(text: Lawrence Ferlinghetti) for soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, and chamber orchestra; 10' (1998)
composer’s note: “Outside the Leaves Were Falling” was written as my undergraduate thesis project, for the completion of my music degree from Bard College. It was premiered at the end of my college years by three student singers (hint: one of those singers was me!) with members of the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein. In it, I honed my skills as a writer of art song, while playing with some wild orchestrational tricks, and trying desperately to make a symphony orchestra play Dixieland jazz with abandon. It was not always a successful piece, but it had some really transcendent moments that hinted at the composer I would become. Plus, it solidified my love for the power of voices and orchestra together, a love that would later blossom into my obsession with opera.