Freeing the Caged Bird for Woodwind Quintet
I. Maya Angelou
II. Sara Teasdale
III. Kate Chopin
IV. Emily Hahn
Freeing the Caged Bird is a four-movement tribute inspired by the literary works of four native St. Louis women who struggled to give voice to their creativity. The first movement or portrait, Maya, is based on the book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou (b. 1928-2014), who is regarded as one of the great voices of contemporary literature. Inspired by Sara Teasdale’s (1884-1933) poem “Sunset St. Louis” the second portrait, Sara, evokes the swirling, twilight imagery of her poem. The third portrait, Kate, represents Kate Chopin’s (1850-1904) then notorious novel The Awakening, first published in 1899. The last portrait, Emily, is based on Emily Hahn’s (1905-1997) book, Hong Kong Holiday, and expresses the joie de vivre of a woman who refused to accept society’s dictums.