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Halcyon Days (2020)

for SATB choir | 00:03:30

by Melissa Dunphy | text by Jacqueline Goldfinger

Other Arrangements

Halcyon Days was commissioned by VOCES8 for their LIVE From London festival in 2020.

Melissa Dunphy is an original and exciting composer living in the USA, though of Australian background. Her piece Halcyon Days, written to a new text from her regular collaborator poet Jacqueline Goldfinger, creates a period of calm during winter storms where we reflect on what we have lost but rise up to face the new year with joy and grace. Written for SATB unaccompanied choir this piece is suitable for any winter concert.

Press Quotes

"One work I hear them record, Halcyon Days by Melissa Dunphy, has particular poignancy. The final piece sung at the end of an academic year, it was also the first sung on returning from Covid, and Lapwood asks the singers to remember what it felt like to be together again after the challenges of the pandemic. It works." [Gramophone]

"Melissa Dunphy’s Halcyon Days is a Rutter-esque ditty: a lovely ensemble narrative in which VOCES8 affectionately shaped the phrases and pointed the text; counterpoint and dialogue were counterposed with homophony, and the result was a beautifully concordant and consoling prayer." [Opera Today]

"[Dunphy's] Halcyon Days (text Jacqueline Goldfinger) is a radiant meditation of the sacred, the familiarity of ‘well-worn prayers’ and a rising up towards a dawn of joy and peace." [Seen and Heard International]


* * *

Halcyon Days
By Jacqueline Goldfinger (2020)

Sacred days draw near, traditions hallowed and wan,
Well-worn prayers embrace their heirs when love returns as embers.
Dreams delayed, hopes frayed in the blue nights of winter,
Daybreak dreams of reunions lost.
Rise up, tattered and torn! Rise up, barren and reborn!
Go forth in peace, bring joy to the dawn,
and grace, turn your face upon us.


