Time to Stand and Stare

by Pamela J. Marshall

for trumpet


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This contemporary solo for trumpet alone contrasts heedless bustle with moments of clarity and reflection. The music is very busy, buzzing along with fast notes and an undercurrent of restlessness. Sudden suspensions of time, with long notes and legato phrases, should be played with arresting beauty and a warm sound, as if you suddenly notice life’s breathtaking wonder.

The music is inspired by the poem Leisure by Welsh poet William Henry Davies.

Composer’s note:

I discovered this poem at the suggestion of Natalie DeJong, trumpeter with the Rodney Mack Philadelphia Big Brass ensemble. I met her at the Chamber Music America conference in 2011 and we shared stories of poetry and family. This was her grandfather’s favorite poem.

Part of Pamela’s Poetry-Inspired Music collection¬†of instrumental solos and chamber music.



by William Henry Davies (1871-1940) (Welsh)

What is this life if, full of care
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass,
No time to see, in broad day light,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at beauty’s glance
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

from Songs Of Joy and Others (1911)


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