A Rainy Day

For unaccompanied women's chorus

Duration: 4:15

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Text · Performance History · Purchase Sheet Music

This piece is full of droplets of song that pool together into harmonic cadences... full of simple and direct music that clearly communicates the spirit of the text. — Jay C. Batzner's review of the premiere performance

The text is a poem by American poet John Brainard (1796 - 1828) first published in 1825 ("Poems") and reissued in 1832 ("Literary Remains").

The setting for women's chorus was completed in February 2001 and is dedicated to my mother, Cynthia Turek Bartholomew (1923 - 2010), who taught me to love the rainy days.

The Arkansas State University Women's Chorus, under the direction of Dale Miller, presented the premiere performance on January 30, 2004, at the Fowler Center, Jonesboro, Arkansas, at the Society of Composers Region 6 Conference.

The piece was selected for the 2009 Reading Session by the Elektra Women's Choir of Vancouver, Canada, Morna Edmundson and Diane Loomer conducting, and was substantially revised as a result. The Vocal Ensemble Fantazia of Koltsovo, Novosibirsk, Russia, received a Silver Medal in the Champions Competition at the 2014 World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia, for their performance of A Rainy Day in the female vocal ensemble category.

A Rainy Day

It rains. What lady loves a rainy day?
Not she who puts prunella on her foot,
Zephyrs around her neck, and silken socks
Upon a graceful ancle -- nor yet she
Who sports her tasselled parasol along
The walks, beau-crowded on some sunny noon,
Or trips in muslin, in a winter's night
On a cold sleigh-ride -- to a distant ball.
She loves a rainy day who sweeps the hearth,
And threads the busy needle, or applies
The scissors to the torn or threadbare sleeve;
Who blesses God that she has friends and home;
Who, in the pelting of the storm, will think
Of some poor neighbour that she can befriend;
Who trims the lamp at night and reads aloud,
To a young brother, tales he loves to hear;
Or ventures cheerfully abroad, to watch
The bedside of some sick and suffering friend,--
Administering that best of medicine,
Kindness, and tender care, and cheering hope;
-- Such are not sad, e'en on a rainy day.

John Brainard (1796 - 1828)

Purchase Sheet Music

Sheet music for A Rainy Day is available from J. W. Pepper.

Performance History

Premiered January 30, 2004, by the Arkansas State University Women's Chorus, Dale Miller conducting, Jonesboro, Arkansas

April 9, 2005, Acappellago, Dennis Smith conducting, North Aurora, Illinois

April 10, 2005, Acappellago, Dennis Smith conducting, Naperville, Illinois

Revised score premiered December 12, 2009, Bella Voce Singers, Jessica Corbin conducting, Church of Saint Saviour, Brooklyn, NY

December 13, 2009, Bella Voce Singers, Jessica Corbin conducting, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, NY

March 16, 2013, Acappellago, Dennis Smith conducting, Oak Brook, Illinois

March 17, 2013, Acappellago, Dennis Smith conducting, Batavia, Illinois

July 16, 2014, the Vocal Ensemble Fantazia of Koltsovo, Novosibirsk, Russia, received a Silver Medal in the Champions Competition at the 2014 World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia, for their performance of A Rainy Day.