Where Go the Boats? |  a cappella SATB chorus  |  3’

Where Go the Boats? (2012) sets a seemingly simple Robert Louis Stevenson text about a child’s boats sailing down a river. As the river flows away with the boats at the poem’s conclusion, the speaker realizes, “Other little children / Shall bring my boats ashore.” The poem’s undertones—loss, longing for return, and letting go—reach far beyond a child’s immediate experience. The child narrator copes with the loss of the boats in the same way an adult must cope with the loss of a lover: the lost objects are gone forever, but will nonetheless be loved in the future.

Where Go the Boats? (2012) was commissioned by the Harmonium Choral Society (directed by Anne Matlack) for a concert celebrating the 15th anniversary of Harmonium’s Composition Competition, of which Trumbore was the 2005 winner. Where Go the Boats was premiered June 2 & 3, 2012 at Grace Episcopal Church, Madison, NJ.

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