Program Notes:

Something bright, confident, and inviting describes Victoria composer Sarah Quartel’s innocent Songbird. Words and music are by the composer. The Oxford University Press website describes it as “an evocative text describing songbirds that spin tunes of gold. The catchy, colourful melody is first presented by tutti voices, and is then woven through the vocal parts, often to scat accompaniment. The setting ends with an effective passage of close imitation.”

Conductor Notes:

This cheerful piece is surprisingly tricky to put together. Vibrant and successful sound when all the work’s been done.


This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.



I am a Songbird; I will sing anything. Give me a tune, I will spin you gold.

Closer you come to the Songbird weaving, Stronger the thread of the music’s hold,

Feel in the breeze a breath, a soaring Song to you, and hear me say:
‘I am a Songbird; I will sing anything. Follow the breeze and come my way!’

One little bird on a branch sits fanning Amber wings to the passers by.
Two little birds in flight are threading Webs of gold in an endless sky.

Three little birds with brushes painting Moonlit sighs in the heart of day.
Four little birds with voices gleaming Breathe to the wind singing ‘come my way!’

Sing little bird so sweetly. Drown my fears completely.

Five little birds with feathers fluffing Stretch and spread in the midday sun. Six little birds are cooing, humming, Drawing the eyes of ev’ryone.

Seven little birds in fountains splashing. Droplets soar, they fawn and play.
Eight little birds raise voices higher, Breathe to the wind singing, ‘come my way!’

Sing little bird so sweetly. Drown my fears completely.

Fly, little Songbirds, to the horizon.
Land meets sky and sky meets sea. Dance, little Songbirds, flick your feathers, Move the current, carry me!

Sing, little Songbirds, call to your lovers. Draw them in completely.
You, little Songbirds, you can sing anything. I follow the wind and I come your way.