Instrumentation: SSA + piano
Commission: The Peninsula Women’s Chorus
The Peninsula Women’s Chorus, Martin Benvenuto, Conductor
St. Patrick’s Seminary, Menlo Park, CA
The Jumblies, a setting of the poem of that name by Edward Lear, was commissioned by the Peninsula Women’s Chorus, with conductor Martin Benvenuto, in memory of chorister Mary Ager. It is dedicated to her. Mary’s sister, Lois Hinderlie, offered several wonderful suggestions, including this poem. Other members of the chorus also made excellent suggestions. However, when I learned about Mary, and her deep interest in Victorian literature, including earning a PhD in the subject, I felt that the Lear poem was especially appropriate. The images are delightful and the whole poem is charming. Yet, there is a more serious message that one should set out on one’s journey without worrying about whether others will come along. In the end, they may well wish they had! Scored for treble chorus and piano, the music closely mirrors the vivid images of the text. It is my hope that Mary, with her inclusive musical taste and zest for singing, would have enjoyed it.
“I wanted to let you know that The Jumblies is one of my all-time favorite pieces in the PWC repertoire! I have been singing with the chorus since 1978, so I’ve experienced a lot of music. This piece captures the spirit of Mary Ager so well–she was a close friend of mine.”
–Kathy Plock (member of the Peninsula Women’s Chorus)