The Noteables

The Smith College Noteables were formed in 1982 and we wear navy blue! I was part of this a capella group for four years and was Pitch/Musical Director for two. Check out the Noteables YouTube channel and Facebook page!

Here is our cover of Portugal. The Man’s “Feel it Still” arranged by myself, Jordan Moody, Liz Curran-Groome, and Grace Hehir. Soloist is Jordan Moody.

*More videos coming soon!*


My other a cappella arrangements include:

“Peace of Mind” by Boston

“Somebody to Love” by Queen

“Grows Old” by Thirdstory

“White Winter Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes (Pentatonix version)

“Wait for It” from Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, performed by Leslie Odom Jr.… Read the rest

Song of the Santa Ynez

This project was completed in May 2018. The visual element is rough early cut footage from The Santa Ynez River Wilderness directed by Michael Love. I composed a score for full orchestra after studying the footage and orchestrated it using Cubase.

ScoreRead the rest

The Film Score Stands Alone; Wonderland in Elfman’s “Alice’s Theme”

10 May 2018

The Film Score Stands Alone; Wonderland in Elfman’s “Alice’s Theme”

A musical score often bookends a film, both inviting the audience’s attention as the opening credits fade and waving goodbye as the end credits roll. This is the case in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (2010): at the start of the film, pieces of a theme by Danny Elfman take form over the opening Disney logo and the theme develops fully as the first image — the moon among drifting clouds — fades into view. The music grows stronger as the film’s title looms across the sky and we see the clock face of Big Ben come into focus.

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To Live Happily Ever After; (Dis)satisfaction in the Ending of Middlemarch

11 May 2018

To Live Happily Ever After; (Dis)satisfaction in the Ending of Middlemarch


I certainly felt a great deal of satisfaction upon reaching the final sentence of George Eliot’s Middlemarch, having seen a novel of this length through and achieving some sort of conclusion after observing her characters learn and grow over the course of almost 850 pages. Therefore, I would like to begin this paper with the end. The novel closes with an epilogue or Finale in which the reader discovers that Dorothea and Will get married, have children, and essentially live happily ever after. Several emotions ran through my mind as I processed this final chapter of Dorothea’s story.

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Dear Evan Hansen’s Original Broadway Cast Album Emits a Unified Voice of Hope and Understanding

8 February 2018

Dear Evan Hansen’s Original Broadway Cast Album Emits a Unified Voice of Hope and Understanding

Even without seeing the Tony award-winning Broadway musical, Dear Evan Hansen, it is not difficult to be captivated by the unbridled story in the music and lyrics of the original Broadway cast album. Though it didn’t spark quite as much buzz as the Broadway takeover Hamilton, the bigger winner the year before in 2016, Dear Evan Hansen has swept the nation with its message of self love and acceptance and was the show to see in 2017. Unlike its predecessor, which features rap and hip hop influences, the music of Dear Evan Hansen evokes a much quieter pop, rock, and singer/songwriter vibe. 

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Chelsea’s Lullaby: for piano

This is a short piece written for Marisa Hopwood’s short film, The Vacant Flame. A somber snapshot into an ambiguous time and place, the film depicts a married couple struggling with their conflicting perspectives on each other and their marriage. Chelsea plays a lullaby on the piano for her husband, Mark, at a moment when his emotional perspective – what he hopes for their relationship – takes the stage. 

Excerpt from The Vacant Flame:


I’ve been thinking of writing a
song for you. Would you like to
hear it?

MARK does not answer just waits patiently for CHELSEA to

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Haiku: for Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Alto, and Vocal Percussion

This composition was completed in December 2017 and was performed by The Smith College Noteables.

*Performance video to come*


Program Note ~

I – Abscission

Tori Clayton

Noa Kaufhold

Annabel Utz

Charlie Bauer

Mackenzie Dreese

II – Crystallization

Cara Dietz

Maggie Painter

Liz Curran-Groome

Emily Prendergast

Jordan Moody

Phoebe Weissblum

Meg Kikkeri

Text by Tori Clayton:
Time grows old I feel it still.
Rivers and roads will run to you.
Creep upon the young nightingale.

Take my heart with you.

III – Metamorphosis

Tori Clayton

Meg Kikkeri

Olivia Dufour

Rowyn Davis

Mackenzie Dreese


A note about the piece ~

While writing this piece, I was reminded of both the trials and the enriching experiences of a year at school, especially how transformative each can be.

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Stage Five: for Soprano, Piano, and Bass Flute

This composition was completed in May 2016 and was performed by members of Wet Ink Ensemble Kate Soper, Eric Wubbels, and Erin Lesser.


Performance Notes

Program Notes~

I wrote this piece with the fifth stage of the sleep cycle in mind – the cycle where dreams become most active. I wanted to start off with a more relaxed state of deep sleep, so I incorporated the breathing technique of 4, 7, and 8 – inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, exhale for 8 seconds  – used to help one fall asleep into the time signature in the first section of my piece.Read the rest

“Both Free and Situated”: The Measured Amount of Markedness in Lahiri’s Short Story

22 December 2017

“Both Free and Situated”: The Measured Amount of Markedness in Lahiri’s Short Story

There are several different types of cultural work that authors can achieve through their writing, some more explicit or intentional than others. According to Carl Phillips, all it takes is to be a writer of color to execute cultural work; he believes that if an African American writes a poem about a flower, it is an African American poem. Toni Morrison seems to agree with Phillips: “Whatever the forays of my imagination, the keeper, whose keys tinkled always within earshot, was race.” Morrison feels a burden is placed on many writers, the burden of representing that writer’s entire race, not just their own thoughts and ideas, in whatever work they create.

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