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The Thaw
for Soprano, Tenor, Mixed Choir, & Wind Ensemble (2016)
Andrea Reinkemeyer (Sherwood, Oregon - 2016)
Artis Henderson, text
Commissioned by Rodney Dorsey for the University of Oregon Wind Ensemble and University Singers.
Dedicated to the memory of: Anne Dhu McLucas, Lawrence Maves, Steven Larsen, & Charles Dowd

View the Perusal Score
Download Program Notes as Google doc


Piccolo, 2 Flutes, Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet in B-flat, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon
2 Horns in F, 2 Trumpets in B-flat, 2 Tenor Trombones, Tuba
Timpani, 4 Percussion*, Harp, Soprano, Tenor, SATB
* Percussion 1: Marimba (4.3), Vibraphone, Large Tam-tam
* Percussion 2: Large Concert Bass Drum, Wind Gong, Metallic Windchimes
* Percussion 3: Kick Drum, 2 Toms, Bongos, Woodblocks, China Cymbal, Glass & Bamboo Windchimes
* Percussion 4: 5 Temple Blocks, Sizzle Cymbal, Triangle
Program Notes:

The Thaw for Soprano, Tenor, Mixed Choir and Wind Ensemble (2016) was commissioned by Rodney Dorsey for the University of Oregon Wind Ensemble and University Singers who premiered the piece on May 28, 2016 in the Silva Concert Hall at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts (Eugene, Oregon). The work is dedicated to the memory of University of Oregon mentors Anne Dhu McLucas, Lawrence Maves, Steven Larsen, and Charles Dowd.

I was drawn to the vivid detail and sensuality of Artis Henderson’s writing style, especially her honest portrayal of emotional pain and healing. Her poem, The Thaw, was written for this project; it draws upon imagery from Oregon’s rich, natural beauty to explore themes of love, loss and healing. The form of the musical work follows the text from a stunned and frozen stasis through the warming of spring.

I am grateful for artistic support from Rodney Dorsey, Artis Henderson, Sharon Paul, Brian and Kaisa Amer.

-- Notes by Andrea Reinkemeyer

The Thaw

I am the bud curled tight against the cold.
I am the bulb beneath the snow.
I am the white sky, the long night, the crack and shudder of ice.

I wait beside the adder’s tongue, the cobra lily, the purple hyacinth
for the soil to stir and the river to swell.
I wait through mist and hail.

I am fog and breath and cloud.
I am the cherries on the branches, too green.
I am rain.
And rain.
And rain.
And then --

I am the windows flung open to catch the sun,
my mouth like cherries,
the heat building in me.

I am leaf-touched, sun-tasted, petal-kissed.
I am wind and light and sky.
I am the cleft in the ridge; I am the river --
roaring, roaring,

flooded with rain.

-- Artis Henderson

Copyright © 2014 Artis Henderson.
Used by permission of Artis Henderson.


Performance Materials:

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Premiere Performance:

Saturday, May 28, 2016 - 7:00 p.m.
University of Oregon Spring Concert
Silva Concert Hall, Hult Center for the Performing Arts (Eugene, OR)
$ (More information)


Four of the University of Oregon’s premier musical ensembles join forces for our annual celebration of the spring season. Join the University Symphony Orchestra (David M. Jacobs, conductor), Oregon Wind Ensemble (Rodney Dorsey, conductor), and University Singers (Sharon J. Paul, conductor) for an evening of diverse and exciting music. The University Symphony Orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto #5 “Emperor” with pianist Alexandre Dossin, as well as two excerpts from Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung.” The University Singers will perform a world premiere piece with the Wind Ensemble, written especially for the two ensembles by composer and UO alumna Andrea Reinkemeyer. The UO Chamber Choir will perform an eclectic set of music from around the world.

Tickets are available at the door or in advance from the UO Ticket Office (541-346-4363) or Hult Center (541-682-5000).




“The Thaw” preview: A transitional journey
World premiere of Oregon composer's new work culminates a collaborative creative process

by GARY FERRINGTON (Oregon ArtsWatch online) - May 24, 2016


Everything Band Podcast with Mark J. Connor, Episode 50 (March 5, 2018):
Rodney Dorsey discusses The Thaw and working with composers at 24:30


Sharon J. Paul, Art & Science in the Choral Rehearsal - pages 55-56