A Little Learning is a Dangerous Thing

for Wind Ensemble and Choir

Composed: 2009
Duration: 12'

Program Notes

Commissioned by Northwestern Oklahoma State University, the Phi Delta Music Society, and the Lambda Omega chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi in honor of the 100th anniversary of Oklahoma's statehood.

from An Essay on Criticism (1709) by Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

A little learning is a dangerous thing
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Fired at first sight with what the Muse imparts,
In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts,
While from the bounded level of our mind
Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind;
But more advanced, behold with strange surprise
New distant scenes of endless science rise!
So please at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
The eternal snows appear already past,
And the first clouds and mountains seem the last;
But, those attained we tramble to survey
The growing labors of the lengthened way,
The increasing prospects tire our wandering eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!

Score and Recording

Click the PDF icon below for a viewable score in PDF format. For a printable score and other performance materials, including the necessary software, please contact me.

Link to PDF of score