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I Shall Not Live in Vain
A piece for a cappella SSAATTBB chorus based on the text of the Emily Dickinson poem* by the same name. Revised in 2019 to more fully use the eight voices.

dur: 4.5 min, key of G, then modulates to F

"Beautiful harmonies. Love the slight touches of dissonance... --Charles M."

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
I now have a version that is sung, with all parts by Joel Murillo.

I Shall Not Live In Vain, for chorus from david on Vimeo.

video recording: https://vimeo.com/363642060



chorus, choral, SATB
It's Muse Light
A commissioned work for San Francisco based Musae Womens Chorus and Bossa Five-O [flute, sax, guitar, percussion].


There's music in a whispered voice; She is the muse... of the song

Weaving beauty into the tapestry of creation,
and a thread of new music enters your dream.

She sparks your soul, melding thought, light and sound,
Then like a wisp [of smoke] she vanishes into the wind.

Spellbound, enchanted by the magic of the song, magic of the song
Singing, singing, singing for the joy.

The last rays of sunset are racing through the night
to rejoin the sky song of sunrise, of muse light!


There's music in a whispered voice; She is the muse... of the song

And maybe you will hear it or see it at dawn,
and likewise be entranced by the sight of her song.

Beyond wordly facts and clashing views
All share a moment when the song and singer fuse.



womens chorus, guitar, flute, sax, percussion, SSAA, muselight, choral, musica sfinzi, 2011
QP Peace Be Unto Thee Stranger
A single movement choral piece in a madrigal/hymn style for four-part chorus using the text below.

Peace be unto thee, stranger, enter and be not afraid.
I have left the gate open and thou art welcome to my home.
There is room in my house for all.
I have swept the hearth and lighted the fire.
The room is warm and cheerful and you will find comfort and rest within.
The table is laid and the fruits of Life are spread before thee.
The wine is here also, it sparkles in the light.
I have set a chair for you where the sunbeams dance through the shade.
Sit and rest and refresh your soul.
Eat of the fruit and drink the wine.
All, all is yours, and you are welcome.
-- from S.O.M. E. Holmes, 1926

short url here: tiny.cc/peace_be
audio link also at soundcloud


SATB voice, choral, chorus
Three Fingers of Light
Adagio for chorus and string trio in Fm. Written for Vigil for Iraq: honoring the dead, the wounded, the grieving and the dispossessed. The text is co-written by David Smith and Theresa Whitehill.
8.5 min (In this rendering, woodwinds are playing the vocal parts.)

Here's a link to the video of the choral performance.

Three Fingers of Light, a choral piece by David Smith, VFI_3 from david on Vimeo.


SATB, choral, chorus, string trio, viola, cello, bass
What Shall We Sing?
A madrigal-style song about singing madrigals. (Thanks to Andreas for singing all of the parts in this recording.)


"Bravo! What a lovely little 'madrigal' -- and a fantastic performance." -- M. Badarak


SATB Chorus, choral,four-part, whimsical

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