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Eight of Swords (2019)

for SATB choir | 00:05:00

by Melissa Dunphy | text by Charles Anthony Silvestri

Eight of Swords was commissioned by National Concerts, SJSU Choraliers, and Kirby Chamber Singers in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Women's Suffrage, and is dedicated to National Concerts and co-guest conductors Jeffery Redding & Tesfa Wondemagegnehu. It was given its virtual premiere with guest conductor Jeffrey Benson.

Eight of Swords
By Charles Anthony Silvestri

You are powerful,
More powerful than you know.
You may think you stand in darkness,
But you are surrounded by the light.

The veil that blinds,
The bonds that bind you
Are only loosely gathered,
And freedom is but a choice away.

Cast aside these bonds,
And find a strength you never knew,
Swords enough for any battle,
Strength enough for any journey.

The waters of life
Flow from inside you.
You are clothed in fire.

And when the Universe gazes out
Upon her many wonders,
She sees through your eyes.

Artwork by Pamela Coleman Smith, Rider-Waite tarot deck (1910).


  • 06 Apr, 2024: West Chester University Students at Ware Recital Hall, West Chester University, West Chester, PA
  • 15 Apr, 2023: Muhlenberg College & Treble Choirs at Egner Memorial Chapel, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA
  • 20 Mar, 2023: E.O Smith Chamber Singers at Carnegie Hall, New York, NY
  • 08 Dec, 2022: College of Southern Maryland Chamber Choir at Fine Arts Center, La Plata, MD
  • 10 Jun, 2022: Ledyard High School Chamber Choir at St. David's Episcopal Church, Gales Ferry, CT
  • 24 May, 2022: Edward R. Morrow High School Vocal Ensemble at Edward R. Morrow High School, Brooklyn, NY
  • 09 Apr, 2022: National Masterwork Chorus and Orchestra at Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, New York, NY