Performances

  • 26 Nov, 2024: Distinguished Concert Singers at Carnegie Hall, New York, NY
  • 23 Jun, 2024: Voces8 at Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia
  • 05 Mar, 2024: Casper College Chamber Singers at Wheeler Concert Hall, Casper College, Casper, WY
  • 03 Feb, 2024: Cantare Montibus at St. Gabriel Episcopal Church, Denver, CO
  • 02 Feb, 2024: Cantare Montibus at United Church of Christ, Longmont, CO
  • 20 Dec, 2023: Oconomowoc Area School District at Oconomowoc Arts Center, Oconomowoc, WI
  • 17 Dec, 2023: Choir of St. Paul's at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Burlingame, CA
  • 14 Dec, 2023: Woodinville High School Advanced Mixed Choir at Woodinville High School, Woodinville, WA
  • 06 Dec, 2023: Choir of St. Paul's at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Burlingame, CA
  • 01 Dec, 2023 - 02 Dec, 2023: Lehigh Valley Chorale Chamber Ensemble at First Presbyterian Church, Allentown, PA
  • 18 Nov, 2023: Avanti Chamber Singers at FirstOntario Performing Arts Center, St. Catherines, ON, Canada
  • 15 Nov, 2023: Ballard High School Concert Choir at Central Washington University, Kittitas County, Washington
  • 29 Apr, 2023: The William and Mary Botetourt Chamber Singers at Williamsburg Presbyterian Church, Williamsburg, VA
  • 23 Apr, 2023: The William and Mary Botetourt Chamber Singers at The Great Hall, Sir Christopher Wren Building, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA
  • 15 Apr, 2023: The Choir of Pembroke College, University of Cambridge at St. Bartholomew's Church, New York, NY
  • 14 Apr, 2023: BGSU Collegiate Chorale at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Bowling Green, OH
  • 12 Apr, 2023: The Chapel Choir of Pembroke College, Cambridge at St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York, NY
  • 18 Dec, 2022: Musica Intima at West Vancouver United Church, West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 17 Dec, 2022: Musica Intima at Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 16 Dec, 2022: PhilHarmonia at German Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • 11 Dec, 2022: Chorus Pro Musica at Old South Church, Boston, MA
  • 11 Dec, 2022: Whitworth Choir at Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, Spokane, WA
  • 10 Dec, 2022: Whitworth Choir at Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, Spokane, WA
  • 10 Dec, 2022: Vox Venti at St. Chrysostom's Episcopal Church, Chicago, IL
  • 10 Dec, 2022: Musica Intima at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Langley, BC, Canada
  • 09 Dec, 2022: Chorus Pro Musica at Old South Church, Boston, MA
  • 04 Dec, 2022: Voices of Concinnity at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Hebron, CT
  • 04 Dec, 2022: Yale Choir at Dwight Hall at Yale, New Haven, CT
  • 03 Dec, 2022: Voices of Concinnity at Wadsworth Atheneum Museum, Hartford, CT
  • 03 Dec, 2022: Voices of Concinnity at Trinity Episcopal Church, Hartford, CT
  • 03 Dec, 2022: Penn Chorale at St. Mary's Church, Hamilton Village, Philadelphia, PA
  • 01 Dec, 2022: Southern Oregon University Chamber Choir at Southern Oregon University Music Recital Hall, Ashland, OR
  • 29 Nov, 2022: San Jacinto College Choir at Jan Corbin Recital Hall, San Jacinto College Central, Monte Blue Music Building, Pasadena, TX
  • 19 Jun, 2022: Pembroke College Chapel Choir at Pembroke College, Cambridge, UK
  • 02 May, 2022: Rutgers University Choir at Kirkpatrick Chapel, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
  • 24 Apr, 2022: San Diego Opera & La Jolla Playhouse at Without Walls Festival, San Diego, CA
  • 23 Apr, 2022: San Diego Opera & La Jolla Playhouse at Without Walls Festival, San Diego, CA
  • 19 Mar, 2022: Vocalis Consort at Calvary Chapel, New Brunswick, NJ
  • 06 Mar, 2022: Bay Choral Guild at First Congregational Church of Palo Alto, Palo Alto, CA
  • 05 Mar, 2022: Bay Choral Guild at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church, San Francisco, CA
  • 04 Mar, 2022: Bay Choral Guild at Campbell United Methodist Church, Campbell, CA
  • 18 Dec, 2021: Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 17 Dec, 2021: Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh at Sacred Heart Church, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 12 Dec, 2021: Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 12 Dec, 2021: Cleveland Chamber Choir at Christ Church Episcopal, Hudson, OH
  • 11 Dec, 2021: Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh at St. Kilian Church, Cranberry Township, PA
  • 11 Dec, 2021: Cleveland Chamber Choir at Old Stone Church, Cleveland, OH
  • 11 Dec, 2021: Young New Yorkers Chorus at St. Mary the Virgin Church, New York, NY
  • 11 Dec, 2021: Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 10 Dec, 2021: Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 10 Dec, 2021: The Longwood Chorus at All Saints Parish, Brookline, MA
  • 05 Dec, 2021: UMKC Conservatory Singers at Visitation Catholic Church, Kansas City, MO
  • 05 Dec, 2021: Voices of Concinnity at St. Peter's Church, Hebron, CT
  • 04 Dec, 2021: Voices of Concinnity at St. Ann's Church, Old Lyme, CT
  • 04 Dec, 2021: UMKC Conservatory Singers at Visitation Catholic Church, Kansas City, MO
  • 20 Nov, 2021: Nazareth Chamber Singers at Linehan Chapel, Nazareth College of Rochester, Rochester, NY
  • 17 Oct, 2021: Mansfield University Chamber Singers at Steadman Theatre, Mansfield, PA
  • 16 Oct, 2021: Chicago Chamber Choir at St. Mary of the Lake, Chicago, IL
  • 23 Jun, 2021: St Martin’s Voices and Anna Lapwood at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, UK
  • 21 Jun, 2021: BBC Singers (cond. Nicholas Chalmers) at Nevill Holt Opera June Festival, UK
  • 05 Dec, 2020: VOCES8 at LIVE from London