Manhattanville Reid Castle In the Spring

New York Concert to Feature Song Written By Manhattanville College Professor

Geoffrey Kidde“Now Welcome Somer,” a song composed by Geoffrey Kidde, a professor in the Music Department at Manhattanville College, will be performed in an upcoming concert for the Composer’s Voice concert series “Fifteen Minutes of Fame.”

“It’s very hard to put into words. Being a composer this is what you want, this is the thing that makes it all worthwhile, hearing your music performed,” Kidde said.

He added that he was surprised his song was selected because it comes from Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Parliament of Foules,” and the lyrics are in Middle English. Kidde said he put a note in the score that the performer, Shannon Roberts, will have to sing it correctly so the accents fall in the right places.  

“It will be a challenge for the singer in that regard, but obviously she said ‘ok, I accept the challenge,” he said.

In Chaucer’s poem, “Now Welcome Somer,” is sung at the end, and Kidde decided to put music to it because it is happy and joyful. He wanted to compose an upbeat song because of the one-minute time restriction the concert series has.

“One minute of slow music is not that much music, but one minute of fast music, is a little bit more,” Kidde said.

Despite looking forward to hearing his composition performed, he will not attend the premiere concert on March 30 because it is the same day as the cohort for the students in the music technology program. His wife and kids will be at the concert and express his condolences to the performers. Kidde is also fortunate there will be a second performance on April 6, which is unusual for “Fifteen Minutes of Fame.”

Each “Fifteen Minutes of Fame” concert is made up of 15 one-minute long works by composers written for a specific performer or ensemble. “Now Welcome Somer,” was written for Roberts, soprano, and Yumi Suehiro, piano, and was chosen from submissions from around the world.  

“That is the world now, it is just as easy to send something to New York from India as it is from Westchester,” Kidde said.

The March 30 performance will begin at 1 p.m. and take place at the Jan Hus Church, 351 East 74th Street, New York City, and the April 6 performance at 3 p.m. at the Ascension Catholic Church, 108th Street & Broadway, New York City.