This song was commissioned by my friend, the marvelous soprano Hila Plitmann, for her concert at Mason Home Concerts (Los Angeles) on March 17, 2018. The concert was titled “Love and Remembrance.” The piece is a setting of a Sara Teasdale poem entitled “Give Me Your Stars.”
My parents met in December of 1939 in Williams Bay Wisconsin, where my father was working at Yerkes Observatory (built by George Ellery Hale, who also built Mount Wilson and Mount Palomar observatories), and my mother was teaching school. During their courtship my mom wrote many love letters to my father and this poem was hand-copied into one of those letters. She, a small-town preacher’s kid, was knocked off her feet by this important astronomer from California. So the imagery of sky and stars, as well as peace and heaven-high, resonated strongly. Coincidentally, the poem was written the same year my mother was born, 1915.