from his "Earthly Paradise". Three of the verses will use Vaughan Williams' tune; the others are all new from the PSU composers. Some verses are for chorus, soloist, and some involve the audiences. Also featured are parts for French horn, played by Ron Wold, and guitar played by Peter Heimlich, both of Tamworth.
The piece will be premiered by the Sandwich Singers and their audiences in two concerts, Sunday December 11 at the Methodist Meeting House in Center Sandwich, and Wednesday December 14 at the Tamworth Congregational Church. Both concerts are at 7:30 PM.
Vaughan William discovered in 1904 that a lot of the music he knew in his native England was not recorded in any fashion, and was becoming lost. He started collecting it, and using the tunes in his many compositions.
William Morris is best known for his designs of fabrics, wallpapers, hangings, and carpets, which engendered the Arts and Crafts movement. But he was a prolific writer as well. This piece is from his longest work, writing essays, poems, and books. He eventually became a publisher, and made beautiful, useful, available editions.