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Published on May 4, 2012
When I Sing to Make You Dance - Michael John Trotta
When I Sing to Make You Dance was commissioned by Polly Murray and ChildrenSong of New Jersey to provide artistic expression for emerging mixed choirs. The ranges are ideal for newly changed and developing voices. An energetic piano accompaniment features subtle suspensions that provide a harmonic and rhythmic underpinning for the singable vocal lines. The addition of the soprano solo and flute obbligato allow for an accessibly rich texture. The director may consider engaging a dancer, adding yet another visual element that reinforces the text.
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was a Bengali writer, painter, and musician perhaps best known for his poetry. In 1913, he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for Literature for his work. Gitanjali (Song Offerings), is comprised of 103 English poems dealing with a metaphysical nature of union. From this larger work, the text for When I bring to you colour'd toys, my child is used as the foundation of this choral work. The imagery suggests the beauty of singing and its capacity to elicit to a larger union among individuals, nature, and the world at large.