Emily’s Songs

This setting of three short poems of Emily Dickinson was commissioned in 2004 by AMIS – The Association for Music in International Schools. In order, the three songs are:

To Hear An Oriole Sing
I’m Nobody
Hope Is The Thing With Feathers

Coming from New Zealand, while I had heard of Emily Dickinson, her poetry was completely unfamiliar to me. By chance I discovered some of her poems on the internet and found that immediately on reading them, musical motifs sprang to mind – a rare and cherished occurrence!

When shortly afterwards Georgia Bassett of AMIS commissioned a choral work from me, she was delighted by my suggestion that I set three Dickinson poems. The resulting SAB settings were a bit too demanding for AMIS’s young choirs, so, with permission from Dick and Georgia Bassett I made SATB arrangements for Magen Solomon and the San Francisco Choral Artists, who premiered them in June, 2010.

In 2008, commissioned by Brian Messier of Amherst MA to write a large scale wind ensemble work inspired by Dickinson’s work, I incorporated instrumental versions of these poems and five others into An Emily Dickinson Suite.

Please contact me for more information, or to arrange a performance of Emily’s Songs by your choir.

Christopher Marshall


SATB choir


The Association for Music in International Schools





Persual Score

Performance History:

Three performances by SFCA in San Francisco and the Bay Area from June 13-21, 2010