photo by Mike Grittani

An Evening with Emily

The music for, and poetry of, Emily Dickinson

Public Concerts

The Dickinson Ensemble can perform in a variety of musical venues, classical music auditoriums, new music concert series, collaborative arts presentations, educational settings, or any place where music and literature are valued. We also seek partners and hosts with which to collaborate in the creation of new art that draws upon Dickinson’s legacy. These could include music, dance, and visual art groups, and organizations interested in finding new ways to express Dickinson’s rich visions.

Literary and Music Festivals

TDE inhabits a unique place in contemporary art. At home in both literary and musical settings, we can bring literature to musical events and music to literary events. We work in concert with our hosts and partners to create new programs and projects that encompass all the arts—modern,traditional, or seeking the edge of the New. There are no limits. We seek venues that perhaps have never had a poetry and music presentation before, as well as partners with (or without) experience who are looking to experiment.

College Performances and Residencies

TDE offers concerts and residencies that can include both the English and Music departments in interdepartmental projects, examining the poet’s prosody, life, and historical affect upon American literature while exploring how to turn verse into melody, and how to approach the vision, the creation, and the production of new music. A residency can be for one or more days, with the TDE artists each doing presentations on their specialties for both literature and music students, that ends in a concert for all. The TCE artists bring solid and varied academic credentials and experience to our residencies, whether we’re in the classroom or on the concert stage. These residencies can also have a student participation component where literature majors can work with music composition and performance majors under the tutelage of our artists to create new poetical and musical works of their own.

Library Presentations

A library is the perfect place to explore Dickinson’s literary legacy thru music. Our library presentations examine her life and work while bringing both to life through song and sound. These programs include verse readings, historical discussions, and muscial performances. Perfect for audiences drawn to people and places of literature, art, and music.

Sample TDE Concert Program

Five Poems by Emily Dickinson by Ernst Bacon, for soprano and piano.

Emily’s Images (seven movements) by Vivian Fine, for flute and piano.

Selections from 12 Poems of Emily Dickinson by Aaron Copeland, for soprano and piano.

Calendar by Willem DeVries Robbé, voice and vibraphone.

Three Songs After Emily Dickinson by William Sydeman, for soprano and cello.

From Emily! (from New England) by Gweneth Walker, for soprano and piano.


Emily Sings, a twelve movement suite by Don Skoog, for soprano, flute, cello, and piano.

Sample TDE/Chorus Concert

Emily Sings, a twelve movement suite by Don Skoog, for soprano, flute, cello, and piano.


Let Down the Bars, Oh Death by Samuel Barber, SATB chorus.

Why Do I Love You, Sir? by Don Skoog, for SSA chorus, soprano, flute, cello, and piano.