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In the 1991-92 school year, a contest was held wherein all Fairbanks, Alaska elementary school-aged children (including home schools, church schools, charter and public schools) were invited to submit poetry on any Alaskan subject. My job was to sift through the entries, narrow them down to a workable number of poems and set the winners to music in a song cycle. More than 250 entries were received and the poetry submitted reflected a great deal of writing talent, which made it difficult to select the 17 winners. The �prize� for winners was to be my writing the song cycle and having the Fairbanks Children�s Choir perform the cycle at a PTA meeting. The final composition consisted of 12 songs for 2-part children�s voices, with piano accompaniment. In addition to premiering at the PTA meeting, the piece was also performed twice on concerts at University of Alaska Fairbanks: first, as part of a Fairbanks Choral Society and Children�s Choir, and second, as part of a graduate recital featuring the compositions of Ann Kapp Andersen! The lyrics to "Northern Lights" were written by Sarah Steinnerd when she was in grade 3. The accompaniment is medium difficulty piano.
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